Tags: grains | whole | fiber | whole grain | soluble | oats | barley

Choose These Grains to Lower Cholesterol

overnight oats with berries
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By    |   Thursday, 09 May 2024 01:26 PM EDT

People may shun grains because they think they’re high in carbohydrates and empty calories. But nutritionists say that whole grains, not those that are refined, play an important role in a balanced diet when it comes to heart health and managing cholesterol levels.

According to EatingWell, whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, including the nutrient-dense bran and germ, whereas refined grains contain only the endosperm. Consuming whole grains means you will consume more heart-healthy fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels.

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Research shows that each 5-gram increase in soluble fiber helps reduce total cholesterol by about 6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and LDL, the harmful form of cholesterol, by 8 mg/dL. In addition, your gut bacteria ferments soluble fiber to form short-chain fatty aids that have been shown to decrease cholesterol production in the liver.

These grains are the top choices of dietitians:

• Oats. This popular breakfast cereal is a good source of beta-glucan, a heart healthy soluble fiber that significantly reduces total and LDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. To make your healthy breakfast even easier, try making overnight oats that you can prepare in advance and, when stored properly, will last all week.  Make sure you use plain, old-fashioned oats and not quick oats because the consistency is best with rolled oats. You can also use gluten-free oats, but don’t try this method with steel cut oats. The recipe is easy and lends itself to numerous variations so eating a healthy bowl of oatmeal in the morning will never get boring!

• Pasta. This much-maligned food can be heart healthy if you choose whole-grain over regular pasta. Whole grain pasta is rich in fiber, which also helps prevent blood sugar spikes. Excess sugar in the bloodstream increases triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

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• Whole-grain bread. Whole-wheat and whole-grain breads still have the bran and germ intact, while refined white bread does not. The germ and bran are what help lower cholesterol levels. Products like the popular Dave's Killer Bread are healthy and tasty.

• Barley. Barley is also a source of beta-glucan, which has been shown to promote heart health. The Bible is filled with references to barley, which is among the earliest known and most nourishing grains ever to be cultivated. Scientists at the Montana State University found that a diet high in barley helps lower cholesterol levels.

• Rice. Opt for brown rice instead of white rice to get more heart-healthy nutrients. Brown rice contains more fiber that can help lower LDL cholesterol. It also has plant compounds called phytosterols that have been shown to lower LDL levels.

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Health-News
People may shun grains because they think they're high in carbohydrates and empty calories. But nutritionists say that whole grains, not those that are refined, play an important role in a balanced diet when it comes to heart health and managing cholesterol levels. According...
grains, whole, fiber, whole grain, soluble, oats, barley, rice, pasta, bread
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2024-26-09
Thursday, 09 May 2024 01:26 PM
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