A cup of oat bran contains about 231 calories, 6 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein and 14 grams of dietary fiber. Without the bran, the calorie content of a cup of oats is slightly more than 400 calories. Oats have been regarded as a health food primarily for its ability to lower cholesterol levels and aid in losing excess weight.
Among the healthy nutrients that are present in oat bran include protein, dietary fiber, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and selenium. The dietary fiber that is contained in oat bran, as well as in oats and oatmeal is called beta glucan, which studies show to be very effective in lowering cholesterol levels. These studies show that eating just 3 grams of dietary fiber in oats daily can reduce cholesterol levels to as much as 23 percent.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition also showed that dietary fiber in oats contain an antioxidant called avenanthramides. The study found that these antioxidants also contributes to preventing the onset of heart disease. Another study published in October 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Medicine shows that the cholesterol lowering abilities of beta glucan is positively selective in that it effectively lowers the unhealthy low density lipoprotein levels, while leaving the healthy high density lipoproteins alone.