Whole Grains for Heart Health!

Whole Grains for Heart Health!

In the 1970s, the pop-rock duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates (Whole Oats was their original name) became one of best-selling music groups of all time. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014, they still tour today. Clearly, Oates and his partner are able to keep their career’s RealAge forever young!

You can keep your RealAge as young as theirs, if you haul in oats—plus barley, rye and whole wheat—as your dietary partners. That’s because eating 100 percent steel-cut oats (a good-for-your-heart whole grain), barley (half the calories of oats, more fiber and twice the protein), rye (boosts weight loss by making you feel full longer) and 100 percent whole wheat helps keep your LDL cholesterol at a healthy level, your arteries clear of plaque and your bones strong.

How do oats and barley work their magic? Some say because they’re pre-biotics, they provide nourishment for your health-promoting gut bacteria. Others suggest they help you excrete bile salts and cholesterol esters. And barley in particular has been cited as a great source of fiber, good for clearing out lousy LDL cholesterol—especially important if you have diabetes, which increases your risk for cardiovascular problems.

No matter what’s at work, these whole grains are great as unadulterated side dishes and in certain breads, flat breads, cereals and noodles (read the labels). Dish ‘em up daily. Then you’ll sing, “I CAN go for that—food I love that loves me back!”

Medically reviewed in June 2018.

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