According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), diets higher in soluble fiber, beta-glucan, are known to decrease cholesterol level and improve glucose and insulin regulation. Beta-glucans also provide many health benefits for humans such as blood cholesterol-lowering by binding bile acids, reduced coronary heart disease, diabetes control by lowering glycemic index, lowered blood pressure, cancer prevention and improved gastric emptying and nutrient absorption
Oats Nutrition Facts
There is probably not a better and easier way than eating a bowl of cooked oats to gain ongoing energy to get through that morning at work. They are the cereal with the highest protein content- legume-like protein, with the best amino acid profile.
- Known as the super food as they contain several minerals-manganese, selenium, calcium, magnesium and zinc, protein, fiber and are low in calories.
- Main uses are: porridge and muesli, added into breads, biscuits, cereal bars, may also be consumed raw.
- They are readily available, cheap and easily made a good part of your diet.
Oatmeal Nutrition and Health Benefits:
- Oats are known to be soothing for nerves and help a healthy nervous system as they are a good source of vitamin B, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
- Used as a natural antidepressant, they will make you feel calmer.
- Being high in fiber and a good source of Inositol- a naturally occuring nutrient, contribute to reduce high blood cholesterol levels.
- Again high fiber content means protection against bowel cancer.
- Antioxidants protect you from circulatory system diseases.
- When cooked, they give you energy and are great to relieve fatigue.
Oat fiber has now been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. See It's Offical, Oat Fiber Helps to Reduce Cholesterol.
Oatmeal Glycemic Index
They are carbohydrate rich so are tested for glycemic index: a low to medium GI which means they are absorbed into the blood stream slowly helping to keep blood sugar levels stable. They contribute to appetite control, reduce cravings and improve glucose metabolism. People who eat more of them experience lower spikes in their blood sugar levels than they could get with foods like white rice or white bread.
What is beta glucan and why is it good for me?
Beta glucan is a type of soluble fibre. Although it is found in all cereal grains, barley and oats are known to be particularly rich sources. Beta glucan and its benefits for heart health have been studied extensively. It is believed that beta glucan is heart-protective because of its ability to lower cholesterol, in particular, the re-absorption of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
How does "lowering cholesterol re-absorption" work?
Cholesterol enters our digestive tract from the food we eat as well as from bile produced by the liver. Some cholsterol is then re-absorbed back into the body through our blood. Beta-glucan blocks the re-absorption of some of this cholesterol by 'soaking it up' and it is then removed from the body through our bowel motions. This means less cholesterol circulates in our system.
How much beta glucan do I need in order to get these benefits?
The US Food & Drug Administration and the UK Joint Health Claims Initiative recommend that we consume three grams of beta glucan each day. One hundred grams of rolled oats will provide around four grams of beta glucan. So, choose breakfast cereals that contain oats, add oats to your baking (delicious in biscuits and crumble), include barley in soups and casseroles and choose bread with added oats and barley.
Source: The Australian Women Weekly, June 2009
What cereals are made from oats?
Oats are a low-calorie, high-fiber grain that provide healthful antioxidant effects, protection against heart and diabetic disorders, and even - potentially - protection against cancers. Oats are easy to cook on their own and can be added to many baked goods, but they are also easy to find in ready-made breakfast cereals, from commonplace oat O's to more unusual options.