Should you stop drinking if you have high cholesterol?
In addition to contributing to higher levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, excessive consumption of alcohol, whether regular or occasional, has many negative effects on health. If you have high levels of bad LDL cholesterol, you may be at risk of heart disease and regular excessive drinking is not advisable.
Moderate drinking, especially of red wine, may actually be beneficial for heart health as this can have a positive effect on the levels of good HDL cholesterol, which protect against heart disease.
If a blood test determines that you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood, it is advisable to cut down your alcohol consumption to improve your general health.
Cholesterol is measured in units called millimols per litre of blood (mmol/l). A total cholesterol level (HDL and LDL) under 4mmol/l is ideal, especially if you have or are at risk of heart and circulatory disease. Your LDL level should ideally be below 2 mmol/l and your HDL level above 1 mmol/l.