In theory, those interested in a healthy heart and/or first class abs should restrict their intake of saturated fat. In practice, however, fat happens. When it does, a new study suggests that a chaser of oats or vitamin E can reduce the damage done to your arteries by the occasional doughnut or double-cheese pizza.
Researchers at Yale University gave 50 healthy nonsmokers fat-laden milk-shakes made of ice cream, cream of coconut, and eggs, followed by either oat or wheat cereal, or 800 IU of vitamin E. Those given the wheat cereal had a13 percent reduction in their blood flow, but there was no artery constriction among the volunteers given the oat-meal or the vitamin E.
The soluble fiber in oat meal, also contained in apples, dried beans and other foods, has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol; the new study suggests that it may slow the absorption of fat in the bloodstream. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces cell damage caused by free radicals; it has long been thought to help protect heart health.
The study, funded by Quaker Oats, was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.