Nutritionists: Oatmeal isn't the only 'right thing to do'
Other foods just as fiber-laden
March 6, 1997
Web posted at: 6:00 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen
ATLANTA (CNN) -- When studies showed that oat bran could
lower cholesterol, sales of oats soared. The government even
announced recently that oatmeal makers could put special
health claims on their labels. The question now: How much
oatmeal does one have to eat to do the heart some good?
Nutritionists don't doubt that oatmeal is healthy. Oats lower
cholesterol because they are high in soluble fiber. But so do
lot of other foods, like grapefruit, prunes, kidney beans and
"There are other good substitutes that can carry the load for
oatmeal. It's not the only thing," Dr. Virgil Brown of Emory
University School of Medicine said.
One doctor at Harvard University Medical School, Harvey
Simon, even wrote in a recent book that people can fight
atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, "by adding soluble
fiber to your diet even if you never touch an oat."
And now that the Food and Drug Administration has approved
healthy claims on boxes of oatmeal, Quaker Oats has sent Mary
Donkersloot, a registered dietitian, on a national
"The amount of oatmeal you have to eat is a good-sized bowl,"
she said. "It's a cup-and-a-half of cooked oatmeal."
Or someone can opt for oat in other ways, like a low-fat
Meanwhile, if you don't want to eat a bowl of oatmeal
every day but still consume soluble fiber, nutritionists urge
people to remember the other healthy foods. The FDA also has
encouraged manufacturers of similar food to apply to make the
same claim on their labels.
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