The se­cret to a healthy heart

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BMS INDULGE -

IN Malaysia, coro­nary heart dis­ease is the No.1 killer in terms of deaths due to dis­ease.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) in 2010, the to­tal num­ber of deaths in Malaysia due to coro­nary heart dis­ease was 22,701, which is about 22% of to­tal deaths in the coun­try.

Diet plays a key role in re­duc­ing the risk of de­vel­op­ing heart dis­ease. Whole grains such as oat bran and brown rice can re­duce choles­terol lev­els, while the fi­bre con­tent may help with weight loss.

Oat bran and brown rice both re­tain the outer lay­ers of the grain, which im­prove their choles­terol-low­er­ing ef­fects and nu­tri­tional value.

Con­sump­tion of whole grain prod­ucts and di­etary fi­bre has been shown to re­duce the risk of high blood pres­sure and heart at­tacks.

Oat beta-glu­can and LDL choles­terol

Oats con­tain a form of sol­u­ble fi­bre called oat beta-glu­can which is con­cen­trated in the outer lay­ers of the grain (oat bran). Oat beta-glu­can dis­solves in wa­ter and forms a thick gel in the di­ges­tive tract.

This gel is able to bind to ex­cess choles­terol and choles­terol-like sub­stances within the gut and helps pre­vent them from be­ing ab­sorbed by the body.

High choles­terol lev­els cor­re­late with the build-up of plaque in blood ves­sel walls, caus­ing a heart at­tack, stroke or blood clots.

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