What are the differences in oat bran and oatmeal and their effect on lowering bad cholesterol levels? In this article I’m going to take a look at which has the most effect on lowering LDL cholesterol.

The FDA allows food labels to claim that soluble fiber will help decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Oat Bran and Oatmeal are both great sources of soluble fiber and an adequate intake of either one will help reduce cholesterol levels.

However, oat bran contains more soluble fiber than oatmeal so oat bran is better at lowering LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) cholesterol.

So lets look at the question…

Oat Bran vs Oatmeal. Which lowers bad cholesterol?

One half cup of oat bran has 7 grams of total fiber and 3½ grams of soluble fiber, while 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal has 4 grams of total fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber.

Although oat bran has almost twice as much fiber and is better at lowering LDL cholesterol, including both in your diet will be beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol.

Oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta glucan, which is responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol. As little as 2 ounces or two servings per day of dry oats will help lower LDL cholesterol.

Oats and LDL

Soluble fiber helps reduce LDL cholesterol or ‘bad’ cholesterol. People with high cholesterol will see a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol levels when consuming higher levels of soluble fiber as compared to those with moderate cholesterol levels, with little effect on increasing HDL cholesterol or ‘good’ cholesterol.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating oat bran had significantly lowered LDL cholesterol as compared to eating the same amount of oatmeal.

Diets high in soluble fiber may have similar LDL cholesterol lowering effects as some cholesterol lowering medications.


Recommended Fiber Intake

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes, people should consume 14 grams of total fiber for every 1000 calories consumed. More specifically, women should consume 25 grams and men should consume 38 grams of total fiber per day.

Some studies recommend that 6 to 10 grams should be in the form of soluble fiber. There are also reports that as little as 2 grams of soluble fiber per day can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Currently, most Americans consume only about 15 grams of total fiber per day, which is well below the recommended intake.

Consuming Oat Bran and Oatmeal

Oat bran muffins are found almost everywhere and oatmeal for breakfast can be ordered at most restaurants and easily prepared at home.

Both oat bran and oatmeal can be eaten alone as well as added to other foods such as soups, cereals, bread, pancakes, muffins and other baked items to increase their overall fiber content.

Packaged foods with added oat bran and oatmeal often do not contain enough soluble fiber to provide the LDL cholesterol lowering effects. These foods may also be high in fat, sodium and sugar.

Cholesterol is a subject that causes quite a bit of confusion and is often not helped by food producers themselves. I hope this has helped identify the bad form of cholesterol and how to combat it. 

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Cabiria Groccia


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