Remember
the oat bran craze? In the late 1980s, several published studies
touting the benefits of oat bran for lowering cholesterol had health
professionals singing its praises.

Food
companies introduced oats galore…oat bran garlic bread, oat bran
muffins, oat bran animal cookies, oat bran brownies, etc, etc

10 years later research has actually shown that oats claim to fame actually holds merit.

Regular oatmeal consumption lowers total cholesterol as well as “bad” — LDL — cholesterol, with no adverse effects on the “good”
— HDL cholesterol. It also has the potential to reduce inflammation,
one of the first steps in the development of atherosclerosis.


Most studies point to beta-glucan
— the soluble fiber in oat bran that gives cooked oats their gluey
texture — as the likely active agent in cholesterol reduction. Part of
the mechanism has to do with bile, a cholesterol-rich fluid that helps
the body digest fats..

Whole oats also contain polyphenols,
a class of antioxidant compounds found in all kinds of plant foods
(including berries, tea, wine and chocolate) that may play an
additional role in keeping the heart healthy. Avenanthramides, polyphenols
unique to oats, have been shown — at least in a cell culture dish —
to interfere with inflammation, a key step in the development of
arterial plaque.

Weight loss lowers cholesterol too — but oats plus weight loss seem to do it even better.

If you want to add oats to your diet, basic breakfast oatmeal is the best way to start — you can choose from various types:

Steel-cut
oats (chopped whole oat groats with only the tough outer husk removed)
are 100% whole grain, as are old-fashioned rolled oats in which the
groats have been steamed, rolled and flaked.

Quick
oats (thinner flakes that cook in only a minute or two) are 100% whole
grain, too. And even though instant oatmeal doesn’t qualify for the
100% whole grain moniker because it typically has salt and flavoring
added, it can still provide nearly the same amount of healthful soluble
fiber.

If
you still prefer oat bran, consider adding it to your whole grain oat
cereal in the morning, since science tells us bran is only part of the
oat story. As with all other plant foods, the complex mixture in the whole food offers much more than its individual parts.

Submitted by Sherri Meyer, MS, RD

Adapted from: Susan Bowerman, RD & assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

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Testimonials

Testimonials

The food is just incredible! I really mean it...I hope you know that I am not just saying this. It's so colorful, fresh, and delicious...so special every day!"

Faculty Member 

Just a note to say thank you for all of the delicious food you and your staff serve each day. I never knew kale could taste so good!

Administrator 

Outstanding food, outstanding service, outstanding people. I brag about MG to my peers at other schools, and even to my friends and family!

Administrator 

Thank you so much for all the gluten-free options this year! All of your staff have been so helpful. They make a point to come up to me at meals and let me know what options you have for that meal. Salads are great, but sometimes a warm meal is just what you need!

Faculty Member 

Thanks for all of the good work you and your team did to ensure that last night’s welcome gathering for new faculty went off without a hitch. I’m so grateful for Team MG working so hard to make sure things are done the right way.

Head of School 

It’s an understatement to say we were surprised by the excellent quality of the food. We could not recall having a better tuna dish, even at the four-star resturants we frequent in Raleigh. Duke Integrative is a special place.

Guest 

Many times I find a favorite thing out of the many items served during lunch, and although the featured spinach and fruit salad was visually stunning; the SHOUT OUT winner of the day hands down was the very delicious unassuming Vegetarian Pinto Beans!!! The onions were glistening and the peppers served as a complimentary color to the two different shades of beans...I have one regret and that is I didn’t think to take a picture!

Administrator 

Thank you for making pimento cheese today! It not only is divine, but also hit the spot. I now regret wasting 62.5 years of life on this planet in which I did not eat this heavenly mix. As I explore different recipes in my home kitchen I will try my best to live up to the standard demonstrated by what I had today.

Faculty Member 

Everything was wonderful...as usual! The food was scrumptious...and the weather was gorgeous!

Conference Client 

I would not change a thing! Your staff was not only professional, but warm and caring. They truly set the tone for a memorable night. The food was delicious...our family and friends left with hearts and bellies full!

Catering Client 

I just wanted to thank you so much for all the delicious food at Duke. Your food was such a happy and positive experience and it made the days there so much more enjoyable to eat healthy, but tasty, great food.

Client 

Thanks for the delicious soup and the new harvest salad - and thanks for removing half the calories out of the Farm Basket brownie...haha.

Resident 

THANK YOU for your help today with the open house! Our visiting families raved about the personalized environment. We had a student tell us that Guilford went from his 3rd to 1st choice!

Administrator 

Thank you for all of your hard work on the meals and breaks for the Alumnae Board. The food was outstanding; everyone raved about each meal. Favorites included the grits on Saturday morning and the butternut squash soup on Sunday. YUM!!!

Administrator 

The amazing characteristic is that, on a day by day basis, you give us nutritious, varied, interesting, delicious food...not just something special for company. Please know how much you are appreciated and loved by this community.

Conference Administrator