In 1997, the FDA began approving the "Heart Healthy" label for foods that provided healthy benefits for your heart. Oats was one of the selected grains that received that label. This is because oats are packed with a ton of health promoting nutrients that are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only that, but oats are incredibly inexpensive. If purchased in bulk, you can get a serving (about 40g) of oats for about $.03! That’s absolutely astonishing.
Oats are, in fact, cheaper per serving than milk, bread, eggs, bananas and peanuts, which are all considered fairly cheap foods. When you consider the nutritional value in oats and combine that with it’s low prices, it’s really a wonder why more people in this bad economy don’t eat more of this amazing grain.
One of the main reasons why oats are so cheap, is due to the fact that they, unlike most plants, can grow in rough soil conditions. This makes them inexpensive because, they cost little to produce and therefore cost little for consumers. The other thing that makes oats so great, is that they are very versatile. If oats played professional sports, they’d be league MVP while only making the league minimum salary. For all you non sports fans, that basically means: oats are awesome and they don’t cost much… so eat a ton of them!
A big reasons why oats get so much credit is the cholesterol lowering nutrients they contain. Oats have a type of fiber known as beta-glucan. This fiber is excellent at regulating cholesterol levels. It has been proven that eating as little as three grams of beta-glucan fiber, or soluble fiber, can drastically improve poor cholesterol levels. In one study, people with cholesterol levels at or above 220 mg/dl were asked to eat three grams of soluble oat fiber per day for a period of time. At the end of the study, the participants had lowered their cholesterol levels by 8-23%. This is astounding when you take into consideration that, for each 1% a person drops his or her cholesterol level, they also reduce their risk of developing heart disease by 2%. Now we know why the FDA supports oats as a "Heart Health" food!
The fiber in oats can also play a huge role in providing weight loss help. Fiber causes food to pass through your intestines at a slower pace. While this may sound like a strange way to help you lose weight, it is actually something that makes a ton of sense. Fiber rich foods slow down the entire digestive process making you feel fuller longer. This, in turn, helps you eat less throughout the day. Eating less throughout the day, as we all know, will help you lose weight. Now, there are many diets out there that encourage you to eat less throughout the day. This is not a new concept. However, where most diets miss, is that they instruct you to eat less, but forget about making sure that you satisfy your hunger. Fiber-rich foods can not only help you eat less, but they will keep you satisfied throughout the entire day. The best part is, foods rich in fiber, like oats, are typically already considered healthy foods. So, if you are looking for weight loss help, add foods rich in fiber to your diet.
There are a ton of other health benefits of oats. Eating oats on a regular basis can also help lower a person’s risk pf developing Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that eating whole grains, such as oats, can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes as much as 31%. Also, research has concluded that populations of people that eat high fiber diets usually have a lot lower risk of developing colon cancer.
All-in-all the addition of oats into your diet can be a great way to improve your personal health. Not to mention, they are very inexpensive. So, why spend a ton of money on the latest dieting program when you can get better results by eating healthy foods, like oats, on a daily basis?
About Author: Brent Hale is an avid fitness and health guru who specializes in helping those who are new to dieting and exercising. For help starting a new diet plan, please read Brent’s 11-page Weight Loss Help series.