Finding it hard to take cholesterol-lowering medications? Take heart, now lowering cholesterol may be as easy as munching a muffin, researchers say. A scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia, has developed a “good heart” blueberry muffin, that could help lower cholesterol as well as the risk of heart disease. High cholesterol levels can limit blood flow, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The low-fat blueberry muffin contained three grams of beta glucans — a healthy soluble fibre — that occurs naturally in the cell walls of oats and cereals, and meets the food standard guidelines for cholesterol-lowering properties. Previous studies had demonstrated that beta glucan fibre in oats can slow absorption of fats to reduce blood cholesterol.
“There is good evidence that three grams or more of oats beta glucan consumption a day can help reduce cholesterol levels,” Nima Gunness, Food Sciences scientist and keen baker at the University of Queensland, said in a statement. “I wanted to turn my discovery into a product, like a muffin, that people could eat to help reduce the amount of cholesterol in their blood stream, lowering the risk of heart disease,” Gunness added. “We are not suggesting that people go off any cholesterol-lowering medication,” Gunness continued. “Rather, we are aiming to provide a convenient, healthy and very tasty way of helping to reduce cholesterol levels…eating a muffin a day is a convenient way for people to improve their heart health,” Gunness said.