Saturday, January 12, 2008

Oatmeal Really Does Reduce Cholesterol

Sometimes the news tells you things you just don't want to know. For me, this is one of those times.

Science Daily reported Wednesday on the latest oatmeal studies.

A new scientific review of the most current research shows the link between eating oatmeal and cholesterol reduction to be stronger than when the FDA initially approved the health claim's appearance on food labels in 1997.

Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, co-authors "The Oatmeal-Cholesterol Connection: 10 Years Later" in the January/February 2008 issue of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Anderson presents a contemporary analysis to determine if newer studies are consistent with the original conclusion reached by the FDA. His report says studies conducted during the past 15 years have, without exception, shown:

  • total cholesterol levels are lowered through oat consumption
  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the "bad" cholesterol) is reduced without adverse effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, the "good" cholesterol), or triglyceride concentrations
This is all well and good. For normal people. But oatmeal triggers my gag reflex worse than even Pepto-Bismol does. I can't eat the stuff. Or Cream of Wheat. Or Malt-O-Meal. Not even chocolate Malt-O-Meal.

I wish their re-studies of oatmeal had made them say, "Never mind!" But now that they've confirmed their original results, and then some, I have to fear the Food Police who are going to want me to eat my oatmeal and skip my occasional omelette.

The only redeeming part of the article is the paragraph that begins:

"Whole-grain products like oatmeal are among some of the best foods one can eat to improve cholesterol levels, in addition to other lifestyle choices," Anderson said.

Whole grains like oatmeal. Meaning: brown rice, whole wheat, rye, and a plethora of other grains whose names escape me right now. I can eat those (except, of course, wheat: cream of). Why didn't they just say so?


janice said...

What about oatmeal cookies? I've got a recipe for cream of wheat muffins, do you think you could keep those down?

paw said...

If you haven't given up completely on oats, and if you haven't been down the steel cut oats and/or groats (whole oats) path, you might want to check them out. I usually go for steel cut oats Elvis style (w/peanut butter and bananas mixed in). Its a whole different thing from a bowl of Quaker.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I grew up on oatmeal and grits, but haven't had any in ages.

Now, suddenly, I have a craving!

Jacob said...

This just in: oatmeal causes cancer and makes you impotent.


SkyePuppy said...


Yes, oatmeal cookies are fine. They're not my favorite, though. Not enough chocolate or butter. And I'm not sure about the muffins. I don't eat a lot of them--mostly the lemon, blueberry, or (of course) chocolate.

PAW, mon cher,

Do you cook the groats? It's not the flavor I have a problem with. It's the consistency.


Grits I can handle. Enjoy!


Yes, much better. (Though the impotence part of it doesn't really bother me...)


My cholesterol is fine. The number I got on my last test pleased my doctor. And I did it all without oatmeal!

Malott said...


You need to eat your oatmeal, pal.

Try adding lots of sugar and heavy cream.

SkyePuppy said...


How about we make a deal? You eat some zucchini and I'll try eating some oatmeal...

paw said...

A different texture is exactly what you buy with steel cuts. They are less goopy, less homogenous, a bit more chewey. Cook them, yes. It takes upwards of half an hour. There are overnight soak methods and you can prepare a batch in advance to cut down on that time.

Anonymous said...

oatmeal cookies with walnuts (more cholesterol improvement!) and PLENTY OF CHOCOLATE CHIPS!! are amazingly DELICIOUS - give them a chance, and it might get some non-gagging oatmeal into your body! ;-)