Three hot drinks that could lower ‘bad’ cholesterol

Why cholesterol is bad for you

Having high cholesterol means you have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood.

While this may not be cause for concern initially, over time this cholesterol can build-up leading to blockages.

In severe cases this can result in life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.

Diet is a major contributing factor to high cholesterol, with eating too much fatty food one of the most common causes.

But in the same way that certain foods and drinks can raise your cholesterol, others can lower it.

An expert recommended three drinks to help reduce cholesterol.

Speaking exclusively with, registered nutritionist and founder of the Healthy Mays clinic – Mays Al-Ali – advised adding green tea, yerba mate and hibiscus tea to your diet.

She said: “Green tea and also yerba mate have both been shown to lower the bad low-density lipoprotein cholesterol improving serum lipids.

“But watch out they are both caffeine-rich so only drink in the morning so as not to disrupt sleep.

“Hibiscus tea has also been shown to lower 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.”

Green tea

Green tea has long been considered a drink full of health-boosting properties.

A study, published in Nutrition Journal in 2020, concluded that drinking green tea could slash low-density lipoprotein – known as “bad” cholesterol – as well as total cholesterol.

The meta-analysis of 31 studies that included more than 3,300 participants, said: “Collectively, consumption of green tea lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol, but not high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides in both normal weight subjects and those who were overweight/obese; however, additional well-designed studies that include more diverse populations and longer duration are warranted.”

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Low-density lipoprotein, known as “bad” cholesterol, can build up on the walls of your blood vessels. Over time this causes the insides of the vessels to narrow, leading to potential health risks.

In contrast, high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver where it is removed from the body.

Yerba mate

Yerba mate is a herbal tea made from the yerba mate plant.

In 2019 a study, published in Nutricion Hospitalaria journal, analysed the effects of drinking yerba mate on the amount of fat in the blood in 119 overweight women.

The best results were seen among those who combined the drink with a healthy diet, although those who stuck to their usual diet also saw a reduction in cholesterol.

“A daily intake of [yerba] mate helps reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and provides a reduction of triglycerides along with a low-calorie diet,” it said.

Hibiscus tea

As its name suggests, hibiscus tea is made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant.

A paper, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009, found it lowered fats in the blood (lipids) in diabetics.

It said: “The results of the present study showed that sour tea [hibiscus tea] has a significant effect on blood lipid profile in patients with diabetes.”

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