Cholesterol Advice

Heart Healthy Grains


While there are certain foods that can further increase the risk of heart diseases, there are some that help promote a healthy heart. Whole grains top the list of heart healthy foods. Recent studies have revealed that including whole grain in the daily diet can bring down the risk of coronary diseases by as much as 26 percent.

They contain various heart healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that can bring down the LDL and help promote a healthy heart. In addition, they are also helpful in controlling blood pressure and diabetes. Let us take a look at some of these heart healthy grains and how they help improve your coronary health.

Oats
Oats are known to bring down cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart. This whole grain contains a fiber called glucagon, which is known to be effective in lowering cholesterol. To add on, the antioxidants present in this whole grain even protect the heart from damaging effects of LDL. Though there are several varieties of oats present in the market, it is steel cut oats that make for the best choice. They contain the entire oat kernel and have a nutty flavor.

Barley
Barley has highly effective cholesterol lowering properties. In fact, it works much better than oat fiber to bring down cholesterol levels. A recent study reveals that people who eat barley on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL and triglycerides. If you want to add barley to your diet, then hulled barley is the best option as it contains the highest amount of whole grain nutrients. However, this form of barley takes relatively longer to cook. So, you can give the hull-less barleys available in the market a try.

Buckwheat

This whole grain belongs to the family of rhubarb. Buckwheat is an excellent source of an antioxidant called rutin. It helps improve blood circulation and even aids in bringing down LDL or bad cholesterol. Buckwheat is often used for making pancakes and even soba noodles.

Bulgur
For those who do not know, bulgur refers to wheat kernels that are boiled, dried and then cracked. This whole grain contains high amount of fiber. As a matter of fact, it contains higher fiber than oats, millet or even corn. It has a mild flavor so is likely to appease most preferences.

Rye
Eat this whole grain and you are sure to feel full instantly. This makes rye one of the best foods for people who are battling obesity. This whole grain is even beneficial for diabetics as it is known to have a lower glycemic index.

Add these whole grains to your diet and you could be doing your heart a huge favor.