Cholesterol, which is made in the liver and transported through the bloodstream, plays an important role in the body’s function by aiding in the production of hormones and vitamin D and helping to keep cell membranes intact. When cholesterol levels are high, it can negatively affect blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, gallstones, and kidney stones. Fortunately, there are several foods that you can eat to help reduce cholesterol levels in your body. Oats are known to have soluble fiber, which has been proven to lower cholesterol levels.
The effects of soluble fiber from oats on lipid levels were studied in a randomized controlled trial with Asian participants. After three months, the group that ate 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats per day had significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels than the control group. Additionally, the oat group had higher HDL cholesterol levels and a lower total cholesterol to HDL ratio. These results suggest that adding oats and soluble fiber to your diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
How Fiber Works
When you eat fiber-rich foods, the soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance. This substance helps to slow down digestion, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for longer. Additionally, the gel-like substance created by soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine, helping to reduce their absorption into the bloodstream. This can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and total cholesterol levels.
What is Soluble Fiber?
Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. It’s found in plant foods like oats, beans, lentils, apples, carrots, and flaxseeds. This type of fiber can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body. Additionally, soluble fiber can slow down the absorption of sugar and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Benefits of soluble fiber
Soluble fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and other lipids in the gut, preventing their absorption. Additionally, soluble fiber can increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to promote a healthy lipid profile. In this study, participants who consumed 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats per day for 12 weeks had significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels than those in the control group. This suggests that incorporating oats into your diet may be an effective way to improve your lipid profile and reduce your risk of heart disease.
How to Get the Health Benefits
Oats are a nutritious grain that have many health benefits. One of these benefits is that they can help reduce cholesterol levels. This is due to the soluble fiber content in oats. This type of fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance, which can help trap cholesterol and remove it from the body. To get the cholesterol-lowering benefits of oats, you should consume 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats per day. This can be done by eating one cup of oatmeal, or by taking a soluble fiber supplement.
Clinical studies using soluble fiber for cholesterol reduction in humans
A recent clinical study looked at the effects of 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats on lipid levels in Asians. The study was a randomized controlled, parallel arm study. The results showed that the participants who ate the oats had significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol than the participants who did not eat the oats. Additionally, the participants who ate the oats had a higher HDL to LDL ratio than the participants who did not eat the oats. This study shows that eating oats can help reduce cholesterol levels in humans.
Results of clinical studies using soluble fiber for cholesterol reduction in humans
- 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats, taken daily for 12 weeks, can significantly reduce total cholesterol levels by an average of 5.3%.
- LDL cholesterol levels were also reduced by an average of 7.5%.
- Triglyceride levels were not significantly affected by the soluble fiber from oats.
- The effects of the soluble fiber were more pronounced in those with higher baseline cholesterol levels.
- The oats used in the study were enriched with beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to be especially effective at reducing cholesterol levels.
Comparison between the effects of oats and psyllium in lowering cholesterol levels
Oats have long been touted as a heart-healthy food, and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that oats can help lower cholesterol levels. In fact, a recent study found that 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats was just as effective as 10 grams of psyllium in reducing cholesterol levels.
The study compared three different diets on 120 people at risk for heart disease: one diet that included a placebo, one diet that included 10 grams of psyllium fiber per day, and one diet that included 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats per day. Both of these types of fiber were administered as part of daily supplements. Over a six-week period, cholesterol levels were measured in each participant using a test called VAP (vertical auto profile). These tests showed significant differences between the participants eating just psyllium or just oats compared to those consuming both fibers.
What do all these numbers mean?
The results of this study show that 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats can help reduce cholesterol levels in Asian adults. This is a significant finding, as high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. The study was a randomized controlled trial, which is the gold standard for clinical research. This means that the participants were randomly assigned to either the oat fiber group or the control group. The oat fiber group showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. These results suggest that oats and soluble fiber can be an effective way to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Other ways to lower your cholesterol with food
- Include more plant-based foods in your diet. Plant-based foods are typically lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than animal-based foods.
- Swap out unhealthy fats for healthy fats. Instead of using butter, margarine, or shortening, try using olive oil, avocado, or nuts.
- Increase your intake of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber include oats, beans, lentils, apples, pears, and psyllium husk. 4. Add herbs and spices to your food. Many herbs and spices have cholesterol-lowering properties, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, and oregano. 5. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids.