Oats may help reduce blood sugar levels, particularly for those who are overweight or who have type 2 diabetes (16, 17, 18). Oats May Improve Blood Sugar Control Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that is characterized by greatly increased blood sugar levels. Diets that are low in fiber and high in foods that cause sudden increases in blood sugar can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Higher intakes of dietary fiber are associated with lower risks of heart disease in a number of large studies, which followed individuals over the course of years. Oat fibre was found more effective at lowering cholesterol levels than wheat fibre, according to another Australian study. Oat fibre, called beta-glucan, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels by five to 10 per cent, according to the study in The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Beta-glucan can boost excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thus reducing the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. Beta-glucan is a major component of soluble fibers in oats, which lowers levels of bad cholesterol without impacting levels of good cholesterol (1). Many studies show that beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing total cholesterol levels as well as LDL cholesterol levels (1, 14). The beta-glucans in oats have also shown beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure levels in obese individuals (17).
In particular, it appears that 3-6 grams of beta-glucans in each serving of oats are needed for assistance. While certain foods that we eat may cause our blood sugar levels to rise suddenly after consumption, the beta-glucans found in oats help to prevent those sudden increases when we eat oats. Worry no more: Oats are absorbed in the body at a much slower rate, which gives you a more lasting boost (in addition to not spiked blood sugar levels).
The fiber in oats slows down glucose absorption into your bloodstream, helping you keep energy levels up. Consuming oats and oatmeal has been linked with an optimal viscosity, where foods move more easily through our upper digestive tract, and enhances blood sugar regulation. In people who are at risk for blood sugar problems, consumption of both oats and oatmeal has been associated with healthier levels of hemoglobin A 1C — researchers believe this is evidence of the blood sugar support provided by eating oats. Numerous studies also suggest that oats, or foods rich in oats, may substantially reduce postprandial hyperglycemia.
Fiber in wheat bran and oat bran is thought to be more effective than that from fruits and vegetables. Wholegrain cereals such as bran flakes, malted wheat cereals, and wheat cookies are rich in fibre, and they also typically will have added sugars and salt. Generally, wholegrain cereals such as bran flakes, therefore, should avoid adding more sugars, opting instead for fruits or berries to provide sweetness. Wholegrain means that they are high in fiber, so it has benefits for your digestive system too, and for your heart health.
You still get some health benefits from nuts, grains, and fruit, but those are counterbalanced by the sugar, so make sure you always opt for muesli without added sugar. No-added-sugar granola contains a mix of grains, fruits and nuts, and the mix will vary from brand and variety, so the quantity of beta-glucans in oats will be more variable than in granola, which is made from only oats. All oat porridges are wholegrain, and they all contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which may help to lower your cholesterol levels if you eat 3g or more each day, as part of a healthy diet. A soluble fibre called beta-glucans. These sugar-related molecules (glycosyl substances) are found mostly in the bran part of oats, and, similar to beta-glucan, consumption has been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
Soluble fiber, which melts into water, may help reduce glucose levels, and may also contribute to decreased blood cholesterol. Eating adequate fiber may prevent or ease constipation, helping waste fluids pass through the body smoothly.
Studies suggest that oat bran, a fiber-rich outer layer of grains, can help alleviate constipation in older adults (35, 36). Oat bran also helps by blocking the absorption of substances from your intestines that can cause heart disease ( 5 ). Fermented oat fibers such as b-glucans not only help to support a healthy population of bacteria in our large intestines, they also supply short-chain fatty acids that are released by these fibers, which may supply energy for our intestinal cells. Oats have a much higher lipid content than other grains, providing an excellent source of energy and unsaturated fatty acids.
The higher lipid content in oats provides an advantage when used in animal feeds, since it provides higher energy together with a good composition of fatty acids. The main ingredient in oats responsible for these health benefits is thought to be B-glucan, however, the phenolic compounds in oats as well as other antioxidant compounds provide health benefits. Oat intake has increased in the human diet due to health benefits associated with the dietary fiber, such as b-glucan, functional proteins, lipids, and starch components, as well as phytochemicals, that are found in the oat grains.
These components of the oat grain and their unique physiologic structures demand a different processing of the oats than that of other grains, as well as providing it some unique nutritional qualities which makes it a significant, though underutilized and valued, food and occasionally ingredient of other food products. Oats have several unique properties that distinguish their milling from that of other grain crops (reference Girardet, Webster, Webster, & Wood 3), – their hulls are unconnected from their endosperm, they contain higher levels of fat content compared with most grains, and they contain higher levels of soluble dietary fiber. Oat hulls do not have a lot of application in food, but contain a substantial amount of soluble ferulic acid; the antioxidant avenanthramide, as well as a few other phenolic acids.
The antioxidants in oats (avenanthramides and phenolic acids) work together with vitamin C to prevent oxidation of LDL, which may also lead to heart disease (2). The dietary fiber (b-glucan being the most significant one) and minerals found in oats help ward off a number of dangerous conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.