When you think of overnight oats, what comes to mind? Maybe “tasty” is the first thing you associate with it, or “high-in-fiber.” While not everyone may agree with the first thought, the second is certainly true. Something else that should come to mind, but probably doesn’t? Overnight oats may help you lower your cholesterol levels.
Believe it or not, it has to do with the fiber content. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, a specific fiber found in oats called beta-glucan has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels between 5-10%. Oats also contain soluble fiber, which just means that it dissolves in water’s presence. Once this type of fiber hits your gastrointestinal tract, it transforms into a gel.
Here’s what you need to know about soluble fiber in overnight oats, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Why is soluble fiber important for heart health?
In this jelly-like state, soluble fiber binds to the harmful cholesterol, known as LDL, and pulls it out of the body by moving it to the colon. In fact, the National Lipid Association advises that you consume a minimum of 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber daily to help keep your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels in check and heart in tip-top shape.
Not only does soluble fiber help to remove cholesterol from arteries, but it also helps to slow digestion down, which in part, may benefit your heart as well. After you eat a bowl of oatmeal or overnight oats, notice how you feel surprisingly full? This is largely due to the soluble fiber, as it helps you stay fuller for longer and even stabilizes blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Of course, having high blood glucose levels can lead to type 2 diabetes if symptoms aren’t managed. And those with diabetes are more likely to have other conditions that increase the risk for heart disease, says the CDC. Not to mention, having consistently high blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels and nerves that control your heart.
Have we provided enough reason to hop aboard the overnight oat train? If you need ideas, be sure to check out 51 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes for Weight Loss. Then, don’t miss What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Overnight Oats.
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