Living with high cholesterol levels is more than just taking a daily dose of medication, in fact, high cholesterol levels can significantly alter one’s living habits.
High Cholesterol can be a dangerous chronic health condition. For people who are diagnosed with this condition or have a family history of high cholesterol, every aspect of their meal falls under heavy scrutiny.
While the most common culprits for raising one’s cholesterol levels are sugary goods and oily foods, unsweetened beverages like coffee and tea often fall into the gray area.
Let’s face it, coffee is among the best energizers to brighten up anyone’s lazy day or sluggish mornings.
For most coffee fanatics who drink multiple cups of coffee, even the thought of leaving behind their precious morning javas is enough to give intense shudders.
If you are a coffee lover who cannot leave behind your precious brew but is dealing with high cholesterol, knowing how daily coffee affects your cholesterol levels is imperative.
Whether you have just been diagnosed with high cholesterol or you are just curious to learn about the effects of coffee on cholesterol levels, we’ve got you covered.
Here is all you need to know about coffee and its effects on cholesterol to help you determine whether or not coffee is good for cholesterol.
Table of Contents
What is High Cholesterol?
Simply put, cholesterol is an organic waxy substance that is naturally present in the body and helps build healthy cells in the body.
High Cholesterol is the presence of higher levels or amounts of this particular waxy substance called cholesterol in the bloodstream.
These accumulated deposits in the bloodstream can later form clots that can lead to severe health concerns such as heart attacks and strokes.
As mentioned earlier, Cholesterol is an organic waxy substance that naturally presents molecules called lipids that travel in the bloodstream through two forms of carriers.
These carriers are said to be LDL or Low-Density-Lipoproteins which are regarded as the unhealthy type of cholesterol and HDL or High-Density-Lipoproteins also regarded as good cholesterol.
The levels of both LDL and HDL in the bloodstream can impact one’s overall health greatly when not properly regulated.
These high amounts of cholesterol in the bloodstream can lead to a myriad of health problems among them the major ones being cardiovascular disease leading to the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
High Cholesterol can be inherited through genetics, although it is quite unlikely. It is usually a result of unhealthy living habits which makes this condition easy to prevent and even manageable.
High Cholesterol can be easily prevented and managed with daily or routine exercise, a healthy and balanced diet, as well as prescribed medications.
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How are Coffee and Cholesterol Linked?
Believe it or not but there are significant studies based on rigorous research that indicate the link between coffee and cholesterol.
According to one study, coffee possesses the risk of raising cholesterol levels, however, it may depend on the brewing method of the coffee.
Another study indicated that coffee oils also referred to as diterpenes like cafestol and kahweol are the key culprit for raising your cholesterol.
These oils are naturally occurring and present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated forms of coffee.
According to research, cafestol can raise the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream, by altering the body’s ability to regulate and metabolize cholesterol serum.
According to the meta-analysis of controlled studies on coffee and cholesterol, the naturally occurring oils present in coffee can also decrease bile acids and natural sterols.
The decrease in bile acids and natural sterols can in turn lead to a raised level of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
The Research concluded by denoting cafestol to be the most potent “cholesterol-elevating” compound in the human diet.
Furthermore, if you have a genetic mutation that elevates the levels of cholesterol in the body, having more than two cups of coffee per day can put you at risk of developing serious heart disease.
Why does the coffee brew matter?
Coffee contains several natural oils called diterpenes that can be responsible for elevating the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
You may be wondering how the brewing process may affect your levels when these oils are naturally present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
The oils present in coffee are the most potent in coffee grounds that are in contact with water for the longest period of time during the brewing process.
While a French Pressed brewed coffee has high levels of oils as it is continually passed through water for the brewing process, American Pot coffee that uses a filter has the lowest levels of oils as the coffee grounds pass through the water once.
When you brew your coffee using a filter most of the cafestol is left behind in the coffee filter no matter the roast of the coffee.
Another study indicates Turkish-style simmered coffee and boiled Scandinavian-style coffee have the highest amount of diterpenes.
Instant-brewed coffee and drip-brewed coffee have almost negligible amounts of diterpenes, while espresso contains intermediate amounts of diterpenes.
According to another study drinking about 4 to 5 cups of French Press brewed coffee over a span of 4 weeks can elevate your cholesterol up to 6 to 8 percent.
Risks of Drinking coffee:
Coffee is an exceptional energizer due to the miracle naturally occurring stimulant called caffeine.
While in moderate consumption coffee can be a great source of energy to brighten up anyone’s day, too much coffee can lead to severe repercussions.
Whether you have caffeine sensitivities or consume more than moderate amounts of coffee per day, learning about the potential risks of coffee is imperative.
Here is a list of side effects and risks of drinking coffee that you may experience:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Problems
- Heart Arrhythmias
- Kidney problems
- Chronic digestive issues