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Oats Are Officially Good For You

Those of us who enjoy our oatmeal every morning can feel even better about the decision now that the rib-sticking breakfast has been approved for a cholesterol- lowering health claim.

Health Canada recently formally confirmed it now has “no objection to the use of a health claim linking the consumption of oat fibre and the reduced risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.” The federal health ministry said the health claim may now be used for oat bran, rolled oats (that is, oatmeal) and whole oat flour as well as products made of those ingredients.

Health Canada said its assessment concludes the consumption of two to four daily servings of oat products that meet conditions specified in the assessment “can help reduce cholesterol if they are regularly consumed.”

PepsiCo Canada, which has owned the Quaker Oats brand since 2001, says it will have the new claim published on the packaging of 11 Quaker oat, oatmeal and cereal products in Canada in the new year.

Foods that carry the claim also have to meet other nutritional criteria, carrying at least certain minimum amounts of vitamins and minerals and staying below certain maximum levels of cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat, PepsiCo noted.

“A large body of evidence has demonstrated the effectiveness of oat fibre consumption in reducing blood cholesterol,” Dr. Randall Kaplan, director of nutrition science and regulatory affairs for Mississauga-based PepsiCo Canada, said in a release.

Beta-glucan, the soluble fibre in oats, helps reduce cholesterol, PepsiCo says, noting research has shown consuming three grams of soluble oat fibre per day “can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.”



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