Oats are a grain commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal, cereal or bread. As you’re about to see, oats have a number of remarkable health benefits, but you should be careful when buying this super food in some of its more popular forms, such as instant oatmeal, which often has large amounts of sugar mixed in. As a general rule, always check ingredients lists before buying even purportedly healthy foods.
Due to containing more soluble fiber (in the form of beta glucan) than any other grain, oat intake can help cut levels of LDL cholesterol.1 This in turn can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.2
Research shows that eating oat-based foods regularly is correlated with lower body mass index.3 This may be due to the grain’s ability to reduce hunger and provide satiety.4
Evidence indicates that diets that emphasize whole grains such as oats can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.5
Extensive research has found that a diet high in fiber derived from whole grains, including oats, is linked with lowered risk of colorectal cancer. And the level of risk is reduced in direct relation to dosage intake, with every additional 10 grams of total dietary fiber per day leading to an additional 10% reduction in colorectal cancer risk.6
- Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/oatmeal-benefits. Accessed February 8, 2017.
- Br J Nutr. 2016;116(8):1369-82.
- Nutr Res. 2015;35(12):1052-9.
- Br J Nutr. 2014;112 Suppl 2:S1-3.
- Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61(2):366-72.
- Bmj. 2011;343:d6617.