January Is Oatmeal Month

— Written By Jeannie Leonard and last updated by Jill Cofer
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Oatmeal cookies on burlap

Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is not digested by body, but attracts water and becomes a gel-like substance that keeps food from going too fast through our digestive tract, which contributes to diarrhea, and keeps things moving through our intestines, thus helping reduce constipation. It is cholesterol free and also reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines, which is why food manufacturers claim it helps lower cholesterol levels. It is cholesterol free because it is a plant product; cholesterol is only found in animal products. Replacing a ham biscuit or a sausage patty with bowl of oatmeal prepared with water and added fruit pieces, nuts, raisins or brown sugar can help reduce our cholesterol intake. When we choose foods that are low in saturated fats and high in fiber, we can reduce our bad cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

Here is a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Think about choosing these one of these cookies or a bowl of bran cereal to help get your recommended 20-25 grams of fiber each day:

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies
3 cup oatmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups oatmeal and 2 cups whole wheat flour, whatever combination you want)
1 tsp soda
One fourth tsp. nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar (or less)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup raisins or dried apples or dried cranberries
Combine oatmeal, flour, baking soda & nutmeg. Mix up applesauce, sugar and vanilla and add them to the dry ingredients. Stir in the dried fruit.
Roll batter into small balls and smash to one-forth inch thickness on the cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
Makes about 50 cookies with only .3 grams of fat each.