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Fiber-Rich Whole Grain Oats Shown to Reduce Cholesterol

Previous studies have shown that eating fiber-rich whole grain oats may reduce total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol for Western populations. Chinese researchers have recently released a study suggesting that substituting whole grain oats for traditional noodles may have the same cholesterol-lowering effect for Chinese adults.

Participants included 166 adults with diagnoses of mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol. For 6 weeks, 85 individuals ate 100 grams of instant oatmeal daily while the other 81 participants ate 100 grams of wheat flour-based noodles.

At the end of the trial, researchers noted higher dietary fiber intake, lower total and LDL cholesterol, and smaller waist circumference in the oat group when compared to the noodle group. On the other hand, the noodle group showed lower HDL (or “good”) cholesterol than the oat group.

The study was conducted by researchers at Beijing Hospital. It was published online ahead of print on August 6, 2012, in Nutrition Journal.

Previous studies have linked fiber consumption with regulating blood sugar, prevention of heart disease and breast cancer prevention.

If you want to increase your soluble fiber intake, a breakfast of oatmeal, apples, berries, and nuts is packed with fiber. Lunch or dinner that includes cucumbers, carrots, celery, lentils, beans, or flaxseed will round out a fiber-rich day.

The recommended daily intake of total fiber (soluble and insoluble) is 25 grams per day, which equates to at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as 6 servings of grain products.

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