Alcohol does not reduce total cholesterol or LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. However, if you have high cholesterol, drinking in moderation is okay and can actually have beneficial effects like increasing your good cholesterol and act as a blood thinner to reduce clotting. Experts believe alcohol helps reduce stress. Drinking too much comes with its own risks like increasing your blood pressure, triglycerides, and risk of stroke, causing depression, and adding unwanted calories to your diet.
All alcoholic drinks are not created equal. Wine can provide additional benefits because wine contains phytochemicals, which include antioxidants and flavonoids, that appear to reduce the risk of heart disease. Red wine has shown to have the most positive effects of any alcohol.
Men with high cholesterol should not have more than two drinks per day with a couple of alcohol-free days per week while women with high cholesterol should not consume for than one drink per day with the same number of alcohol-free days as men. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.