Is Coffee Bad for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Coffee is good or bad for high cholesterol depending on how you brew it and how much you drink. Because it has cafestol and kahweol, which can raise or lower your cholesterol, and caffeine, which can have positive or negative effects on your blood pressure and heart health.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and heart.

In high cholesterol, your body produces too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol, which can build up in your arteries and form plaques.

This can lead to various health problems, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, beans, fruits, and vegetables and avoid saturated fat-rich foods like butter, cheese, red meat, and pastries.

Now, coffee is a popular beverage that contains caffeine and other compounds.

People usually drink coffee to boost their energy, mood, and alertness.

Coffee is good or bad for high cholesterol depending on how you brew it and how much you drink.

Coffee contains two substances called cafestol and kahweol, which can raise cholesterol levels.

These substances are more present in unfiltered coffee, such as French press, Turkish, or boiled coffee, than in filtered coffee, such as drip or instant coffee.

One cup of unfiltered coffee can give you about 30 milligrams of cafestol and 10 milligrams of kahweol, which can increase your LDL cholesterol by about 8% and 4%, respectively.

One cup of filtered coffee, on the other hand, has negligible amounts of these substances and does not affect your cholesterol significantly.

Cafestol and kahweol can positively or negatively affect high cholesterol.

On the positive side, they can lower your triglycerides, which are another type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease.

On the negative side, they can interfere with your liver’s ability to remove excess cholesterol from your blood, which can raise your LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.

Furthermore, coffee is a caffeinated beverage and caffeine is good or bad for high cholesterol depending on your sensitivity and intake.

Caffeine can stimulate your nervous system and increase your blood pressure, which can worsen your high cholesterol if you have hypertension.

However, caffeine can also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can protect your blood vessels and lower your risk of heart disease.

If you drink filtered coffee, you can drink up to four cups per day safely.

More than that can cause side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, and stomach upset.

If you drink unfiltered coffee, you should limit your intake to one or two cups per day to avoid raising your cholesterol too much.

Stick to moderate amounts of caffeine to balance its benefits and risks.

Also, you shouldn’t drink coffee if you have familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic condition that causes very high cholesterol levels, to prevent further elevating your cholesterol.

Because coffee can interfere with the effectiveness of some cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins.

You can buy fresh coffee beans or ground coffee in your local market or online.

Always choose organic and fair-trade coffee to avoid pesticides and support ethical farming practices.

Because conventional coffee can contain harmful chemicals and exploit workers and the environment.

You can store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool and dark place for up to a month.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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