High cholesterol: Eating more of this popular breakfast food may lower cholesterol levels
Cholesterol comes in different forms with the dangerous kind being LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol forms in the blood vessels and when one says high cholesterol, they are referring to too much LDL in the blood. Having too much LDL cholesterol increases a person’s risk of developing a heart attack. Eating more of this kind of food, however, has been proven to help lower your levels.
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Soluble fibre appears to reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol from the intestines.
Oatmeal contains soluble fibre which reduces a person’s low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the ‘bad’ cholesterol that can increase one’s risk of heart attacks and strokes.
This type of fibre is also found in foods including kidney beans, brussels sprouts, apples, pears, barley and prunes.
The Mayo Clinic added: “Oatmeal contains soluble fibre which reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
“Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fibre a day decreases your LDL cholesterol.
“One serving of a breakfast cereal with oatmeal, or oat bran provides three to four grams of fibre.
“If you add fruit, such as a banana or berries, you’ll get even more fibre.”
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the impact on oat’s cholesterol lowering abilities was investigated.
The study noted: “Epidemiological and interventional studies have clearly demonstrated the beneficial impact of consuming oat and oat-based products on serum cholesterol and other markers of cardiovascular disease.
“The cholesterol-lowering effect of oat is thought to be associated with the β-glucan it contains.
“Oat is one of several grains eaten as part of a Western diet, but its consumption and global production are much lower compared to the staple crops wheat, maize, rice, and barley.
“Compared with other cereals, oats have higher concentrations of certain nutrients and phytochemicals known to help lower cholesterol in the body.”
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Heart UK adds: “Oats and barley are grains which are rich in a type of fibre called beta glucan with three grams of beta glucan taken daily, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, can help to lower cholesterol.
“When you eat beta glucan, it forms a gel which binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestines.
“This helps limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the gut into your blood.
“Many products now contain oats, which makes it easier to get your two to four servings.
“Foods which have a claim on the label saying they lower cholesterol contain one gram or more of beta glucan.”
It’s important to note that instant porridges are not always the healthier option as they contain a lot of added sugar.
British Heart Foundation dietician, Victoria Taylor said: “Instant porridges are fine if you stay away from flavoured or sweetened versions.
“Even healthy-sounding flavours such as apple and blueberry generally contain added sugars.
“Whichever porridge you choose, make it with low-fat milk or water to keep the calories down and minimise saturated fat, especially if you are trying to lower your cholesterol levels.”
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