You may think of oats as just a filling breakfast, but they are also widely recognised for their many nutritional and health benefits.
Oats are an everyday Australian staple; they’re usually eaten in the form of rolled oats or oatmeal, but are also an integral part of muesli, baked goods, and health bars. Australia is a world leader in oat production, responsible for delivering high-quality milling oats to the international market.
Conclusions from research carried out over several years’ link regular oat consumption with lower cholesterol, and a lower risk of coronary heart disease and colorectal (bowel) cancer.
Oats provide a range of important vitamins and minerals. These include iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, magnesium, and B vitamins. Oats are also a good source of protein and fibre.
Choosing foods high in fibre helps digestion and prevents constipation. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim to eat 30 grams daily. One cup of oats contains 7.5 grams of fibre, while still being
less than 300 calories. A high fibre diet may also help reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Fibre and colorectal cancer
Studies from Britain and the Netherlands involving almost two million participants, found that people who increase their daily intake of soluble fibre by ten grams reduce their lifetime risk of colorectal cancer by 10%.
Blood pressure / cardiovascular disease
Studies have found that a diet including plenty of wholegrains such as oats may be just as effective at lowering blood pressure as taking anti-hypertensive medication. Lower blood pressure can in turn help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol and coronary artery disease
The conclusion from a number of studies found that eating foods made from unrefined oat sources such as whole or rolled oats, oat bran and oat flour may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering high levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol without affecting HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.
Oats are delicious, nutritious, versatile, and easy to consume as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Why not add them to your shopping list.