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What beverages can help lower or control cholesterol levels?

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What beverages can help lower or control cholesterol levels?
Written by madishthestylebar

Many types of beverages contain compounds that can help lower cholesterol levels or keep them at a healthy level, such as oat and soy beverages.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body uses to make cells and hormones. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are two different types of cholesterol. When cholesterol levels aren’t healthy, they increase your risk of serious health problems, like stroke or heart attacks. This article discusses drinks that can help control cholesterol levels, as well as drinks to avoid. It also lists alternative approaches that may be helpful for people who want to achieve healthier cholesterol levels.

The best drinks to improve cholesterol

Many types of beverages can help lower or control cholesterol levels. These include in particular:

1. Green tea

Green tea contains catechins and other antioxidant compounds that appear to help lower “bad” LDL and total cholesterol levels. In a 2015 study, scientists gave rats drinking water infused with catechins and epigallocatechin gallate, another beneficial antioxidant in green tea. After 56 days, the scientists noticed that the levels of cholesterol and “bad” LDL had decreased by around 14.4% and 30.4% in the two groups of rats fed a high cholesterol diet. However, further human studies are needed to explore this issue further.

Black tea may also have a positive impact on cholesterol, but to a lesser extent than its green variant. This is mainly because the different amounts of catechins in teas mean that the body absorbs the liquid differently. Additionally, caffeine can also help raise HDL levels.

2. Soy milk

Soy is low in saturated fat. Replacing high-fat cream or dairy products with milk or soy creams can help lower or manage cholesterol levels.
One can consume 25 grams (g) per day of soy protein as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, soy is best consumed in its whole, minimally processed form, with little to no added sugars, salts, and fats.

3. Oat drinks

Oats contain beta-glucans, which create a gel-like substance in the intestine and interact with bile salts, which can inhibit cholesterol absorption and help lower cholesterol levels. A 2018 review found that oat drinks, such as oat milk, may provide more consistent lowering of cholesterol than semi-solid or solid oat products. A 250ml glass of oat milk can provide 1g of beta-glucans. Be sure to check the labels of oatmeal drinks to make sure they contain beta-glucans, which may appear in the fiber information, and how much they contain per serving.

4. Tomato juice

Tomatoes are rich in a compound called lycopene, which can improve lipid levels and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Additionally, research suggests that juicing tomatoes increases their lycopene content. Tomato juice is also high in cholesterol-lowering fiber and niacin. A 2015 study found that 25 women who drank 280ml of tomato juice daily for 2 months experienced a reduction in their blood cholesterol levels. The participants were between the ages of 20 and 30 and had a body mass index of at least 20.

5. Berry smoothies

Many berries are high in antioxidants and fiber, two things that can help lower cholesterol levels. In particular, anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant found in berries, can help improve cholesterol levels. Berries are also low in calories and fat. Make a berry smoothie by blending two handfuls – about 80g – of any berry. Mix the berries with 1/2 cup low-fat milk or yogurt and 1/2 cup cold water.

Here are some examples of particularly healthy berries

the strawberries
blueberries
blackberries
raspberries

6. Beverages containing sterols and stanols

Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals that are similar in shape and size to cholesterol and block the absorption of some of the cholesterol. However, vegetables and nuts contain low levels of sterols and stanols which cannot lower cholesterol. Companies add these chemicals to several foods and beverages, which can include fortified plant-based spreads, yogurt drinks, milk and fruit juices. Most people should aim to consume 1.3g or more of sterols and 3.4g of stanols per day. People should try to consume these sterols and stanols with a meal.

7. Cocoa drinks

Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants which doctors call flavanols and which can improve cholesterol levels. A 2015 study found that consuming a 450 mg drink containing cocoa flavanols twice a day for 1 month reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Cocoa contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can also help improve cholesterol levels. However, drinks containing processed chocolate are high in saturated fat. People looking for healthy options may want to limit chocolate with added sugars, salts, and fats.

8. Plant milk smoothies

Many types of plant milk contain ingredients that can help lower or control cholesterol levels. A person can make a suitable smoothie base using soy milk or oat milk. Make a soy or oat smoothie by mixing 1 cup (250 ml) of soy or oat milk with low-cholesterol fruits or vegetables, such as:

1 banana
1 handful of raisins or prunes
1 slice of mango or melon
2 small plums
1 cup kale or Swiss chard
2/3 cup pumpkin puree

Drinks to Avoid

People who want to improve their cholesterol levels or keep them at a healthy level may wish to avoid Safe Source beverages high in saturated fat, such as:

coffees or teas with added cream, whipped cream, high fat milk or creamer
drinks or smoothies containing coconut or palm oils
drinks made from pressed coconut
ice cream drinks
high-fat dairy products

Avoid sugary drinks

Here are some examples of sugary drinks:

fruit juices
sports drinks
energy drinks
sodas or soft drinks
coffees or sweet teas
hot chocolate
prepackaged smoothies
chocolate or sweetened dairy products

Some research has shown that low to moderate alcohol consumption may be more beneficial for heart health than not drinking at all. Moderate alcohol consumption can help raise HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Moderate consumption consists of drinking up to 1 glass of alcohol per day for women and up to 2 for men.

However, the impact of alcohol on cholesterol levels largely depends on factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed, the age and sex of the person, and the type of alcohol consumed. Also, excessive alcohol consumption raises cholesterol levels, and drinking alcohol carries so many health risks that its negative effects likely outweigh its benefits.

Other Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Several changes in behavior or habits can help lower cholesterol levels, such as:

limit the consumption of foods high in saturated fat, such as:
animal products
tropical oils
bakery products
fried foods
processed foods
limit the consumption of foods high in sugar
get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week.
by eating healthy foods, especially
fruits and vegetables
Whole grains
lean meats in moderation
nut
dry vegetables
vegetable oils
fat-free or low-fat dairy products
increase fiber intake
smoking cessation
treat or manage type 2 diabetes
maintain a healthy or moderate weight
stay hydrated.
Doctors may also prescribe medications, such as statins, to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Understanding Cholesterol

High circulating cholesterol can lead to higher health risks.

However, there is more than one type of cholesterol.

LDL can be a “bad” type of cholesterol because it can build up on the inside lining of blood vessels, forming plaque. As plaque progresses, it can narrow blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood they can carry. Plaque buildup is especially dangerous when it forms in arteries supplying vital organs such as the brain or heart. Narrowing of the arteries also increases the risk of a blood clot or other substances getting stuck there. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

HDL can be a “good” type of cholesterol. It absorbs circulating cholesterol and returns it to the liver for excretion. To stay healthy, most people need to limit or lower their LDL levels and raise their HDL levels. This helps ensure that there is enough HDL circulating to keep LDL levels in check.

Foods high in unsaturated fats can help the body absorb HDL, while those high in saturated and trans fats increase LDL levels in the blood.

Summary

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is essential for overall health, and cardiovascular health in particular.

Many beverages contain natural chemicals and compounds that can help improve these levels. These include in particular:

oat and soy milk
tomato juice
green tea
cocoa drinks
beverages fortified with sterols and stanols.

However, there is no quick fix for lowering cholesterol levels. It can sometimes take weeks or months for lifestyle or diet changes to have an effect.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.

#beverages #control #cholesterol #levels

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