Lately, I have been reading and listening to some nutrition/wellness bloggers/experts talk about the downsides of oatmeal. Imagine! Oatmeal? Has a downside? Their argument is usually based on the fact that oatmeal contains a lot of carbs and also because people gain weight eating oatmeal. Well, not so fast. Yes, oatmeal contains mostly carbs but it is also packed with loads of nutrients. And the other point of people gaining weight eating oatmeal? What are these folks adding to their oatmeal? Lets dive into this one and see for ourselves.
One thing i have heard about most cardiologists is that they enjoy oatmeal for breakfast. Why is that? What do you usually eat for breakfast? Is oatmeal included in your weekly meal plan? May suggest you add oatmeal to your weekly breakfast plan if you have not yet done so? I am suggesting this addition because oatmeal has tons of great benefits that improve general body metabolism.
Keep in mind there are different kinds of oatmeal.
*OAT GROATS have all the then full nutrition. Nothing has been processed at this time.
*STEEL CUT OATMEAL is from when oat groats are cut with steel blades to make them easier to cook.
*ROLLED OATS is from further processing and rolling the steel cut oat meal
*QUICK COOKING Oatmeal is what we get when we further breakdown the rolled oats.
The whole point here is that, the more you process the oats, the less nutrition it contains although at any stage, oatmeal still has a lot of nutrition in it.
What are the benefits of oatmeal? Why should you include oatmeal in your diet?
- Packed with nutrients. Raw oats contain mostly carbs. But this kind of carbs is not too bad. This is because within this type of carbohydrates, you have good starch and fiber which slows down the rate of digestion and improves the quality. Within the oats, you also have a relatively good amount of protein and fats. Oats have more protein than most other grains. Oats contain minerals like manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, iron and Vitamin B1.
2. Helps keep you full. Studies continue to show that, the fiber content of oats enables it to keep you full for a very long time. This is due to delayed emptying of the stomach and reduction of appetite.
3. Helps with weight loss Normally, if you can cut calories, control your appetite and sleep well, you can lose weight easily. Oatmeal offers all of these. Oatmeal is low in calories, controls your appetite because it contains so many important nutrients to feed your cell with quality raw material to function at your optimum. This means that, come bedtime, you are ready to rest well. This automatically means that, your body will eventually normalize your weight.
4. Reduce bad cholesterol One thing that stands out about oatmeal is its ability to affect and improve so many aspects of digestion and overall wellness. Oatmeal has a substance, a soluble fiber called beta glucan. This substance tends to bind or attach itself to bile acids. Since bile acids are made of cholesterol, when they are excreted, your cholesterol automatically reduces.
So clearly, if oatmeal has any downsides, the four points above just overshadowed them. Don’t you think so?
My suggestion? Enjoy your bowl of oatmeal. Be careful about adding too many extras to it. They may give a good thing a downside.
Certified Nutrition Coach (National Academy of Sports Medicine)