The best drink for balanced cholesterol

As you age, you gradually lose something that’s critical to your health — HDL cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol (also known as “good” cholesterol) absorbs LDL cholesterol (the “bad” stuff that raises your risk for heart disease and stroke) and transports it to the liver so your body can get rid of it. But research shows that as you age, the amount of HDL cholesterol in your bloodstream gradually declines.

Without enough HDL cholesterol, your body’s up a creek without a way to dispose of that excess artery-clogging cholesterol. That’s probably why your heart disease risk increases with age. But that’s not all…

Studies show that having less HDL cholesterol is also tied to frailty, worse muscle strength and poor physical performance as you age.

So, you want more HDL cholesterol around as you age. And there’s an easy way to get it… embrace your inner Brit and develop a taste for tea.

Drink tea for healthier HDL

A recent study from researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that drinking tea can help you hang on to that healthy HDL cholesterol as you age.

The study followed 80,000 people from the Kailuan community of Tangshan, China for six years. At the end of the study, people who drank more tea lost less HDL cholesterol as thy aged.

The HDL cholesterol that they hung on to was enough to give them an eight percent lower risk of heart disease.

Related: Cholesterol is the best brain food

The connection between tea drinking and HDL was found in people of both sexes and all ages, but researchers found that the connection was strongest in men and people over 60.

So, if you want to hang on to your HDL cholesterol (trust me… you do), then drink up.

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The best tea for cholesterol

You may be wondering… will any tea do the trick when it comes to maintaining healthy HDL cholesterol levels? Or do I have to drink a specific kind?

In the study, both black and green tea slowed the loss of HDL cholesterol. Researchers believe that’s because both types of tea contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols and catechins, which fight inflammation.

Related: The superjuice that keeps your arteries loose

That said, green tea was slightly more effective. So, if you like both types, you might want to reach for green more often. But if you really are like the Brits and you prefer black tea, that will help your cholesterol levels and your heart health too.

Of course, if you’re not a tea lover, don’t worry. There are other ways to boost your HDL levels. Like eating almonds and eggs.

Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!


  1. LDL and HDL Cholesterol: “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. HDL-cholesterol and physical performance: results from the ageing and longevity study in the sirente geographic area ( ilSIRENTE Study) — Age and Ageing.
  3. Aging affects high-density lipoprotein composition and function — Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.
  4. Can a daily cup of tea do a heart good? — ScienceDaily.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and