Worrying about cholesterol is one of those telltale signs that you’re not young anymore. You spent your entire youth and young adulthood without a single thought about what your blood cholesterol is like and how the food you eat can affect it. And now you have to start looking at labels, counting calories, and checking trans-fat content.
Not to mention the blood tests. What if it reveals you have high cholesterol? That mean there are nasty plaques in your bloodstream, hindering blood flow and increasing your risk of life-threatening events such as heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol also means bidding farewell to one of our earthly pleasures (and one of the seven deadly sins)—gluttony.
Well, if you care for your health, you shouldn’t be overeating anyways. And as you’re embarking on a cholesterol-lowering diet, some of your favorites may be no longer on the menu for you. Breakfast eggs are no longer served with bacon. Mac and cheese is not a lunch option anymore. No cream for your coffee either. A gloomy prospect for someone who’s used to spoiling their taste buds with best of the best.
If you have high cholesterol, do not despair. It’s true, you may have to switch to lean meats only from now on, but there is some good news for you.
Or a muffin, to be precise.
You read it right. You can protect your heart and lower your cholesterol levels with a humble blueberry muffin!
Nima Gunnes, a scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia and an avid baker, has created a muffin that benefits your cardiovascular health. The secret behind this low-fat blueberry muffin is in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber found in the cell walls of oats and cereals. This fiber meets the food standard guidelines for cholesterol-reducing properties. Earlier research uncovered that beta glucans reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream by slowing the absorption of fats.
Gunnes’ muffin contains three grams of beta-glucan to keep your sweet tooth satisfied and your heart well cared for.
“There is good evidence that three grams or more of oats beta glucan consumption a day can help reduce cholesterol levels,” explained Gunnes.
The researcher aimed to package her discovery into a convenient form—like a muffin—that people could make at home and take care of their cholesterol while still enjoying a muffin.
Of course, the cholesterol-lowering muffin is in no way a substitute for cholesterol medication like statins. But it can be an excellent preventive measure, an effective treatment for people at risk for high cholesterol, and a delicious complement to a high cholesterol treatment plan.
“Eating as muffin a day is a convenient way for people to improve their heart health,” said Gunnes.