Oat bran is the high-fiber husk of oats that can reduce your cholesterol -- particularly the low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, which contributes to cardiovascular disease. It also provides several other health benefits, such as stabilizing blood sugar levels and controlling appetite. If you are concerned about cholesterol, diabetes, weight loss or digestive problems, adding some oat bran products to your diet can help. To achieve optimal results, make oat bran a part of your daily eating plan. There is a wide selection of oat bran products available that you can incorporate into your regular meals.
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Oat bran bread is an excellent choice for making breakfast toast or sandwiches. Hearty, healthy, dense and delicious, oat bran breads often feature a combination of nutritious whole grains. Each slice of oat bran bread gives you 1.4 g of dietary fiber, as well as a dose of vitamins and minerals like iron and niacin. There are a number of different oat bran bread products on the market. Some are strictly grain-based, while others contain nuts and seeds, including flax seed. You can buy oat bran flour or bread mix and bake your own loaves to create complex tastes and textures. Oat bran flour is nutritionally superior to refined white flour, which makes oat bran bread a healthier alternative to white bread.
Cold or hot, oat bran cereals are easy to prepare and a convenient way to start the day with a nutritious breakfast. There are numerous varieties of brand-name, ready-to-eat cereals that contain oat bran. Hot cereals with oat bran can be especially comforting on dreary winter mornings, as they warm you, fill you up and nourish you for a busy day. Wholesome oat bran cereals are natural sources of dietary fiber, with each serving providing 5.6 g.
Muffins, Pancakes and Waffles
A delightful diversion from breads and cereals, oat bran muffins, pancakes and waffles are healthy and delicious. There are abundant varieties of mixes available; look for those containing 100 percent whole grains. Some of these oat bran products include the added nutritive value of buckwheat and soy flours. A large oat bran muffin makes a tasty, on-the-go breakfast and provides 6.4 g of dietary fiber.
Crackers and Crispbreads
Oat bran crackers and crispbreads are an ideal choice for wholesome snacking. These products come in assorted grain combinations and flavors, including rye and multigrain. Oat bran graham crackers give a hint of sweetness. You can top oat bran crackers and crispbreads with low-fat cheese or fruit spreads for a nutritious after-school snack. With nutrients, fiber and a pleasant crunch, oat bran crackers and crispbreads offer snackers a healthy alternative to junk food.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Journal of the American Dietetic Association; Oat bran concentrate bread products improve long-term control of diabetes; M. E. Pick, et al; December 1996
- Oregon State University; The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Fiber; Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; December 2005
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Medical Reference: Complementary Medicine: Fiber
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- Hodgson Mills: Product Catalog
- Matthew's All Natural: Products