Beer and Cholesterol: What You Need to Know
It’s no secret that alcohol consumption can be bad for your health, but what about beer specifically? Is it bad for your cholesterol levels? The answer is yes, drinking beer can increase your cholesterol levels and should be avoided if you are trying to keep your cholesterol in check. In this article, we will look at the effects of beer on cholesterol and what you can do to reduce the risk.
How Does Beer Affect Cholesterol?
Beer is made from barley, hops, yeast and water. Barley contains a type of dietary fiber called beta-glucan which helps to lower cholesterol. The hops contain compounds called isoflavones which can also help to reduce cholesterol levels. However, these beneficial compounds are often offset by the large amount of calories and carbohydrates found in beer.
The calories in beer can cause an increase in triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood. Triglycerides can raise your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower your “good” cholesterol (HDL). The carbohydrates in beer can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels which can then lead to an increase in “bad” cholesterol.
What Can You Do To Reduce The Risk?
If you are looking to reduce your risk of high cholesterol levels due to beer consumption, there are a few steps you can take. One option is to switch to low-alcohol or light beers which contain fewer calories and carbs. Another option is to opt for craft beers which often contain higher amounts of beneficial compounds like beta-glucan and isoflavones.
You can also try drinking other types of alcoholic beverages such as wine or spirits as these tend to have fewer calories and carbs than beer. Finally, you should limit your overall alcohol consumption as excessive drinking can cause an increase in triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol.
In conclusion, beer consumption can have a negative effect on your cholesterol levels if you are not careful. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk such as switching to low-alcohol or craft beers, opting for other types of alcoholic beverages and limiting your overall consumption. By following these tips, you should be able to enjoy beer while keeping your cholesterol levels under control.