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Healthy Heart Reports

Why Oats Lower Cholesterol More Than Wheat

A study from Colorado State University shows that oats lower the small, dense LDL cholesterol more effectively than wheat. Both oats and wheat contain fiber, but wheat contains more insoluble fiber that primarily helps prevent constipation, while oats contain more of the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. In your bloodstream, cholesterol is packaged into a good HDL cholesterol and a bad LDL cholesterol, that is further classified into an LDL subunit called small, dense LDL cholesterol. This is the LDL cholesterol fraction associated with a high susceptibility to getting a heart attack.

Soluble fiber found in oats specifically helps to lower blood levels of the bad small, dense LDL cholesterol that increases risk for heart attacks. While oats are a particularly good source of soluble fiber, other whole grains also contain some soluble fiber as do fruits, vegetables, beans and other seeds. Many products made with oats and other grains have some or most of the fiber removed, so this study applies only to whole grains and products made from whole grains.

High-fiber oat cereal compared with wheat cereal consumption favorably alters LDL-cholesterol subclass and particle numbers in middle-aged and older men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, Vol 76, Iss 2, pp 351-358. BM Davy, KP Davy, RC Ho, SD Beske, LR Davrath, CL Melby. Melby CL, Colorado State Univ, Dept Food Sci & Human Nutr, Ft Collins,CO 80523 USA


Copyright 2002
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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