For those diagnosed with high cholesterol, one of the most common first steps is to reach for Cheerios and oatmeal – after all, they’re promoted as rich in soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol. And while plain Cheerios or oatmeal aren’t necessarily bad, they’re far from being a top source of soluble fiber.
In today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on top picks (and worst bets) for cereals rich in soluble fiber.
A diet rich in soluble fiber can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, in turn helping to reduce our risk of heart disease, among other health benefits.
To put the numbers in perspective: Consuming 5-10 grams soluble fiber per day has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by approximately 5%. The National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel recommends 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber per day.
Boost soluble fiber of ANY hot cereal, cold cereal, veggies or other whole grains with ground psyllium:
- Ground Psyllium: 10 grams soluble fiber per tablespoon
- Ground Flaxseed: ~1 gram soluble fiber per tablespoon
- Chia Seeds: 1 gram soluble fiber per tablespoon
- Per ½ cup: 80 calories – 24 grams carb – 13 grams fiber – 3 grams soluble fiber – 6 grams sugar
- Ingredients include wheat bran, oat fiber, cane sugar, psyllium seed husk, oat bran
- Per ¾ cup: 210 calories – 37 grams carb – 10 grams fiber – 2 grams soluble fiber - <1 gram sugar
- Ingredients: Whole wheat kernels, flaxseed, salt, barley malt
Oatmeal – plain/old-fashioned
- ½ cup dry: 150 calories –27 grams carbs – 4 grams fiber – 2 grams soluble fiber – 1 gram sugar
- Per cup: 100 calories – 20 grams carb – 3 grams fiber – 1 gram soluble fiber – 1 gram sugar
- Ingredients include whole grain oats, corn starch, sugar, salt
Fiber One Cereal
- Per ½ cup: 60 calories – 25 grams carbs – 14 grams fiber – 1 gram soluble fiber – 0 sugar
- Ingredients include whole grain wheat, corn bran, modified wheat starch, cellulose, artificially sweetened with sucralose
Most cereals on regular store shelves are in the “hate it” category
Honey Bunches of Oats
- ¾ cup: 120 calories – 25 grams carb – 2 grams fiber – soluble fiber not specified – 6 grams sugar
- Ingredients include corn, whole grain wheat, sugar, oats, brown rice, rice, canola soil, corn syrup, barley syrup, honey, BHT preservative for freshness
Quaker Oatmeal Squares
- Per cup: 210 calories – 44 grams carb – 5 grams fiber – 2 grams soluble fiber – 9 grams sugar
- Ingredients include whole grain oat flour, whole wheat oat flour, brown sugar, sugar, maltodextrin, molasses, yellow 5, yellow 6
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