Does coffee raise your cholesterol level?
In de list of countries with the highest average coffee consumption per person, The Netherlands comes fifth. Of course, coffee consumption differs from person to person. Some people get up with it and prefer to drink four cups a day, while others leave it at two cups a day. The Nationaal Koffie & Thee Onderzoek van 2020 shows that one fifth of coffee drinkers think that coffee increases cholesterol. What exactly is cholesterol and what are the consequences for cholesterol levels after drinking a cup of coffee?
What is cholesterol?
The body needs cholesterol to function properly. The particles of cholesterol are transported via the blood. A small part of the cholesterol is ingested through food, but most of it is produced in the liver. Cholesterol may be thought of as a 'bad' substance, but the body needs it as a building block for cells, hormones and the production of bile.
There are different types of cholesterol measured in the body. One of them is LDL cholesterol. This cholesterol is also called "bad" cholesterol. This is because with high LDL cholesterol there is more chance of narrowing of the arteries. High cholesterol is therefore a risk factor for heart disease.
Coffee and cholesterol
The fat of the coffee bean contains the substances cafestol and (to a lesser extent) kahweol. These substances mislead the bile function, so that less bile acid is secreted and less cholesterol can be processed in the liver, which means that more cholesterol ends up in the blood. Studies show that the effect of coffee on blood cholesterol levels is largely related to various aspects. A lot depends on how the coffee is prepared. The better the coffee is filtered, the less cafestol there is in the coffee. Take for example the coffee from Cupplement, which comes in cups. The amount of cafestol in coffee from these cups is moderate and amounts to between 1 and 2 mg per cup of coffee. This has hardly any effect on cholesterol levels with 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day. It should be added that the increase in cholesterol levels can only play a role if you drink too much coffee.
Can someone with high cholesterol drink coffee?
The amount of cholesterol in the blood depends on various factors such as diet, overweight and physical activity. People with an increased cholesterol level can continue to drink filtered coffee as the cholesterol increasing effect of filtered coffee is low. People with high cholesterol levels are advised to limit the consumption of unfiltered coffee such as cafetiè coffee (instant coffee) or boiled coffee (Turkish or Greek coffee).
Based on current research, there is no clear answer to the question of whether coffee in itself will adversely affect cholesterol levels. As with all things related to cholesterol and heart disease, the causes are complex and involve a mix of diet, exercise, genetics and lifestyle habits.
Would you like to know more about the healthiness of coffee? You can! Just grab a cup of coffee and then check out the article on the health of coffee on our website.
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