High cholesterol: The impact of having a glass of wine on cholesterol levels

Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels

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This type of cholesterol forms as a plaque and blocks the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease.

A number of factors can affect a person’s cholesterol levels.

These include lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, and levels of activity.

Drinking alcohol can significantly increase levels of cholesterol.

The charity Heart UK explains: “When you drink alcohol, it’s broken down and rebuilt into triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. So, drinking alcohol raises the triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood.

“If your triglyceride levels become too high, they can build up in the liver, causing fatty liver disease. The liver can’t work as well as it should and can’t remove cholesterol from your blood, so your cholesterol levels rise.

“Alcohol can lead to the combination of a high triglyceride level along with low HDL cholesterol. This can lead to heart disease.”

While alcohol can influence cholesterol levels, this doesn’t mean it has to be completely avoided.

The NHS recommends than adult should consume no more than 14 units per week.

As well as cutting alcohol consumption, there are a number of ways to reduce LDL cholesterol levels such as a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly.

With regards to diet, it is recommended to eat less fatty food such as meat pies and to avoid hard cheeses, biscuits, and fatty meat.

Although it is important to avoid certain foods, it is equally as important to make sure the right ones are being consumed.

Oily fish, brown rice, bread, pasta, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are all highly nutritious foods to help lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, exercise plays a role too.

The NHS recommends an individual should do at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity exercise a week.

Forms of moderate intensity exercise include walking, swimming, running, and cycling.

Should these methods fail, medication could be prescribed in the form of statins.

Additionally, ezetimibe, fibrates, bile acid, sequestrants and bempedoic acid could be prescribed in tablet form.

Alternatively, alirocumab and evolocumab may be injected.

For more information about high cholesterol contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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