Being in good cardiovascular health means having a healthy heart and healthy blood vessels. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have extra reason to be mindful of heart disease because diabetes carries an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and complications related to poor circulation.
A major risk factor for developing heart disease is high blood cholesterol. When the body has more cholesterol than it needs, cholesterol levels in the blood can rise. This extra cholesterol travels through the bloodstream and can eventually damage and clog arteries. Some foods, such as Quaker Oatmeal, have been proven to actually reduce blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), while maintaining levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol)*.
Oatmeal can actually reduce blood cholesterol!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the first food-specific health claim for use on oatmeal: "3 grams of soluble fiber from oatmeal daily in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."
Soluble and insoluble fibers are two types of dietary fiber important for good health. Soluble fibers include pectin (which is found in apples) and gums (such as beta glucan, which is found in oats). Insoluble fibers are found in wheat bran, whole grains and vegetables. Oats contain both types of fiber, but it is the beta glucan in oats that is primarily responsible for oats' cholesterol-lowering benefits
More than 40 studies spanning more than 30 years verify the most well-documented benefit of oat consumption – its effectiveness in lowering blood cholesterol. Adding a daily serving of 1-1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal to your healthy diet for 30 days is a good first step in lowering your blood cholesterol levels.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to take control! By making some simple changes, you can lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.
Ripsin, C.M., Keenan, J.M., Jacobs, D.R., Elmer, P.J., Welch, R.R., Van Horn, L., Liu, K., Turnbull, W.H., Thye, F.W., Kestin, M., Hegsted, M., Davidson, D.M., Davidson, M.H., Dugan, L.D., Demark-Wahnefried, W., and Beling, S. Oat products and lipid lowering: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 267:3317-3325, 1992.