It’s Official. Oat Fibre Helps Reduce Cholesterol

Nov 22, 2010 | Corporate Member News

1/3 cup (30g) of Quaker® rolled oats supplies 40% of the daily amount of the fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol

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For more than a century, the Quaker brand has been heralding oatmeal’s wholesome goodness, and research has supported the link between the consumption of soluble fibres, such as oat fibre, and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels. Today Health Canada has formally recognized the benefits of oat fibre, like what is found in Quaker oats products, supporting the powerful claim that ‘oat fibre helps reduce cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.’

Today’s announcement by Health Canada comes at an important time for the health of Canadians. Approximately 10 million adult Canadians have cholesterol levels higher than the recommended targets determined by their doctor. Almost 40 per cent are classified as having high blood cholesterol levels, which can pose a major risk to heart health.1

Now, the Quaker brand is able to proudly communicate specific benefits of oat fibre, such as eating “1/3 cup (30g) of Quick Quaker Oats or Quaker Large Flake Oats supplies 40% of the daily amount of the fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol.”

“Canadians have been enjoying Quaker oats for decades as part of healthy eating, and the science supports this,” says Dr. Randall Kaplan, PhD, Director, Nutrition Science and Regulatory Affairs at PepsiCo Canada. “A large body of evidence has demonstrated the effectiveness of oat fibre consumption in reducing blood cholesterol. Health Canada’s announcement means that we can communicate something very tangible to Canadians – eating foods that contain oat fibre, such as oatmeal, helps reduce cholesterol.”

In fact, research has found that a diet high in whole grains, such as whole grain oats has been associated with reductions in risk for heart disease, and other heart benefits.2,3

Dr. David Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc, is a University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital. He says the Health Canada claim about oat fibre is an important step forward in the process of educating Canadians about functional foods that aid in lowering cholesterol.

“I’m pleased to hear that Health Canada has acknowledged the beneficial role oat fibre can play in heart health,” says Dr. Jenkins. “My research has focused on exploring the potential of diet to prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease. Diet remains a highly effective approach to cholesterol reduction and eating oat fibre is part of this strategy. Oat fibre is a major source of the viscous or sticky fibres which have been shown repeatedly in many studies to lower serum cholesterol. They have long been recognized by the USFDA as one of 4 groups of foods or food components which include plant sterols (also just recently approved by Health Canada for use in Canada), soy protein and nuts all of which in the US can carry a heart health claim. The recent recognition of the cholesterol lowering potential of oat fibre by Health Canada is therefore important. My hope is that all of these foods and food components will soon be officially recognized in Canada for their cholesterol lowering potential and allow Canadians to be informed which foods they can include as part of an effective cholesterol lowering dietary portfolio.” 

Canadian nutrition expert and Registered Dietitian Hélène Charlebois agrees. “Research studies continue to explain why consuming oat fibre regularly can benefit heart health, making oats especially important for those who are striving to improve their cholesterol levels,” Charlebois says. “My philosophy has always been a ‘food first’ approach. Our first stop to achieve nutritional health should be our kitchen, not a medicine cabinet, and that’s how I try to counsel my clients. Today’s Health Canada announcement lends further credibility to that important message.”

Oats provide two types of dietary fibre – soluble and insoluble. The soluble fibre, called oat fibre or beta-glucan, helps reduce cholesterol. Research has shown that consuming 3 grams of soluble oat fibre per day can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.

The new claim will start appearing on Quaker packaging in the new year. Foods that carry the claim must meet additional nutritional criteria, The criteria include minimum amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as maximum levels of cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.

The following Quaker products are eligible to carry Health Canada’s new oat fibre claim:

  • Large Flake Quaker Oats
  • Quick Quaker Oats
  • One Minute Quaker Oats
  • Quaker 100 % Whole Grain Oatmeal packets
  • Quaker Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Reduced Sugar Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Weight Control Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker High In Fibre Instant Oatmeal
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares™ Cereal
  • Quaker Oat Bran Hot Cereal
  • Quaker Oatmeal to Go® Oatmeal Bars

The opinions and recommendations expressed by Dr. David Jenkins are his own. His comments are for educational purposes only and do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation or favouring of any specific commercial product, process or service by Dr David Jenkins, St. Michael’s Hospital or the University of Toronto.

References Health Canada. Andon, MB, Anderson JW. The oatmeal-cholesterol connection: 10 years later AJLM. 2008;2:51-57)

About the Quaker brand in Canada

The Quaker brand provides the whole grain goodness of oats in a power-packed line of popular products from oatmeal to cereals and snack bars, including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quick Quaker Oats, Quaker Oatmeal Squares™ Cereal and Quaker Granola Bars. For more information, visit or the Quaker brand Facebook page at Quaker is one of PepsiCo Canada’s flagship brands. 

About PepsiCo Canada

PepsiCo Canada is organized into two business units.  PepsiCo Foods Canada includes the Frito Lay Canada and Quaker businesses. PepsiCo Beverages Canada includes the Pepsi, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.  For more information, please visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit

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