The Worst Drink for High Cholesterol, According to a Dietician – Eat This, Not That
Additional reporting by Evan Yandrisovitz.
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may have told you that one way to get your levels under control is to change your diet and lose weight. In fact, losing just 5% of your total weight may be enough to improve your cholesterol levels, according to a study where participants who achieved this goal significantly reduced their levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Losing body fat can help lower LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol,” and triglycerides in your bloodstream that contribute to clogged arteries and heart disease. But there are good and bad ways to lose weight when you have high cholesterol, and it’s important to know the difference.
Two popular weight loss diets: the low-carb and high-fat diet keto diet and intermittent fasting (extending the time between meals to burn more calories and eat fewer) – are two diets you might want to reconsider if you have high cholesterol, and that’s because both recommend to drink a high-fat drink called “butter coffee” as a breakfast replacement.
Usually made by adding a tablespoon or two of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, butter coffee is the worst possible drink for people concerned about high cholesterol due to its high fat contentsays dietitian Susan BowermanMS, RDsenior director of global nutrition education and training for HerbalifeNutrition.
What is butter coffee and why is it bad for cholesterol?
“If you look at a typical butter coffee recipe, which calls for a cup of coffee with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, you get 19 grams of saturated fat and 25 grams of fat. total, which is a lot more than what would be recommended,” says Bowerman.
The American Heart Association recommends that only 5-6% of your daily calories come from saturated fat; that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat if you eat about 2,000 calories a day.
“When we advise people to lower their total blood cholesterol levels, we focus on saturated fat the most,” says Bowerman, who recommends people get their fats from healthier sources like oil. olive, avocado, fish and nuts. “I know (coconut oil) is very popular because it’s plant-based, but it’s still a highly saturated fat and those tend to raise blood cholesterol.”
Related: Popular snacks to lower cholesterol.
Butter coffee became popular among fans of keto diets and intermittent fasting after entrepreneur and biohacker Dave Asprey wrote a bestselling book titled The Foolproof Diet and coined the term “bulletproof coffee” to describe the butter coffee concoction. Asprey claims she lost 80 pounds after she started drinking butter coffee as her only breakfast, even though it contained more than 400 calories per cup.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a “lipid,” a waxy fat in your blood that is made by your body and also comes from food. It is made up of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called “good cholesterol”, because it lowers bad LDL or low-density lipoprotein. Another lipid in the is very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), which carries triglycerides through the bloodstream.
Low-density lipoproteins are dangerous because they can leave fatty deposits, or plaque (atherosclerosis), on the walls of your arteries, potentially causing blockages.
But I don’t drink butter coffee…
You don’t have to add butter and coconut oil to your coffee to do your heart a disservice. The worst drink for your cholesterol could also be low fat coffee with whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half, as these also contain saturated fat, although at levels not as high as butter or milk. coconut oil. And if you’re a fan of those flavored, blended “coffee drinks,” like lattes and frappuccinos that are popular in coffee shops, you might be consuming as much, if not more, saturated fat than you find in butter coffee.
For example, these frozen chai lattes from Dunkin Donuts or The Grande White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream from Starbucks can put you over your recommended saturated fat limit for the day, Bowerman says.
Dunkin’s Great Frozen Chai Latte has 12 grams of fat and seven saturated while The Grande White Chocolate Moka has 18 grams of total fat and 12 grams of saturated fat.
Bowerman notes that most people tend to worry about the calories and sugar in flavored coffee drinks and overlook the total amount of fat these morning drinks contain. “When you start using (additives) like certain syrups and flavorings, like these chocolates and mochas, those are additional sources of saturated fat as well,” she says.
For drinks that should never pass your lips, read The Worst Drinks on the Planet.