We all love cereal and have been led to believe that they’re a healthy breakfast option rich in essential nutrients for our health. However, the cereal we usually get at the market is full of artificial colors, additives, sugar and other compounds which can have negative effects on our health. Luckily, a nice bowl of oatmeal is a great alternative.
Oats are the perfect choice of food for breakfast – they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other healthy compounds which can boost the function of all your organs and keep your health in check. More importantly, a portion of oats has below 120 calories and contains 11% fiber, 66% carbs as well as only 6% fat. Oats also contain a bit of protein and starch.
Here’s how each nutrient affects your health:
The carbs found in oats are released into your bloodstream slower than carbs from other foods. Most of these carbs are starch, while the others are fiber different from the one found in other grains. The starches in oats can be divided into 3 groups – rapidly digested starches, slowly digested starches and resistant starches.
Like most grains, oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber (beta glucan). This type of fiber provides a variety of health benefits – it can reduce your cholesterol levels, regulate your blood sugar levels and stimulate the secretion of bile in the gut. Consuming fiber regularly will keep you satiated and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems as well.
The protein found in oats will feed your muscles and satiate you. Even better, the protein in oats is of high-quality and different to the protein you find in other foods.
Although oats do contain more fat than other types of grains, most of it are polyunsaturated fatty acids which are great for your heart.
When choosing oats, get steel-cut or rolled oats and stay away from instant oats. Don’t eat too much – a small bowl is enough to keep your full until your next big meal. Honey, seeds, fruit, coconut, nut butter and nuts are all great toppings for oats.
Although safe for pretty much everyone, you should avoid eating oatmeal or at least get gluten-free oats if you’re gluten intolerant or suffering from Celiac disease.