Oatmeal water is the warm water left in a pot on the stovetop after you boil oats for just a few minutes and then drain them thoroughly. You can drink or sip the water as is, or you can choose to reserve it for later and use it to cook rice, boil beans or add to soups.
Oatmeal Water vs. Oats
According to the Mayo Clinic, the soluble fiber present in oatmeal does lower levels of LDL cholesterol. However, the same is not true for oatmeal water. It is possible for some vitamins, minerals and nutrients present in rolled oats to leach into the water while they’re cooking, but the resulting amounts are not likely to be large enough to provide any significant health benefits. However, eating watery oatmeal will help. According to an April 1992 study from the Chemical Center in Lund, Sweden, eating freeze-dried oatmeal soup lowered cholesterol more effectively in rats than a commercial product did.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute states that increasing the amount of soluble fiber in your diet can effectively lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber is somewhat spongy, which explains why rolled oats break down after several minutes of boiling and take on a gluey, gooey texture. Since the fiber is present in the actual oats and not in the water, however, oatmeal water will not lower LDL cholesterol levels.
There are many healthy, nutritious foods that are high in soluble fiber and can work to lower blood cholesterol levels as effectively as oatmeal can. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute lists apples and kidney beans as two specific alternatives, but any type of bean or legume and many whole grains are also rich in fiber. The Mayo Clinic also suggests oily fish, pears, barley, prunes, nuts and olive oil.
If you have high cholesterol, eating oatmeal or other foods that contain oats may help lower your cholesterol level, but oatmeal water will not help. Speak with your physician or a health-care professional for detailed and personalized dietary recommendations.
Even if oatmeal water won’t work, you can take measures other than choosing fiber-rich foods to lower your cholesterol. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recommend participating in regular exercise, limiting the amounts of saturated fat you eat and focusing your diet on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and nonfat or low-fat dairy products.