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Why Oats Lower Cholesterol More than Wheat

A study from Colorado State University showed that oats lower the small, dense LDL cholesterol more effectively than wheat.

Both oats and wheat contain fiber, but wheat contains more insoluble fiber that primarily helps prevent constipation, while oats contain more of the soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol. In your bloodstream, cholesterol is packaged into a good HDL cholesterol and a bad LDL cholesterol, that is further classified into an LDL sub-unit called small, dense LDL cholesterol. This is the LDL cholesterol fraction associated with a high susceptibility to getting a heart attack.

Soluble fiber found in oats specifically helps to lower blood levels of the bad small, dense LDL cholesterol that increases risk for heart attacks. While oats are a particularly good source of soluble fiber, other whole grains also contain some soluble fiber as do fruits, vegetables, beans and other seeds. Many products made with oats and other grains have some or most of the fiber removed, so this study applies only to whole grains and products made from whole grains.

High-fiber oat cereal compared with wheat cereal consumption favorably alters LDL-cholesterol subclass and particle numbers in middle-aged and older men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, Vol 76, Iss 2, pp 351-358. BM Davy, KP Davy, RC Ho, SD Beske, LR Davrath, CL Melby. Melby CL, Colorado State Univ, Dept Food Sci & Human Nutr, Ft Collins,CO 80523 USA

Checked 1/3/16

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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