It is becoming more and more common for people to get the news from their doctor that their cholesterol level is high. It is unfortunate, but with our current diets and lifestyles, high cholesterol is almost inevitable. So, now that you have the bad news what can you do about it? Unless you have very high levels, an effective and easy way to lower your cholesterol quickly is by adjusting your diet. One of the best changes you can make is based on what you put in your breakfast bowl.
Oatmeal, whether it is steel cut oats or instant oatmeal, is a whole grain. The nutrients you get in whole grains are removed when the grain is milled or refined. These nutrients, including a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, are very important in regards to lowering your cholesterol.
Beta-glucan essentially acts as a sponge and soaks up bile acid and removes it as waste. This is good news because your body will then go to work and will start producing more bile acids. One of the building blocks of bile acid is LDL cholesterol (the 'bad' cholesterol). So, as the body produces more and more bile acid to make up for what was excreted as waste, LDL cholesterol is used up and your cholesterol level drops.
To see significant benefits from eating oatmeal the FDA recommends that you consume at least 3 grams of beta-glucan every day. This can be reached with just one serving of steel cut oats or two servings of quick-cooking oatmeal. If you do not have the time to cook steel cut oats in the morning (preparation can take up to 30 minutes), you can eat two packets of instant oatmeal with a little oat bran to get your 3 grams of beta-glucan.
How much can your cholesterol level drop by just eating oatmeal? A recent study at the University of California saw a drop in LDL cholesterol of 17% over a six week period. For people who just have moderately high cholesterol levels this may be enough to get them back to a reasonable level. Therefore, by just changing what you put in your breakfast bowl every morning you may be able to manage your high cholesterol.
While there are several foods that have been found to help control cholesterol, oatmeal seems to be the best option. For reasonable serving sizes you can drop the amount of LDL to a healthy level. If you are not used to the taste of oatmeal, you can improve the flavor by adding several different toppings. A few of these toppings include honey, almonds, raspberries, and peanut butter.