The secret to a healthy heart
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.