Oat and soy drinks contain compounds which could help reduce cholesterol levels or healthfully maintain them, such as those made with these grains and proteins.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by our bodies to produce cells and hormones, such as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Unhealthy cholesterol levels increase risk for serious health conditions like stroke or coronary failures.
This article presents beverages that could help individuals reduce cholesterol levels, as well as those to avoid. Furthermore, alternative approaches might prove helpful in reaching more balanced cholesterol levels.
Best Drinks To Further Develop Cholesterol
Many types of drinks can help lower or control cholesterol levels. These include:
- Green Tea
Green tea contains catechins and other cancer prevention compounds which may help lower LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Scientists conducted a 2015 experiment where rats drank water enriched with catechins and epigallocatechin gallate – two cancer prevention agents present in green tea – for 56 days, as part of an elevated cholesterol diet regimen. After this time period, their cholesterol and “awful” LDL levels decreased by an impressive 14.4% to 30% respectively in both groups of rats receiving such water-infused drinks.
Dark tea can also significantly lower cholesterol, though to a lesser degree than its green variant. This is likely because catechins present in various tea varieties cause fluid to be absorbed differently by your body.
Caffeine may help boost HDL levels as well.
- Soy Milk
Soy contains less saturated fat, so switching out cream for soy-based creamers or milk may help lower cholesterol levels or maintain them more effectively.
Food and Medicine Administration (FDA) recommendations suggest including 25 grams (g) of soy protein each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to lower coronary illness risk.
Different authorities advise consuming three to four servings of soy-based food or drinks daily, each representing 250 milliliters (ml) of soy milk.
- Oat Drinks
Oats contain beta-glucans that form a gel-like substance in your stomach and interact with bile salts to block cholesterol absorption and decrease cholesterol absorption.
A 2018 survey demonstrated that oat drinks like oat milk may provide more consistent reduction in cholesterol than semi-solid or solid oat products.
For maximum effectiveness, aim to consume around 3 grams daily of beta-glucans – this could result in a 7% drop in LDL levels! One cup of oat milk could even provide up to 1.3 g of these beneficial substances!
Check oat drink labels carefully to make sure they contain beta-glucans as part of their fiber data, and how many mg are present per serving.
- Tomato Juice
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene that may help improve your lipid levels and decrease harmful LDL cholesterol.
Studies show that processing tomatoes into juice increases their lycopene content.
Tomato juice contains cholesterol-reducing fiber and niacin.
A 2015 study reported that 25 female participants who regularly consumed 280ml of tomato squeeze for at least a year experienced a drop in blood cholesterol levels. Participants ranged in age between 20-30 years old with weight files scores no lower than 20.
- Berry Smoothies
Berries contain abundant antioxidants and fiber, both of which may assist with lowering cholesterol levels.
Anthocyanins, which provide cell reinforcement through the consumption of berries, may assist with increasing cholesterol levels.
Berries are also low in both calories and fat content.
Make a berry smoothie by combining two handfuls, about 80 g, of any variety of berry. Combine with 1/2 cup of low fat milk or yogurt and 1/2 cup of cold water.
Examples Of Especially Healthful Berries Include:
- Drinks Containing Sterols And Stanols
Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry-containing drinks contain both sterols and stanols to promote overall wellness.
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals similar to cholesterol that block its absorption into the body.
Vegetables and nuts contain low levels of sterols and stanols that do not aid in the reduction of cholesterol.
Companies are adding chemicals like this one to various foods and beverages, including yogurt drinks, milk products and natural product juices.
The FDA advises that individuals consume at least 1.3 g of sterols and 3.4 g of stanols every day.
- Cocoa Drinks
Cocoa is the main component in dark chocolate. Its main antioxidant component, flavanols, may help improve cholesterol levels.
A 2015 study demonstrated that regularly drinking 450 mg cocoa flavanol drinks for multiple months is shown to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously raising HDL ones, yielding dramatic improvements.
Cocoa offers unsurpassed amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to aid with increasing cholesterol levels and maintaining optimal health.
However, drinks containing processed chocolate typically contain high levels of saturated fats; individuals looking for healthier alternatives might want to opt for unadulterated cocoa drinks instead.
- Plant Milk Smoothies
Some plant-based milk varieties contain ingredients which could potentially help lower or regulate cholesterol levels.
An individual can easily create an ideal smoothie base using soy or oat milk.
Make a soy or oat smoothie by mixing one cup (250 ml) of soy or oat milk with cholesterol-reducing fruits or vegetables such as:
- 1 banana
- 1 modest bunch of grapes or prunes
- 1 slice of mango or melon
- 2 small plums
- 1 cup of kale or Swiss chard
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
Add 1 slice of mango or melon and 2 small plums for every cup of kale or Swiss chard that you serve.
Studies have found that moderate alcohol consumption could actually be more beneficial to heart health than not drinking at all.
Moderate alcohol consumption appears to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Moderation for females would include up to one alcoholic beverage daily and two for males.
Alcohol’s impact on cholesterol levels depends heavily on many variables, including its amount consumed, someone’s age and sex as well as type of alcohol they drink.
Weighty drinking raises cholesterol levels, and alcohol has such serious negative health repercussions that its negative impacts likely outweigh its advantages.
Drinks To Keep Away From
Individuals looking to increase or maintain healthy cholesterol levels may wish to limit consumption of beverages that contain high concentrations of saturated fats, such as:
- coffees or teas with added cream, whipped cream, high fat milk, or half and half
- drinks or smoothies containing coconut or palm oils
- pressed coconut drinks
- frozen yogurt based drinks
- high fat milk products
- Drinking in excess of 12 ounces of sugary drinks each day may also lessen HDL levels and increase fatty oil levels, or levels of fat in the bloodstream.
Examples Of Sugary Drinks Include:
- natural product juices
- sports drinks
- energy drinks
- soda or pop
- sweetened coffees or teas
- hot cocoa
- prepackaged smoothies
- chocolate or sweetened milk products