Studies reveal that the consumption of oats has many health benefits, including the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer prevention.
According to experts, diet is a key risk factor for the development and prevention of CVD. Therefore, they suggest that dietary approaches that tackle risk factors such as increased cholesterol levels should be one of the key strategies for the prevention of CVD and other metabolic disorders.
An effective way of keeping cholesterol levels in check is by choosing the right food, and breakfast is the perfect opportunity to do that, reports the Express.
This is because breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day – it prepares the body for the rigours and efforts of the day after you sleep at night.
The Express informs that Viva! Health’s Dr Justine Butler recommends oats as the most effective breakfast for lowering cholesterol.
Oats are a rich source of fibre, and eating just one and one-half cups of cooked oatmeal a day can lower your cholesterol by 5 to 8 percent, informs Cleveland Clinic.
Additionally, oatmeal contains soluble and insoluble fibre which are the two types our body needs, adds Cleveland Clinic. While insoluble fiber helps to speed up digestion, soluble fibre helps prevent disease and lowers cholesterol.
Oats are also a potentially good source of vitamins, macronutrients, minerals, and other phytochemicals (which protect against free radicals) states the National Library of Medicine.
Dr Butler adds, “A small 50-gram sized serving provides nearly five grams of fibre and you can boost this by adding dried fruit, nuts, a banana or berries and soya milk.”
But though experts advise that cholesterol levels should be as low as possible, it is important to note this only applies to one type of cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol), reports the Express.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol as it forms plaque in the arteries, and raises blood pressure.
In contrast, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), helps to maintain overall heart health. It is referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol.
Fibre, which is present in oats, is important for reducing cholesterol because it helps to lower levels of LDL cholesterol. It is said that fibre reportedly forms a gel-like substance in the intestines, which traps cholesterol.
However, fibre is not the only effective cholesterol-lowering food, reports the Express. The NHS also recommends food such as oily fish, bread, pasta, brown rice, nuts, and seeds, along with a balanced diet of fruits and veggies.
To keep cholesterol levels in check, experts also recommend avoiding unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle habits like a lack of exercise and inactivity.