Bowl of hot oatmeal breakfast cereal with fresh berries, cooked oatmeal

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.

British Journal of Nutrition, online Oct. 7, 2016

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  1. Peter

    I would like to know if using oat FIBER instead of oat BRAN will do the same thing? Oat FIBER is not the same thing as oat BRAN. Oat FIBER is from the OUTER shell of the oat groat.

    Thank you!

  2. dee
    WA state

    Can you mix uncooked oat bran with yogurt and get the same cholesterol and triglyceride lowering as you do when it is cooked?

  3. Penelope

    Finding oat bran can be a bit of a struggle: I had to call all around town to find where I could buy it in bulk.

    We make a muesli with 2 cups quick oatmeal, 1 cup oat bran 1/2 cup flaxseed, 1/3 cup almonds or walnuts and 1 teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon. We dish out 3-5 Tablespoons of the mix, add water and heat a minute in the microwave. Then add almond milk. This is our default breakfast.

  4. Pattie

    I couldn’t tolerate statin due to muscle pain after the first month. My dr put me on cholestyramine powder, which is inexpensive and also seems to have helped me drop a couple of pounds. My daughter takes the same thing, only compounded and costly, for her severe mold sensitivities. Do you know anything about it?

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