Do You Know These Three Benefits of Oatmeal?
No food is perfect on its own, but oatmeal might come pretty close. “Oatmeal is a versatile whole grain that contains heart- and gut-healthy soluble fiber and protein,” says Samantha Thoms, RDN, MPH, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Vancouver. “Regular oatmeal consumption can help support healthy cholesterol levels, promote regularity, and provide a satisfying and tasty breakfast that keeps you full until lunchtime.”
Oatmeal Nutrition Facts
Oatmeal is a whole grain and complex (“good”) carb that is rich in beta glucan, a soluble fiber associated with healthy cholesterol levels.
• 166 calories
• 6 grams of protein
• 4 grams of total fat
• 4 grams of fiber
Oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin.
Is It Good to Eat Oatmeal Every Day?
“Absolutely,” says Thoms. “If you like oatmeal enough to eat it every day, there are no downsides.”
And there’s no need to limit it to your breakfast bowl. You can beef up baked goods with oatmeal or use it as a base for protein bites. “To make oatmeal more interesting, vary the toppings and the ways you prepare it,” says Thoms. “For example, add dry oatmeal to a smoothie — make sure to add the dry oats first and blend into a powder before adding other ingredients — or make homemade granola.”
Is Oatmeal Good For Losing Weight?
Yes, particularly because its high fiber content makes it satiating. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who ate instant oatmeal for breakfast felt fuller, less hungry, and actually consumed fewer calories for the rest of the day, than people who ate a ready-to-eat oat-based cereal.
“Eating high-fiber meals can help people feel fuller for longer between meals,” says Thoms. “This may help people maintain a healthier body weight over time. Include plenty of high-fiber foods with each meal, and you’ll get all of the health benefits that come with having a fiber-rich diet, regardless of the number on the scale.”
Other Health Benefits of Oatmeal
1. Oatmeal May Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels
According to the American Heart Association, regularly consuming whole grains such as oatmeal can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
2. Oatmeal May Promote Better Blood Pressure Control
Oatmeal contains powerful plant antioxidants called avenathramides, which work as a vasodilator opening blood vessels wider, so blood can flow more easily, contributing to healthy blood pressure levels.
3. Oatmeal May Help Keep Blood Sugar Stable
Oatmeal is a whole grain so it digests slowly and the beta-glucan fiber forms a gel in the small intestine, which slows the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream.
8 Tips to Enjoy Oatmeal
“Oatmeal is a very nutritious and versatile grain,” says Thoms. “Take your oatmeal to the next level by cooking it with the milk of your choice instead of water.”
Some other good additions to oatmeal include:
1. Nuts like almonds and walnuts. A handful of nuts can add a satisfying crunch to oatmeal, along with belly-filling fiber and healthy fats. Sprinkle them in a bowl of oats, or include them in a quick-and-easy batch of healthy muffins, like these Baked Oatmeal Cups With Raisins and Walnuts.
2. Chia or hemp seeds. Like nuts, seeds are rich in healthy fats that can keep you fuller longer, and may benefit cardiovascular health. Try this Banana Coconut Oatmeal recipe with hemp seeds and almond milk.
3. Cinnamon. To add sweetness with a fraction of the calories of sugar, cinnamon is an excellent oatmeal topping that may have heart health and blood sugar control benefits.
4. Fruit. Berries — such as blueberries, raspberries or strawberries — add sweetness with minimal calories, plus additional fiber. Other good options include sliced bananas or apples.
5. Nut butter. Stirring a spoonful of your favorite almond, peanut or cashew butter into oatmeal is a heart-healthy way to make your meal more savory and satiating.
6. Proats. By adding a scoop of protein powder, fruit such as berries or bananas, and a source of healthy fats like almonds or walnuts, “proats” (for protein oats) can be a filling evening meal or a revitalizing post-workout snack that set you on the path to muscle recovery.
7. Savory oatmeal. It’s worth repeating — oatmeal can work for dinner. You can add cheese, eggs and peppers for a variation on an omelette; combine oatmeal with salsa, corn and beans for a spin on a Mexican casserole; or go green with sautéed kale, sliced avocado, a sprinkle of cheese and your favorite hot sauce or seasoning.
8. Overnight oats. One of the most Instagramm-able nutrition trends of recent years, overnight oats are a great way to meal prep for breakfast — made ahead of time in glasses or mason jars, overnight oats combine oatmeal with milk and creative combinations of fruits, nuts and other ingredients, steeping in the refrigerator overnight or longer to create rich flavor blends that taste like a treat but are seriously healthy.