UNCLE TOBYS Oats can naturally help lower your cholesterol
Oats are one of nature’s most nutrient rich grains, providing the goodness of whole grain with some extra special benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how oats can positively impact on cholesterol re-absorption.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the body and also obtained from the diet. Whilst some cholesterol is needed by the body, too much can be a bad thing.
What is a recommended range?
A recommended cholesterol level should be considered as part of your total blood fat or lipid profile. In general terms the Heart Foundation suggested targets are:
- LDL-cholesterol<2.5 mmol/L
- Total cholesterol<4.0 mmol/L
- HDL-cholesterol> 1.0 mmol/L
- Triglycerides <2.0 mmol/L
Please keep in mind that there are a number of considerations in setting targets and you may have been given different advice for your own personal health.
What causes high cholesterol?
Fats in food are a mixture of three different types known as saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. The different types of fat have different effects on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is the only type of fat which raises blood cholesterol levels. To reduce your blood cholesterol level it is important to reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat such as fatty meats, full fat dairy products, butter, two types of vegetable oils – coconut and palm oil, most deep-fried take-away foods and most commercially baked products such as biscuits and pastries. Replace saturated fats with moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as canola, olive, sunflower and soybean oils.
You should also take steps to keep a healthy weight and increase your intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
How do oats help lower cholesterol re-absorption?
Whole grain oats contain a special type of naturally occurring soluble fibre, called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is found in the endosperm layer of the oat grain. It has been identified as the key active ingredient in oats responsible for their heart wellbeing benefits, specifically the ability to lower cholesterol re-absorption.
The way it works is this: cholesterol enters your gut or digestive tract from the food you eat and also as bile from the liver. Some of this cholesterol is then re-absorbed back into the body via the bloodstream as part of the normal fat metabolism process. Oat soluble fibre (beta-glucan) blocks the re-absorption of some of this cholesterol. The blocked cholesterol is then ‘soaked up’ by the body naturally. Therefore, eating oats as part of a balanced diet can have an impact on your heart wellbeing as the beta-glucan has the ability to help lower cholesterol re-absorption.
How can I get my cholesterol tested?
The best way to get your cholesterol tested is to visit your GP. They may complete the blood test at their rooms or give you a referral to a pathology lab. You must fast for 12 hours, generally overnight, prior to the test. The detailed blood lipid test will include results of your total, good “HDL” and bad “LDL” cholesterol levels and as well as triglycerides, another type of blood fat.
Regular blood lipid testing is recommended for all adults 45 years and older, and for anyone less than 45 years old, who may be at a higher risk.
How do UNCLE TOBYS oats help lower cholesterol re-absorption?
UNCLE TOBYS is famous for oats and we specifically select breeds of oats for their creaminess and beta-glucan, the fibre shown to help lower cholesterol re-absorption. Studies show that eating around 3g of beta-glucan a day (from oats and oatmeal foods) can help lower cholesterol re-absorption.
- Flight I and Clifton P, Cereal grains and legumes in the prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke: a review of the literature. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006) 60 (10), 1145-1159
- Heart Foundation, Lipid Management Guidelines 2001
- Mellen P. et al (2007); Wholegrain intake and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis
- NHMRC. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. 2006