A Feel for Oatmeal

Oatmeal with bananaIt’s no question that large companies have made cold-cereals a staple part of morning breakfast. Many products on the market today are loaded with simple carbohydrates and tons of sugar that spike your blood sugar. It’s not very long before you start to feel hungry again. Fortunately, hot cereals like oatmeal are a great alternative and can provide many nutritional benefits to the start of your day.


In honor of National Oatmeal Day this October 29th, I want to share more information on this wholesome and satisfying meal.


Fight Bad Fat


Oatmeal is a whole grain. The USDA recommends making at least half of your grain intake, whole grains. These are important because they provide more vitamins, minerals and fiber than refined grains that are stripped of their nutrients. Whole grains, like oatmeal, contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in the water within your gut to create a gel-like substance. This gel has been shown to have an effect in reducing cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood.


Blood Pressure Refresher


A study from the Journal of Family Practice researched the effects that high-fiber oatmeal had on blood pressure compared to the average low-fiber American diet. The subjects all had hypertension (blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg). After 6 weeks, the oatmeal group had a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group. The conclusion of this study revealed that a diet high in soluble fiber also played a role in the prevention and/or treatment of hypertension.


Abate Your Weight


As mentioned before, oatmeal is higher in both fiber and lower in sugar than most ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. The viscosity and hydration qualities that beta-glucans provide in oatmeal also have an effect on your hunger. Eating oatmeal will cause an increase in perceptions of fullness and decreased hunger for longer periods of time because beta-glucans are a satiating form of fiber. Eating oatmeal during the day will prolong the period in between meals and help instill good eating habits which may encourage weight loss.


Tasty Tips


If plain oatmeal seems a bit dull, there are ways you can make this ideal breakfast choice tastier and healthier. I suggest cooking the oatmeal with milk instead of water because milk provides a creamier consistency and an ample amount of calcium that can improve bone mineralization. You can also add antioxidant-rich fruits like berries that will add a refreshing touch and many vitamins to your breakfast. Or go ahead and sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal- cinnamon is a sweet spice that won’t add calories but may have potential benefits on your health.


Note: It’s important to check the ingredient label before choosing your oatmeal. Instant packets usually contain added sodium.


Your Turn to Take Action: Celebrate Oatmeal Day by swapping out your cold cereal or morning muffin for some oatmeal.


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