As this article points out, it is known that oats can lower cholesterol thus reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease. However, a new study has revealed that oats may do a better job of lowering cholesterol than was originally thought.
To provide some background, cholesterol is important and we need a certain amount to continue to build healthy cells. When cholesterol becomes too high, your risk for cardiovascular disease increases. There are two main types of cholesterol; HDL and LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol. It can build up in the walls of your blood vessels and cause decreased flow of oxygen to your heart, or complete blockage altogether. However, HDL is considered good cholesterol or “H” for “healthy cholesterol”. HDL picks up the bad cholesterol and removes it from your blood and discards it to the liver. The liver then breaks down the cholesterol and passes it from the body.
As this study suggests, there are additional markers that may provide a more accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk other than LDL, HDL, and Total Cholesterol. These markers included non-HDL cholesterol (Total Cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol) and apolipoprotein B which is a protein that carries bad cholesterol through the blood.
According to this study, oat fiber, specifically the beta-glucan found in oat fiber, can reduce all three markers (LDL, Non-LDL, and apoliprotein B). Dr. Vuksan, who conducted this study, stated that oat bran contains more beta-glucan than oatmeal. Oat bran can be eaten as a hot cereal, added to baked goods, or sprinkled on other foods. Read this article to learn more on this topic.
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