Cholesterol and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

Cholesterol and Alcohol

Drinking is something that is universally enjoyed by many adults. While not everyone partakes in drinking alcohol, many adults do. And everyone has their preferred alcoholic beverage. Whether it’s hard liquor, wine, or beer, people enjoy a glass of alcohol at home while they’re eating or several glasses while out with their friends. Even though consuming alcohol may feel like a natural passage of adulthood, there’s at some point that people should start understanding the health effects that alcohol has on your body.

This is in specific regard to your cholesterol. Alcohol is filtered through your liver. This is the same place where your cholesterol is made. Therefore, is your cholesterol greatly affected by your consumption of alcohol? In this article, we will be going over cholesterol and alcohol and if your drinking affects your cholesterol.

What is Actually Cholesterol?

Before we go any further, let’s go over what cholesterol actually is so you know. Cholesterol is the waxy substance that your body produces that food also provides. While cholesterol can be good, there is also bad cholesterol. Called low-density lipoprotein or LDL for short. This bad cholesterol builds up inside of your arteries to form plaque, which is not something that you want and can actually be very detrimental to your health down the road. This is because plaque can restrict the blood flow to other parts of your body. This could result in something like a heart attack or stroke. Depending on how close you are to a hospital, this could prove deadly.

Your total cholesterol level should be below 200 mg/dL, which is according to the National Institutes of Health. LDL should be below 100 mg/dL. Keep in mind that you do not need cholesterol from your diet due to the fact that your body produces it. Which, is why there’s so many problems with diets these days and consuming too much food product that forces cholesterol levels to rise to levels that can get quite dangerous for someone’s health.


  • Total cholesterol levels: 125-200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: Lower than 100mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol levels: Men: 40mg/dL or higher, Women: 50mg/dL or higher

Does Alcohol Produce Cholesterol?

Here’s the good news. Alcohol does not contain cholesterol. At all. This is at least in the purest forms of beer, wine, and liquor. This is great news! So, you might be asking, if alcohol does not pertain to cholesterol, why are we here? Well, keep in mind that when you mix your alcohol with other things you are affecting your health.


  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits

Let’s Go Through Cholesterol And Certain Alcohol

In this section, we will be going over cholesterol as it pertains to every alcohol beverage. Keep in mind, as it was said before; that there are no cholesterol levels at all in alcohol, but it does pertain to other factors with cholesterol that you need to keep in mind. That is what we will go through in this section.


No matter what beer you are drinking, that beer does not contain any cholesterol. Do you like an IPA? Or a stout? Maybe you’re a fan of ale. Yep, neither of the ones just mentioned contain any cholesterol. However, beer does contain carbs and alcohol. These substances do have the potential of raising your triglyceride levels. Beer also contains plant sterols. These are the compounds that bind to the cholesterol on your body and usher it out. Keep in mind that the sterol levels in your beer are so low that it cannot positively affect your cholesterol. So, I’m sorry – beer is not healthy for your cholesterol levels.


Just like with beer, hard liquor does not contain cholesterol. This is your whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, etc. However, if you have flavored alcohol such as candy-flavored whiskey, this contains extra sugars that regular whiskey does not have and this can actually affect your cholesterol levels. This also is because of the mixes that people tend to use when they are making cocktails with hard liquor.


Wine not only doesn’t have cholesterol, but it is quite good for your heart health. Especially red wine. Red wine can actually help in the reduction of inflammation as well as prevent clotting in the short term. This will actually contribute to the level of good cholesterol increasing. Do know, however; that resveratrol’s positive effects are not long-lasting.

Know How Much You’re Drinking And What

Now that we’ve gone through the different effects on cholesterol that different alcohol has, let’s talk about how much drinking and what you’re drinking does on your cholesterol levels. The frequency of alcohol consumption actually matters more than the kind of alcoholic drink you choose. If you are looking for wine to have some sort of positive effect on your heart, then one drink per day for women and two drinks per man is what is recommended.

Did you know that moderate drinkers were less likely to have a heart attack than those who abstain from drinking? That’s right! So, this should make you feel better for having that glass of red wine per night. But, again, make sure that you’re drinking in moderation because if you’re having one bottle of wine per night then you’re going against the actual health benefits you could be experiencing from wine.

How can alcohol consumption raise your good cholesterol levels? This is because it increases the speed that proteins are transported through the body. Of course, there are certain situations in which you can’t drink – such as women who are pregnant.

Cholesterol and Alcohol: What Was Covered?

Hopefully, it was conveyed correctly in this article that there are no cholesterol levels at all in any alcohol. Which should put you at ease next time you reach for your favorite bottle [that you have been saving] in the fridge and pour yourself in a glass. However, hopefully you got from this article that there are multiple factors and there are other health factors in place here. Depending on how much you drink, you could be gaining alcohol and harming your health.

So, it is important to have alcohol in moderation. Understanding, as well; that mixes have something to do with it is important. Let’s say you like tequila, but you like to drink it in margaritas – it’s not the tequila that’s hurting your cholesterol levels, it’s the rest of the mix in the margarita. So, keep what you’ve learned in mind if your doctor is suggesting you keep an eye on your cholesterol levels.

Users also searched for:

Potassium in Beer

Does Beer Expire