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Drinks You Must Give Up If You Don't Want High Cholesterol, Says Dietitian

Skip these drinks to help protect your heart health.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Having high cholesterol is a common, but serious, problem to have—especially as you get older. In fact, it's recommended that adults between the ages of 45-65 get cholesterol screenings every one or two years, and then once a year at least after 65.

If high cholesterol goes untreated, it can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, including regular exercise and adopting healthier eating and drinking habits.

Read on to learn about certain drinks you may want to avoid if you don't want high cholesterol. And for more cholesterol tips, make sure to check out Eating Habits to Lower Your Cholesterol.


drinking alcohol

If you're someone who is at risk for high cholesterol, you may want to reconsider how much alcohol you're consuming regularly.

"Alcohol increases your cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate the liver to produce more of this substance," says registered dietitian Ronald Smith, RD "and according to the CDC, consuming two alcoholic beverages per day can cause up to a 20% increase in your total cholesterol levels."

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Fruit juice with added sugar

grocery juices

Natural fruit juices can be a healthy part of your diet, especially those that contain high levels of antioxidants, like pomegranate juice.

However, consuming too many fruit drinks, like those that come with extra amounts of added sugar, can be potentially harmful to those at higher risk of raised cholesterol levels.

"Fruit drinks (not fruit juice) can contain high levels of added sugar, which increases triglyceride levels and therefore increases LDL cholesterol levels," says Smith.

Soft drinks

soda glasses

Although they're delicious, soft drinks can be extremely harmful to your cholesterol levels and overall health. "These drinks are packed with sugar and phosphates, which are ingredients that increase cholesterol levels in your body," says Smith.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, those who consumed around 12 ounces of soda a day ultimately had lower levels of HDL-C cholesterol (known as good cholesterol) and higher levels of triglycerides, which can be harmful to your heart health.



If you're a lover of grabbing a delicious milkshake at your local diner, you may want to monitor how much you're consuming, especially because these drinks can negatively impact your cholesterol levels.

In a report published in Laboratory Investigation, saturated fat can raise your "bad" cholesterol levels and lower your "good" cholesterol in your body. So much so that the study proves your cholesterol can be affected by even one high-saturated-fat meal. Because milkshakes are high in saturated fat from the ice cream, you may want to limit the amount you consume.

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha