Oatmeal Diet Plan - Heart Disease

Oatmeal may do more for your heart's health than lower LDL cholesterol. It's been more than a decade since the FDA approved a heart-health claim for oatmeal and other foods made from whole oats, such as oat bran and oat flour.

Research showed that soluble fiber in oats lowers LDL cholesterol. Soluble fibers from whole oats, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Recent studies have shown that women are more prone to heart disease than originally thought. But there are a wide range of foods that help in the fight against heart problems. Oatmeal definitely is one of them.

All nutrients in oatmeal are good for your heart. Your heart needs all of the B vitamins, calcium, iron, and Vitamin A it can get. In addition oatmeal provides you with high levels of fiber and very low levels of fat. There is absolutely no cholesterol in oatmeal.

In addition to beta-glucan soluble fiber, oatmeal also contain avenanthramides - a type of antioxidants. Studies showed that avenanthramides help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol.

Oats and grains are one of the best sources of tocotrienols, antioxidants which together with tocopherols form vitamin E. The tocotrienols inhibit cholesterol synthesis and have been found to lower blood cholesterol. The accumulation of cholesterol is implicated in many types of cardiovascular disease.

Oats, like all cholesterol-lowering agents, are most effective when consumed as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet taken together with plenty of exercise. The beneficial health effects of oats are best if -1 cup (1-3 ounces) of oats are eaten every day.

One study found that the 1/10th ounce (3 grams) of soluble fiber from this amount of oatmeal decreased total cholesterol by approximately 2%, which correlates to a 4% decrease in coronary artery disease. Another study showed 1 ounces (43 grams) of oatmeal resulted in a loss of 3% in total cholesterol and a 14% reduction in bad cholesterol after two months. Another study found that a 6-8 week diet of 1-3 ounces (43-85 grams) of oat bran daily lowered total cholesterol by 20% and LDL cholesterol by as much as 25%.

New research has discovered that the antioxidants found in oats reduce cholesterol by reducing the ability of blood cells to stick to the inside of artery walls.

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