Oats (Avena sativa) are a cereal commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal or rolled oats. According to some research, they may have a range of potential health benefits.
They are mainly eaten as porridge, as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, and in baked goods (oatcakes, oat cookies, and oat bread). Over the past few decades, oats have become a very popular “health food.”
Oats are loaded with dietary fiber (containing more than many other grains) and have a range of healthy cholesterol-lowering properties.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. We will cover any health benefits that oats might have and explain the research behind these claims.
The possible health benefits of oats include: reducing the risk of coronary artery disease, lowering levels of cholesterol, and reducing one’s risk of colorectal cancer. There are fruit oatmeal, yogurt oatmeal, nuts oatmeal, etc.
1) Oats and coronary artery disease
A paper published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine in 2008, assessed a number of studies across more than a decade.
They found that eating foods rich in whole-oat sources of soluble fiber (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
“[C]onsumption of oats and oat-based products significantly reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations without adverse effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations.”
2) Colorectal cancer
Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands pooled published evidence that covered nearly 2 million people to evaluate whether a high-fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancerTrusted Source. Their findings were published in BMJ.
The study found that for every additional 10 grams per day of fiber in someone’s diet there is a 10 percent reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer. The authors concluded, “A high intake of dietary fibre, in particular, cereal fiber and whole grains, was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.”
3) Blood pressure
An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a diet including plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication in lowering blood pressure.
They found that three portions per day can”significantly reduce cardiovascular disease risk in middle-aged people mainly through blood pressure-lowering mechanisms.”