How Can Eating Oats Lower Cholesterol?
Oatmeal has been known as a great breakfast option. Especially when you don’t have much time to prepare a scrumptious breakfast in the morning, oatmeal is the best choice! Because it is so easy to prepare and it’s time-saving! Either you make it simple or dress it up with lots of fruits and nut toppings, both taste great!
Here is another wonderful thing about eating oatmeal. Researches have shown for more than 50 years that having a bowl of morning oats can lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease!
So how exactly do oats help in lowering our cholesterol?
Oats are a rich source of beta-glucan, a type of water-soluble dietary fiber. These fibers will bind with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol molecules in the small intestine and carry them out of the body instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 3g or more per day of beta-glucan soluble fiber from whole oats is necessary to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Having a healthy cholesterol level and balanced with high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol, to prevent developing obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Consuming more oatmeal, the lower your LDL cholesterol level will be!
Although oatmeal is helpful in lowering cholesterol, some of the ingredients used to prepare oatmeal may not be as healthy. For instance, butter, chocolate chips, whole milk, cheese, and sugar. These ingredients contain high fat and sugar, which will result in increasing LDL cholesterol. So, be sure to check the ingredients of oatmeal products or prepare with nuts, raisins, plant-based milk, chia seeds, and fruits. You can choose stevia as a sugar alternative!
However, eating only oatmeal alone might be difficult for us to meet the recommended amount of beta-glucan, so it is recommended to combine with oat bran or increase the consumption of oat bran.
Now you know the benefits of consuming oats! So let’s start your day with oat daily for a healthy heart!
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]