Does Coffee Cause High Cholesterol?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Are you wondering if caffeine has any effect on your cholesterol levels? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the potential link between caffeine and high cholesterol. Read on to find out more about this fascinating topic!


Understanding what cholesterol is

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the body that is necessary for building cell walls and producing hormones. It is produced naturally by the liver but can also be found in foods from animal sources, such as eggs and dairy. 

High Cholesterol

While cholesterol is necessary for good health, too much cholesterol can lead to unhealthy conditions such as heart disease. High cholesterol levels are often linked to a poor diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, and other lifestyle factors. 

The relationship between coffee and cholesterol

It is complicated how coffee affects cholesterol. Studies have shown that drinking five cups of coffee daily from a French press brewing method can increase blood cholesterol levels over four weeks. This may be due to coffee’s diterpenes (cafestol and kahweol), which suppress the body’s production of substances that lower cholesterol. 

However, it is important to note that the natural oils in coffee beans do not contain cholesterol and may not be the primary cause of elevated cholesterol levels. 

The role of diterpenes in coffee

Coffee includes diterpenes, which are naturally occurring chemicals that have been related to higher cholesterol levels. Cafestol and kahweol, two of the principal diterpenes present in coffee, have been proven in studies to raise serum cholesterol. This shows that a high intake of these chemicals may result in higher cholesterol levels.

Fortunately, filtered coffee does not contain these diterpenes and therefore does not affect cholesterol levels. 

Coffee and coronary disease risk

Recent studies have examined the link between coffee consumption and coronary disease with mixed results. Increasing caffeinated coffee consumption was found to be significantly associated with a reduced risk of heart failure. 

In men, slightly increased mortality from coronary heart disease and all causes can be associated with heavy coffee drinkers. 

Tips for reducing cholesterol level

Limit saturated and trans fats

It is important to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, which can increase cholesterol levels. Eating foods high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help to lower your cholesterol. 

Reducing saturated fat intake may also help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Additionally, it is important to avoid trans fats found in processed foods, as these raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower good (HDL) cholesterol. 

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can help reduce cholesterol levels. An active lifestyle can help to raise levels of high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol, which helps to prevent coronary disease. 

Studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, even if it doesn’t lead to significant weight loss. Any activity counts – even brisk walking, swimming, or cycling – as long as it is done regularly and at a level that increases the heart rate and makes you sweat. 

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important factor in reducing your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that being overweight can increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and cause inflammation, leading to other health issues. 

Which types of coffee raise cholesterol levels?

The relationship between coffee and cholesterol is complex, and depending on the type of coffee consumed, cholesterol levels can be affected in different ways. 

Decaffeinated Coffee and Cholesterol Levels

Decaffeinated coffee has been associated to elevated LDL cholesterol levels. According to one study, those who drank decaffeinated coffee had a 10% rise in LDL cholesterol levels compared to those who did not. This could be because decaf coffee contains diterpenes, which can decrease the body’s generation of chemicals that regulate cholesterol levels.

However, this increase in LDL cholesterol appears to be minimal and temporary, and research suggests that it may not be a cause for concern. While it is important to be mindful of one’s cholesterol levels, drinking decaffeinated coffee in moderation is unlikely to impact overall health majorly.

Instant coffee and cholesterol levels

According to some research, instant coffee may increase cholesterol levels. It was found that instant coffee may cause an increase in cholesterol in both genders, although the number of cups consumed did not appear to correlate with the rise in cholesterol directly. 

Additionally, caffeine can cause stress and increased cortisol levels, leading to elevated cholesterol levels. Therefore it is important to limit the amount of instant coffee that you consume if you are trying to reduce your cholesterol levels.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Consult a healthcare professional for medical concerns. The author and publisher are not liable for any actions taken based on this article.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.