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Oats. Healthy for Life!

Whole grain oats have many health benefits.  Here are some great reasons to include more oats in your diet!

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers the risk of developing heart disease
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Fills you up and aids in weight management
  • Helps keep you regular
  • Aids in promoting healthy blood pressure
  • Great addition to a gluten-free diet
  • Oats are an excellent source of iron
  • Good source of plant protein

Fiber and Oats

Simply said, oats are high in fiber.  There are two types of fiber and you need both… Insoluble fiber, the type that doesn’t dissolve in water and is found in vegetables, bran and whole grains, helps keep you regular and prevents constipation.  While soluble fiber, the type that dissolves in water and is found in beans, oats, flax and nuts, helps lower blood cholesterol levels and may help regulate blood sugar levels.  As a whole grain, oats contain both insoluble and soluble fiber.

Cholesterol, Your Heart and Oats

Research confirms that eating oats will lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood without lowering the “good” HDL cholesterol.  Blood cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver.  It aids in hormone production and fat digestion, but too much can damage and clog arteries. Foods high in soluble fiber, such as oats, reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.  In fact, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a coronary heart disease risk reduction health claim for beta-glucan soluble fiber from oat products.

Blood Sugar and Oats

Fiber strikes again!  Studies show that eating foods high in soluble fiber, such as oats, slows the rise of blood sugar levels.  For those with diabetes or trying to lose weight this means that insulin levels remain more stable and the feeling of being full last longer.  Oats also help lower blood cholesterol, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease, often a long-term complication of diabetes.

Blood Pressure and Whole Grains

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended by health professionals for people with high blood pressure.  It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. It is a diet low in sodium and fat while high in fiber. Research shows that whole grains, such as oats, consumed in the DASH diet play an important role in improving blood pressure.

Celiac Disease and Oats

Pure oats do not contain wheat, barley and rye. However, people with Celiac disease have often avoided eating oats, as it was believed that they triggered a similar reaction as gluten containing cereals. There was also concern that oats could easily be cross-contaminated with gluten containing cereals such as wheat, barley and rye.

Several studies reveal that consumption of oats is safe for the majority of children and adults with celiac disease. Based on this new research, a growing number of health professionals, government and celiac organizations now allow consumption of moderate amounts of pure, uncontaminated oat products in a gluten-free diet. Click here to read more.

Pure Oats are a welcome addition to a gluten-free diet as they provide dietary fiber, B vitamins and iron, which are often hard to get on this diet. For example, Oat Flour contains more fiber, protein, iron and calcium and less carbohydrates than other commonly used Celiac friendly flours.

Need More Proof?

Oats are whole grain and contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases.  Oats are a good source of essential vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid and vitamin E. They also contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.  Years of research indicate that those who eat oats have a lower risk of heart disease, stoke, diabetes, cancer and digestive disorders.

The verdict is in  - eat more oats!  Besides they taste great too!