I'm a nutritionist – here's the 3 hot drinks that can slash your risk of deadly cholesterol | The Sun05/09/2023
IF YOU have high cholesterol, it means you have too much of a fatty substance that's used to build cells in your blood.
High amounts of these fats can clog up your arteries and lead to health problems later on, such as heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol tend to be the main culprits for 'bad cholesterol' – or low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-though it can also run in families.
But – according to an expert – certain foods and drinks can actually lower your cholesterol levels, in the same way that some can drive them up.
Registered nutritionist and founder of the Healthy Mays clinic, Mays Al-Ali sung the praises of three drinks, which she claimed could bring down levels of 'bad cholesterol'.
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- green tea
- yerba mate
- hibiscus tea
She told Express: “Green tea and also yerba mate have both been shown to lower the bad low-density lipoprotein cholesterol improving serum lipids."
But she advised you drink one of either in the morning, as both drinks are rich in caffeine and can disrupt your sleep.
Though high amounts can be harmful to your health, our bodies do still need small amounts of 'good cholesterol', also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
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HDLs carry cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver where it can be broken down.
Mays said that hibiscus tea hibiscus tea can 'bad cholesterol' and also boost levels of 'good cholesterol'.
"In one study, those who drank it daily lowered triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol, and increased high-density lipoprotein (the good one) after only one month," she explained.
Previous studies have shown that green tea could improve risk factors that are linked to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, according to the NHS, is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and obesity.
Therefore, people are more likely to have metabolic syndrome if they are overweight, and have poor or high levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
As for yerba mate, some research has linked regular consumption of the brew to an increased risk of cancer.
One study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarker and Prevention suggested that the tea could raise a person's risk of lung cancer and digestive cancers such as oesophageal cancer, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.
Meanwhile, a 2022 study published by Oxford University Press said regular hibiscus tea could reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
How can I lower my cholesterol?
Raised cholesterol is linked closely to a diet high in saturated fats.
To have a balanced diet you have to include all food groups, including fats, but there are ways to easily lower your fat intake and it's all to do with the way you cook your food.
Instead of roasting or frying your food there are simple and often quicker ways to cook that could help.
The NHS says you could switch the following methods:
You can also chose lean cuts of meat rather that the fatty bits, which will also help.
Opting for lower-fat varieties of dairy products and spreads will also help, you could also try and cut down on the full-fat variety of products you consume.
Aside from consuming more foods like oily fish, brown rice and nuts and seeds, the NHS advises you also try exercising more – at least 2 and a half hours of exercise a week.
Some good things to try when starting out include:
- walking – try to walk fast enough so your heart starts beating faster
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