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These 15 ‘Rich’ Foods Are Actually Good for Your Cholesterol Count Slideshow

These 15 ‘Rich’ Foods Are Actually Good for Your Cholesterol Count Slideshow



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Chocolate, pasta, and even baked goods made this deliciously healthy list

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These 15 ‘Rich’ Foods Are Actually Good for Your Cholesterol Count

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Contrary to popular belief, a low-cholesterol diet can consist of more than grilled chicken and plain brown rice. This could be big news for the flavor of your future dinners.

Somewhere along the line, people got stressed out about the fat and salt content of their foods. Yes, a ton of sodium is bad news for your blood pressure. Yes, a ton of trans fat is going to do some damage. But a little healthy fat and some flavor never killed anyone — and could actually do a whole lot of good.

Eating a diet too low in fats and deficient in sodium is associated with a whole slew of negative health outcomes. If, in pursuit of low cholesterol, you eradicate those nutrients from your diet, you’re bound to have a whole lot more to worry about than your cholesterol as a result.

There are lots of rich, indulgent feeling foods that could actually help your cholesterol count, not hurt it. Some of them are fatty, some of them are salty, and others are just plain delicious. But surprisingly, all of them could improve your cholesterol overall.

Avocado

We know by now how healthy these fruits are — one of their healthy qualities is their ability to lower cholesterol. It’s all about the healthy fats. They lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good, resulting in a dream team combination for your blood pressure overall. Eat them in guacamole, smeared on toast, or chopped up in a salad.

Burritos

Who knew they had health benefits?! Based on the way Chipotle talks about them, you wouldn’t think so. But the key ingredients of a hefty burrito are actually really good for you. Guacamole, tomatoes in salsa, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, and beans can all help to lower your cholesterol count. Go easy on the cheese and sour cream, though — they can hike your cholesterol right back up!

Coconut Oil

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Curry

This traditional Indian dish is often made using coconut milk, a creamy, cozy ingredient that (like coconut oil) can decrease your bad cholesterol and increase the good. Between that and the metabolism-boosting spices, we love this healthy meal! The dish is extra good for your cholesterol if it’s made with lentils, which are high in soluble fiber and capable of dropping your cholesterol count significantly.

Dark Chocolate

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Eggs

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You can never go wrong with an egg! They’ve gotten a terrible rep in the past for their effect on cholesterol. But the protein-packed foods actually aren’t as bad as we thought. The yolks contain lutein, the consumption of which has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol over time. Additionally, the yolk doesn’t contain enough of the cholesterol-raising compounds to make much of a difference. Unless you’re eating more than two eggs per day — which isn’t all that common regardless. It’s time to ditch the egg whites and just go for eating the whole egg.

French Fries

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Of course, this is only if the fries aren’t made using trans fats. So McDonald’s 20-ingredient fries are off the list. But due to the popularity of information condemning the dangerous fat compounds, French fries cooked in trans-fats like hydrogenated oil are increasingly hard to find.

Restaurants especially have cut back on the use of the stuff, swapping it for vegetable, canola, or some other healthy oil. These oils used instead are actually great for decreasing your overall cholesterol count, as are the slow-digesting carbs found in potatoes.

Muffins

Many of these baked bites are made with flax or chia seeds — both of which have heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds, along with the fiber found in many whole grain versions, make muffins really good for eradicating the bad cholesterol flowing through your blood. It sounds crazy, but we’ll take it — any excuse to eat more muffins for breakfast sounds good to us.

Olive Oil

You might be smart not to skip the bread and olive oil before dinner — whole grain bread and olive oil are both connected to lowered levels of cholesterol. And let’s be honest: They taste so good together. Olive oil, staple of longevity-boosting habits like the Mediterranean diet, is loaded with healthy fats that can help your body moderate its cholesterol count.

Pasta Sauce

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The main ingredient in red sauce is tomato; despite their propensity for causing heartburn, they’re actually really good for lowering cholesterol. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. According to a recent study, lycopene has the power to decrease bad cholesterol by at least 10 percent.

Peanut Butter

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Pair your healthy peanut butter with some dark chocolate for a rich, creamy, heavenly treat you won’t believe is actually good for you — but it is. Both peanut butter and dark chocolate lower your cholesterol. If you’re not sure which to buy, don’t worry: We ranked the best brands for you.

But really any type of nut or nut butter will do. They all contain unsaturated fat, which is responsible for keeping the bad cholesterol away and the good cholesterol flowing.

Refried Beans

Beans of any kind are rich with soluble fiber, a compound that miraculously rids cholesterol from the body by binding to it and moving it out of your system. While the refried kind are higher in calories, they’re still just as good for your blood pressure as any other. (They also happen to pair excellently with Mexican food.)

Salmon

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Omega-3 fatty acids, present in many species of fatty fish, have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stave off heart attacks. Salmon has a robust and memorable flavor that hardly needs sauces or seasonings — the two servings per week recommended by the American Heart Association can feel like a total treat.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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This likely isn’t surprising, but it’s not the creamy part that’s doing the cholesterol lowering — it’s the veggies. Luckily, you can try our guilt-free version.

These two, spinach and artichokes, happen to be incredibly good for your blood pressure. Artichokes have the highest amount of soluble fiber of almost any vegetable, and spinach contains tons of lutein. Both of these compounds have been linked to a decrease in bad cholesterol.

Wine

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Red wine contains the compound resveratrol, which has a ton of health benefits — one of which is reducing your risk of blood clotting by lowering cholesterol. Just don’t pair it with a cholesterol-killing charcuterie. And don’t overdo it. Too much alcohol is probably a bad call, but we have 20 reasons why one glass every day is a fantastic idea.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.


The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Oatmeal & Oat Bran

Oatmeal, that sturdy breakfast food from your grandmother's kitchen, has a lot going for it. Not only is it a fine way to start the day, but it can also really bring down your bad LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, baked goods, and other products.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which we know lowers LDL levels. Experts aren't exactly sure how, but they have some ideas. When you digest fiber, it becomes gooey. Researchers think that when it's in your intestines, it sticks to cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed. So instead of getting that cholesterol into your system -- and your arteries -- you simply get rid of it as waste.

There's plenty of evidence that eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol levels. It's such a well-accepted belief that the FDA gave it the status of a "health claim" in 1997. This allows manufacturers to advertise the heart-healthy benefits on boxes of oatmeal and other products.

Continued

Some studies have shown that oats, when combined with other cholesterol-lowering foods, can have a big effect on cholesterol levels. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested cholesterol- lowering drugs against cholesterol-lowering foods in a group of thirty-four adults with high cholesterol. Oat products were among the chosen foods. The results were striking. The diet lowered cholesterol levels about as well as cholesterol drugs.

Getting Oatmeal Into Your Diet

It's fairly simple to work oatmeal into your meal plan. Start with the obvious: enjoy hot oatmeal in the morning.

"Oatmeal makes a filling, healthy breakfast," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She suggests that you add bananas or walnuts. If you're not so keen on hot oatmeal, try a cold cereal that's made from oat bran.

But oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. "Ground oatmeal can be added to any food," Frechman tells WebMD. You can add it to soups and casseroles. You can add some to breadcrumbs when you coat food for cooking. You can also add it to many recipes for baked foods. For instance, the American Dietetic Association suggests swapping one-third of the flour in recipes with quick or old-fashioned oats.

Continued

Do keep in mind that not everything with "oatmeal" in the name will be good for you. For instance, some so-called oatmeal cookies might contain very little oatmeal and lots of fat and sugar. So pay attention to the label. Look to see how much soluble fiber is in the ingredients.

Most adults should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. But the average Americans only eats about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So you should aim to double or triple your intake by consciously adding soluble fiber to foods.

There are 3 grams of soluble fiber in 1.5 cups of oatmeal -- enough to lower your cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. It may be a bit much for breakfast, so just add in oatmeal or bran to dishes at other times of the day.

Sources

SOURCES: Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Ruth Frechman, RD, Los Angeles spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Keecha Harris, DrPH, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. FDA web site. American Dietetic Association web site. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute web site. American Heart Association web site. Jenkins, D. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2005 vol 81:pp 380-87. Jenkins, D. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 23-30, 2003 vol 290: pp 502-510.