oat bran

High Carbohydrate, High Fiber Diet to Lower Cholesterol

Posted on November 19, 2009. Filed under: cholesterol, diet, LDL-cholesterol, oat bran | Tags: , , , , , , |

Many of my patients have dropped their total cholesterol by 80 points through an intense diet. Their LDL (bad-guy) cholesterol has decreased from 150 to 90 points! In our research in Kentucky we documented for hundreds of patients that we could lower the LDL cholesterol by 35-45% through our high carbohydrate, high fiber diet without weight loss or exercise. These diets were rich in oats (oatmeal and oatbran), beans (pinto and other dry beans), vegetables and fruits.

Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto has also demonstrated in hundreds of people that they can lower their LDL-cholesterol by 35-40% using his ‘Portfolio Diet.’

Both diets are high in complex carbohydrate and soluble fiber while being very low in red meat, processed meat, high fat dairy foods, and eggs.

And you do not have to lose weight to do this! But, if you are a few pounds overweight, this diet will help you make those love handles smaller.

So, with serious attention to your diet your can drop your cholesterol by 80 points and your LDL bad guys by 60 points.

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How To Lower Your Cholesterol By 30 Points

Posted on November 19, 2009. Filed under: cholesterol, diet, LDL-cholesterol, oat bran | Tags: , , , , , |

Your blood cholesterol level is a major cause of heart attacks. The foremost way to lower your cholesterol and protect yourself from heart attacks is to limit your intake of meats, processed meats (sausage, hamburger and lunch meat), high fat dairy foods (ice cream, milk and butter) and eggs.

The American Heart Association recommends the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, which includes a diet limited in meat, animal fat and high fat dairy foods as well as walking 30 minutes daily. The goal also is to achieve a desirable, non-obese weight.

Know Your Numbers

  • LDL-cholesterol (the “bad guy” type)- desirable is less than 130 and ideal is less than 100 mg/dl (for persons with heart disease the goal is 70 mg/dl);
  • HDL-cholesterol (the “good guy” type)- desirable for women, more than 50; and for men, more than 40 mg/dl;
  • Triglycerides (the other type of blood fat), less than 150 mg/dl.

Most people can lower their “bad guy” (LDL) cholesterol by 25 to 45% by making changes to their eating habits. I lowered my high LDL cholesterol from 200 to 110 through diet alone.

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All fibers are not created equal

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: cholesterol, diabetes, inulin, nutrition, oat bran, obesity, psyllium, resistant starch, weight |

Dietary fiber consumption has many health benefits. Persons who have the highest intakes of whole grains are significantly less likely to develop heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain forms of cancer (Anderson JW, Nutrition Reviews, Apr. 2009). Currently scientists are actively testing various types of fiber to discern which types of fibers contribute to these health benefits.

Wheat bran was popularized by the late Dr. Denis Burkitt, a friend and mentor. Wheat bran has a major benefit for regularity—it keeps things moving. It also may lower blood pressure slightly and probably contributes to weight management. However, it does not lower blood cholesterol or smooth out the blood sugar after a meal. Oat bran is the most versatile type of fiber in that it has all the health benefits currently attributed to dietary fiber, namely: improves laxation, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), lowers blood pressure, assists in weight loss and management, and is a prebiotic that enhances immune function. (I was called Dr. Oat Bran during the 1980’s, the Oat Bran Decade).

Psyllium is the most potent fiber supplement in that it improves laxation, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), lowers blood pressure, and assists in weight loss and management. Psyllium does not appear to be a prebiotic or enhance immune function.

Many viscous, soluble fibers such as oat and barley gum, guar gum, pectins and konjac mannan have these benefits: lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), and assists in weight loss and management. Some of these fibers such as oat and barley gum (B-glucans) are prebiotics and enhance immune function.

Inulins and resistant starches are fairly new members of the fiber family. Inulin and similar carbohydrates are clearly prebiotics and enhance immune function. The other health benefits of inulin are uncertain but it does not appear to lower blood cholesterol.

Resistant starches include a wide variety of starches in foods and starches that are modified to make them resistant to the action of digestive enzymes in the small intestine. These starches are not digested but travel to the colon where they are completely fermented by bacteria. While most are fermented, like inulin, most are not prebiotics and do not enhance immune function. Further work is required in this area. The main benefit of the resistant starches is that they lower the blood glucose increase after a meal (glycemic effect). None of the resistant starches have been approved to make a claim that they have laxation benefits.

Thus, all fibers are not created equal and the consumer must decide what health benefits are most important. Currently oat bran foods and psyllium supplements appear to provide the widest range of health benefits.

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    Nutrition solutions for dealing with cholesterol, diabetes, or weight management.


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