Healthy Living

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a compound of the sterol type, found in most body tissues, blood, bile and animal fats.

Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and are precursors of other steroid compounds, but a high proportion of cholesterol in the blood of low-density lipoprotein (which transports cholesterol to the tissues) is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (i.e. implicated in some cases of atherosclerosis: deposition of fatty material on artery inner walls).

Oats in your diet may be helpful in managing your LDL (‘Bad’) Cholesterol levels

Oats are generally a good source of soluble fibre that may help lower cholesterol re-absorption and oats tend to help control the release of sugar into the bloodstream (providing sustained energy, keeping you ‘fuller’ for longer, helping to restrain that urge to eat more calorie dense foods).


Harraways Oat-activ® has been designed to specifically help reduce blood cholesterol. See below some detail on how to use Oat-activ and the science of the ‘double action’ of the beta-glucan and plant sterols contained within the product that may see your cholesterol reading reduce.

Harraways Oat-activ


  • Harraways recommends taking 2 x 45g sachets a day of Oat-activ® - 1 for breakfast & 1 for a snack during the day.
  • New Zealand Food Standards advise a recommended daily intake of 3g of Beta Glucan, or 2g of plant sterols to reduce cholesterol.
  • LDL cholesterol is lowered by a ‘double-action’ of beta glucan in oats with added plant sterols – totally naturally occurring elements.
  • Oat-activ® targets LDL (‘Bad’) cholesterol reduction via a ‘double-action’ of the beta glucan contained in the oats with added plant sterols. Both elements are naturally occurring. It is really easy to achieve your 2 sachets a day.
    • Breakfast serve = serve up a tasty porridge, whip up a tasty smoothie, or create a delicious Bircher muesli from each sachet?
    • The other serve = perhaps some tasty raw snacking balls, or oat slices?

All Oat-activ ® recipes are featured either on pack, or on this website.



What is it?

  • Beta glucan is a soluble form of fibre.
  • Oats are a good source of beta glucan.
  • Other beta glucan food sources include barley & mushrooms (maitake, reishi, and shiitake).

How does it assist the lowering of bad cholesterol from the body?

  • The beta glucan dissolves inside the digestive tract where it forms a thick gel – a bit like wallpaper paste.
  • This gel is able to bind to excess low density level (LDL/’Bad’) cholesterol within the gut, as well as blocking the re-absorption of bile acids.
  • This mixture of LDL cholesterol and bile acids are then excreted from the body as stool.
  • When the bile acids are excreted from the body (not being re-absorbed), the liver is forced to use up its stores of endogenous cholesterol to make new bile acids.
  • Cholesterol is therefore reduced as a result.
Harraways Cholesterol Medical Diagram
  1. Beta Glucan binds to bile acid produced from cholesterol in the liver and removes it from the body.
  2. Beta Glucan binds to cholesterol from food and reduces absorption into the body.


What are they?

  • Plant sterols (or phytosterols) are substances naturally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Harraways sources a highly effective phytosterol from Europe, extracted from plants to use in its Oat-activ® range.
  • It comes to Harraways in the form of a dry powder which is mixed in with the oats.

How do they assist to lower bad cholesterol from the body?

  • In digestion, phytosterols actually look a lot like LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol in terms of their chemical structure (i.e. fat-like with a waxy texture).
  • They work by preventing the body from absorbing the LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol in the intestines.
  • This LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol is in turn excreted out of the body rather than being absorbed.
  • As a result blood levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol are lowered.
  • Some worldwide studies have shown that phytosterols can lower LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 6% and perhaps as much as 14% in as little as four weeks.

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