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A diet that can save your life.

Doctors across the country are going to the "oat" fashioned way to control cholesterol

Half of all Americans, children and adults, have elevated blood cholesterol. These elevations are a major cause of hardening of the arteries. Despite all the publicity connecting cholesterol to heart disease, only 6 percent of Americans recently polled knew their blood cholesterol levels.

To be safe, you should have your blood cholesterol checked regularly. If our cho lesterol level is high-200mg/100 ml or more-the first step in lowering it will be to change your diet. Reducing fatty foods will help, but equally important, you must add foods high in fiber. Our research at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, and that from other centers indicates that increased fiber intake not only lowers blood cholesterol but also provides other health benefits. Five major health problems in the United States are heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Fiber reduces the risk of developing these problems and also acts therapeutically to reverse most of these conditions (except cancer) after they develop.

Oat bran is perhaps the best dietary source of fiber for lowering blood cholesterol. I discovered this myself back in September 1977, when our research team at the University of Kentucky did our initial oat study with me as the guinea pig. I started eating 100 grams (about three ounces) of oat bran daily. I ate a large bowl of hot oat-bran cereal for breakfast and four oat-bran muffins during the day. I also reduced my fat and cholesterol intake.

In the next five weeks my cholesterol level dropped ftom 280 mg/ 100 ml to .175 mg/ 100 ml. Oat-bran use lowered my cholesterol by 38 percent in five weeks.

Our research showed that a highfiber, high-carbohydrate (HCF) diet lowered insulin needs by 70 percent and allowed two-thirds of adult diabetic individuals to stop insulin treatment. When we used the HCF diet, including three ounces of oat bran, for diabetic individuals, we saw remarkable changes in the blood-cholesterol fractions. Oat-bran use with the HCF diet lowered total cholesterol by 38 percent.

Oat bran lowers the bad-guy cholesterol and raises the good-guy cholesterol. The bad-guy cholesterol (technically, the low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol) acts like a dump truck that deposits cholesterol in the blood vessels. The good-guy cholesterol (technically, the highdensity lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol) acts like a pickup truck that removes cholesterol from the blood vessels. With the HCF diet and oat bran, the LDL cholesterol plummeted 82 percent while the HDL cholesterol skyrocketed 58 percent in three weeks. This is the most dramatic diet-induced change in the LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol we are aware of. This study clearly showed that oat bran lowers the bad-guy cholesterol and raises the good-guy cholesterol.

During the past decade many medical centers have demonstrated the extraordinary cholesterol-lowering effects of oat bran.

* For men on a metabolic research ward in Lexington, Kentucky, 3 ounces of oat bran lowered blood cholesterol by 19 percent in three weeks.

* For college students in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1.5 ounces of oat bran lowered blood cholesterol by 12 percent in six weeks.

* For 69 office workers in Chicago, Illinois, 1.3 ounces of oat bran lowered blood cholesterol by 3 percent in six weeks.

* For 19 medical students in Irvine, California, 0.5 ounces of oat bran lowered blood cholesterol by 5.3 percent in four weeks.

* A study in Baltimore, Maryland, showed that oat bran lowered blood cholesterol as effectively as commonly used prescription drugs for only one-sixth to one-quarter the cost.

In all these studies, oat bran selectively targeted LDL cholesterol (the bad guys) for removal ftom the blood and preserved HDL cholesterol (the good guys).

Feeling Your Oats

and Eating Them Too

To help people use more cholesterol-lowering fiber in their diets, we developed recipes and meal plans. Using these, many people have increased their intake of oat products, and they are controlling their cholesterol the "oat" fashioned way. Oat-bran muffins are one of the most convenient ways to use oat bran during the day. Each day I have two oat-bran muffins, vegetable juice, and fruit for lunch. After I had used oat products regularly (while avoiding fat and cholesterol ftom fatty meats, cheeses, dairy products, and eggs), my last blood cholesterol was 166 mg/ 100 ml.

Getting Started

Even if you have a healthy blood cholesterol, you will derive benefits and pleasure from a more fiber-rich diet. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, is an excellent place to start. Have fresh fruit or juice, hot or cold oat cereal, skim milk, wholewheat toast with jelly, and coffee or tea. On special occasions treat yourself to oatmeal pancakes or threegrain waffles with fruit syrup.

Lunch is an adventure. For those who can tolerate the same thing 250 days a year, have two oat-bran muffins, vegetable juice or sparkling water, and fresh fruit. The more innovative can use the salad bar and load up with garbanzo beans or kidney beans (they are rich in the same type of soluble fiber oat bran contains). Avoid such salads as potato salad, pasta salad, bean salad, and slaw, for they are loaded with oil or mayonnaise. Fill your plate with veggies; put a tablespoon of your favorite dressing on the side and dip your fork into it before loading on the greens and veggies.

A good sandwich choice is turkey on whole-wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy mustard. At a fast-food restaurant, the best choice may be a plain hamburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard.

Eating broiled fish twice a week can reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack by 50 percent. Learn to enjoy more fish in your diet. Other good dinner choices are bean burritos; spaghetti with a tomato or mushroom sauce; Chinese dinners with bean curd as the main ingredient; and chicken breast baked without the skin.

Two servings of vegetables and one piece of fruit each day provide good nutrition and healthy fiber. Frenchfried potatoes, potato chips, or deepfried vegetable appetizers are not good choices. Have two generous servings of garden vegetables for dinner and try the vegetable plate when dining out. Many restaurants can fix you a vegetable plate even though it is not on the menu; most can also serve fresh fruit for dessert. Be assertive when you order at your favorite restaurant. Your example will help your family and friends make healthful choices.

Remember, oats and oat bran are nutritious, low in calories, easy to cook, suitable for all ages, and extremely versatile. They blend well in casseroles, soups, and baked goods; can combine with nuts, fruit, yogurt, and jams; and can even serve as a topping for frozen yogurt. In addition, our research shows that oats provide many other health benefits in treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated blood cholesterol. Oats lower the bad LDL cholesterol and raise the good HDL cholesterol. OAT BRAN RECIPES

Orange French Toast

(Makes 4 servings)

Egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 slices whole-wheat bread

Beat egg substitute, orange juice, and vanilla in flat bowl or pan until well combined. Dip bread in batter to coat both sides. Cook over medium heat in skillet with nonstick surface or one sprayed with nonstick vegetable coating; brown both sides of each slice. Serve with margarine, pureed strawberries, or low-calorie strawberry jam.

Per serving: 118 calories, 13.7 g carbohydrate , 5.9 g protein , 4.4 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol,1.3 g fiber,187 mg sodium. Blueberry Cobbler (Makes 6 servings)

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup oat bran

Dash of salt, if desired

1/4 cup corn oil

3 tablespoons ice-cold water

Combine first 3 ingredients. Stir in oil. Add ice water; mix with pastry cutter. Work into smooth ball. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper. Set aside.

Filling:

3 cups fresh blueberries, washed,

stems removed

1 tablespoon honey

Mix honey and fruit gently. Place in baking dish, lightly oiled or sprayed with vegetable coating. Cover with pie crust. Hint: Roll pie crust to fit baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F. 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden and fruit is soft. May substitute other fruits as desired.

Per serving: 233 calories, 31 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 10 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4.3 g fiber.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes oat bran recipes; high-fiber diet to help control cholesterol
Author:Anderson, James W.
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:column
Date:Sep 1, 1988
Words:1403
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