Many types of drinks can help lower or control cholesterol levels. These include:
1. Green tea
Green tea contains catechins and other antioxidant compounds that seem toTrusted Source help lower LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Researchers in a 2020 study examined the effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another beneficial antioxidant in green tea, on human, animal, and in vitro (outside a living organism) models.
In human models, researchers associated higher green tea consumption with lower LDL cholesterol levels. In animal models, EGCG lowered certain enzyme concentration levels and decreased LDL cholesterol levels.
According to research in a 2021 review, black tea may also have positive effects on cholesterol.
2. Soy drinks
Soy is low in saturated fat. Replacing saturated fats with soy products may help reduce or manage cholesterol levels.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends consuming 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, it is preferable to consume soy in its whole and minimally processed form with little to no added sugars, salts, and fats.
The organization Heart UK recommends consuming 2–3 servings of soy-based foods or drinks daily, with one serving representing 250 milliliters (mL) of soy milk. People can check the nutrition facts label on soy drinks to check how much soy protein they contain.
3. Oat drinks
Oats contain beta-glucans, which create a gel-like substance in the gut and interact with bile salts. These soluble fibers may inhibit cholesterol absorption and help reduce cholesterol levels.
A 2018 review suggests that oat drinks, such as oat milk, may offer a more consistent reduction in cholesterol than semi-solid or solid oat products. A 250 mL glass of oat milk may provide 1 g of beta-glucans.
People can also check oat drink labels to ensure they contain beta-glucans, which may appear as part of the fiber information, and how much they include per serving.
4. Tomato juice
Tomatoes are rich in a compound called lycopene, which may improve lipid levels and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Research suggests processing tomatoes into juice increases their lycopene content. Tomato juice is also rich in cholesterol-reducing fiber and niacin.
A 2019 study found that unsalted tomato juice helped improve serum LDL cholesterol levels in 260 adults in Japan over a year.
5. Berry smoothies
Many berries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, which may help reduce cholesterol levels.
In particular, anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant agent in berries, can help improve cholesterol levels.
Berries are also low in calories and fat.
To include berries in the diet, people can make a berry smoothie by blending two handfuls — around 80 g — of any berry. Combine the berries with 1/2 cup of low fat milk or yogurt and 1/2 cup of cold water.
Examples of berries include:
6. Drinks containing sterols and stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals similar in shape and size to cholesterol that block the absorption of some cholesterol.
However, vegetables and nuts contain low levels of sterols and stanols that cannot lower cholesterol. Companies may add these ingredients to drinks, such as:
- yogurt drinks
- fruit juices
The FDA states that most people should try to consume 1.3 g or more of sterols and 3.4 g of stanols per day.
Individuals can try to consume these sterols and stanols with a meal that contains saturated fat for effectiveness.
7. Cocoa drinks
Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants that doctors call flavanols that may improve cholesterol levels.
According to a 2022 review, cocoa products can reduce LDL and total cholesterol, although they may not significantly affect HDL cholesterol levels.
However, drinks containing processed chocolate can have high levels of saturated fats. People may wish to limit chocolate with added sugars, salts, and fats.
8. Plant milk smoothies
Many types of plant-based milk contain ingredients that may help lower or control cholesterol levels. People can make a smoothie base using soy milk or oat milk.
A person can make a soy or oat smoothie by blending 250 mL of soy or oat milk with cholesterol-lowering fruits or vegetables, such as:
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of grapes or prunes
- 1 slice of mango or melon
- 2 small plums
- 1 cup of kale, baby spinach, or Swiss chard
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree