Nutritious, Low Fat, and Easy to Vary: Oatmeal
If you are trying to build healthy eating habits, consider experimenting with oatmeal.
Whether you eat it plain or doctor it up, enjoying a bowl of oatmeal is a nutritious, low-fat and filling way to start any day. You can make it every morning and not eat the same bowl of cereal twice in a month – by getting creative with toppings and cooking methods.
11 Healthy Reasons to Eat Oatmeal
- Beta-glucan, the fiber type specific to oats, enhances our immune system by helping neutrophils (non-specific immune cells) reach infection sites quickly, boosting their ability to fight bacteria.
- Research indicates that consuming oatmeal increases the body’s release of a hormone (Pepetide Y-Y) associated with appetite control.
- Eating one and a half cups of oatmeal provides the body with 6 grams of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber reduces the cholesterol absorbed into the blood stream so it lowers cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol.
- Oatmeal is an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum.
- Oatmeal is a very good source of tryptophan, and phosphorus.
- Oatmeal is a good source of copper, biotin, vitamin B1, magnesium, fiber, chromium, zinc, and protein.
- Oatmeal contains antioxidant compounds called avenanthramides that support heart health by blocking free radicals damaging to LDL cholesterol.
- Oatmeal stabilizes blood sugar and can help people who have type 2 diabetes manage their glucose levels. This cereal is also a great source of magnesium, a mineral essential for the body’s proper use of glucose and the secretion of insulin.
- The fiber in oatmeal helps our body eliminate waste without the use of laxatives.
- Eating oatmeal helps lower blood pressure.
- Most people on gluten free diets can eat oatmeal and benefit from its high nutritional values.
Enjoy your oatmeal with a bit of raw honey or agave nectar stirred in. Top the cereal with fresh or dried fruit, a sprinkle of granola, nuts, or chia seeds. Try cooking the oatmeal with low fat milk, almond, or rice milk instead of water, and dust the oatmeal with cinnamon. Crumble a bit of dark chocolate over the top. Drizzle with maple syrup and stir in a crumbled sausage. Top it with applesauce or a bit of blackberry jam.
Note: Instant oatmeal is processed to cook quickly, so it has a higher glycemic index than other oatmeals. This means it breaks down in the body more easily and raises blood sugar levels higher than quick, old fashioned or steel-cut oats. Instant oatmeal has nutritional value, but read the label for added fats, sugars and artificial flavorings.
January is National Oatmeal Month.