Good news – oatmeal actually helps lower cholesterol!
People all over the United States have confirmed in a real-life setting what more than 40 scientific studies have shown – that Oatmeal actually works to help lower LDL "bad" cholesterol without lowering the good cholesterol your body needs. Oats were the first whole grain recognized by the FDA to help reduce cholesterol. In fact, the FDA approved the first-ever food specific health claim for oatmeal because of its heart-healthy benefits in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver. It is also found in foods we eat that come from animals, such as beef, poultry, seafood and dairy products. Cholesterol has a number of important jobs, including the production of certain hormones as well as the breakdown and digestion of fat. However, sometimes our bodies have too much cholesterol, and this becomes a problem. The extra cholesterol can eventually damage and clog arteries.
So how do oats work?
Experts believe that it's the soluble fiber found in oats that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. How? In simple terms, oat soluble fiber (beta glucan) helps control blood cholesterol by binding some of the cholesterol in your digestive tract. More specifically, soluble fiber helps trigger the liver to pull LDL (bad cholesterol) from the bloodstream for excretion. Beta glucan also helps trap cholesterol in the gut, preventing it from entering the bloodstream.