Scientists have known for years that consuming oats can lower your cholesterol. In fact, the first study showing that oat bread instead of white bread reduced LDL cholesterol was published in 1963.
New Data on Oat Fiber to Lower Your Cholesterol:
A new meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials shows that the beta-glucan in oat fiber actually lowers three different markers of blood fats. In addition to LDL cholesterol, beta-glucan consumption brought down levels of non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Elevated levels of these fats are particularly dangerous for people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
The meta-analysis included 58 clinical trials and nearly 4,000 individuals. Eating about 3.5 grams of beta-glucan daily lowered LDL by 4.2 percent, non-HDL cholesterol by 4.8 percent and apo B by 2.3 percent.
How Can You Get the Right Amount of Beta-Glucan?
Both oats and barley are rich in beta-glucan. Oat bran is a better source of whole oats, so if you want to lower your cholesterol with this soluble fiber, you might consume oat bran rather than oatmeal. A cup of cooked oat bran contains about 3 grams of beta-glucans, while a cup of cooked barley has roughly 2.5 grams. You’d need two cups of cooked oatmeal to get 3 grams of beta-glucans. To lower your cholesterol, you’d need to get beta-glucans into your diet every day.