Eating a healthy diet is essential to maintaining good health and reducing the risk of certain diseases. One of the most important aspects of a healthy diet is controlling cholesterol levels. One way to do this is to include steel cut oats in your diet, as they have been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties. In this article, we’ll discuss what steel cut oats are, how they can lower cholesterol, the health benefits of steel cut oats, and other ways to lower cholesterol.
What are Steel Cut Oats?
Steel cut oats, also known as Irish oatmeal, are oat groats that have been cut into several pieces by steel blades. They are not rolled like traditional oatmeal, which gives them a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than traditional rolled oats, but they are more nutrient-dense and contain more fiber and protein than other types of oats.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the bloodstream. It is produced by the liver and is necessary for proper bodily functions. However, too much cholesterol can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. High levels of cholesterol can be caused by eating foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat, as well as being overweight.
How Can Steel Cut Oats Lower Cholesterol?
Steel cut oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has been found to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Beta-glucan binds to bile acids, which are made up of cholesterol, and prevents them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Steel cut oats also contain plant sterols, which have been found to reduce cholesterol levels.
What are the Health Benefits of Steel Cut Oats?
In addition to cholesterol-lowering properties, steel cut oats are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against disease. Steel cut oats are also low in calories and can help you feel full for longer, making them an ideal choice for weight loss or maintenance.
How Can You Include Steel Cut Oats in Your Diet?
Steel cut oats can be used in a variety of ways. They can be cooked with water or milk and topped with fruit, nuts, or other toppings. They can also be used as an ingredient in baked goods, such as muffins, breads, and cookies. Steel cut oats can also be used as a substitute for other grains, such as rice or quinoa.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Eating Steel Cut Oats?
Steel cut oats are generally considered safe for most people. However, some people may be sensitive to oats and may experience digestive discomfort or an allergic reaction. If you are unsure, consult your doctor before adding steel cut oats to your diet.
What is the Recommended Serving of Steel Cut Oats?
The recommended serving size of steel cut oats is 1/2 cup cooked. This serving size provides 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
What Are Some Other Ways to Lower Cholesterol?
In addition to eating steel cut oats, there are other ways to lower cholesterol. Eating a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat can help reduce cholesterol levels. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also help. Additionally, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can help lower cholesterol.
Are There Any Substitutes for Steel Cut Oats?
If you are unable to eat steel cut oats, there are other types of oats that can be used. Rolled oats, quick-cooking oats, and instant oats are all good substitutes. These types of oats may not have the same cholesterol-lowering properties as steel cut oats, but they can still provide the same health benefits.
What is the Nutritional Value of Steel Cut Oats?
Steel cut oats are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One cup of cooked steel cut oats contains 6 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of fat. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
What Do the Studies Say About Steel Cut Oats and Cholesterol?
Several studies have found that eating steel cut oats can help lower cholesterol levels. One study found that eating 3 servings of steel cut oats per day for 6 weeks significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Another study found that eating steel cut oats daily for 8 weeks reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
Conclusion: Should You Eat Steel Cut Oats to Lower Cholesterol?
In conclusion, steel cut oats can be a great addition to your diet if you are looking to lower your cholesterol levels. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they have been found to reduce cholesterol levels. However, it is important to remember that steel cut oats should be eaten in moderation and should not be used as a substitute for other healthy foods. Additionally, it is important to make sure that you are also following a healthy diet and exercising regularly to maintain good cholesterol levels.