Oatmeal is good for

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7 Reasons You Should Eat Oatmeal Every Day

Have you ever had what I call a Ratatouille moment? You may have had one without realizing it, so let me explain what it is.

In the Pixar film about a rat who dreams of becoming a chef, a food critic sits down at a restaurant table and tastes a dish of ratatouille, a combination of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a blend of seasonings and spices. As soon as his fork hits his lips, he’s immediately transported back to childhood. In his mind, he’s sitting at his mother’s table, filling himself with this comforting dish laced with bursting flavors and, of course, love.

For me, oatmeal brings a Ratatouille moment. When I was a young child, my dad worked a very early shift. He used to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning and welcome me to the table with a steamy bowl of oatmeal. I never knew or cared about what time it was, I only knew that it was dark outside and that I was going to be surrounded by a dish of warmth. To this day, when I’m stressed or I’m just in the mood for a hug from my plate, I know I can count on the comfort of this guilt-free food that somehow feels indulgent.

7 Reasons Why Oatmeal Is a Breakfast With Benefits

If you’re not eating oatmeal every day, here’s why you oat to.

1. Oats Can Lower Cholesterol, Stabilize Blood Sugar, and Help You ‘Go’

Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a viscous gel that helps to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose levels. The insoluble fiber in oats helps provide a “moving” experience by curtailing constipation and improving intestinal health.

2. Oats May Protect Your Heart and Your Colon

A variety of antioxidants known as avenanthramides are found exclusively in oats. Avenanthramides have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itching activity, and may provide additional protection against coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and skin irritation. They also may play a role in controlling blood pressure.

3. Oats Make an Easy, Balanced Breakfast

One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 150 calories, four grams of fiber (about half soluble and half insoluble), and six grams of protein. To boost protein further, my favorite way to eat oatmeal is with a swirl of almond butter nestled within. This powerful combo will keep you away from that midmorning visit to the vending machine.

4. Oats Provide Important Vitamins and Minerals

Nutrient-rich oatmeal contains thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

5. Oats Are Gluten-Free

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but check with manufacturers to ensure that their products are not made using the same equipment as other potentially contaminating grains. (Always purchase gluten-free products from reputable companies and read food labels carefully.)

6. Oats May Help You Control Your Weight

Oats can keep you feeling fuller longer, thereby helping you control your weight. Sadly, carbs are often shunned and feared by those looking to drop a few pounds, but whole grains can squash hunger and simultaneously provide that pleasant “ahhhh” feeling carb-lovers crave. As with any other food, be mindful of portion sizes.

7. Oats Can Be Savory, Too

Although oats are usually paired with sweet foods like brown sugar and cinnamon or fruit, oats also make a perfect savory side dish. Oats provide a texture similar to buckwheat, and their bland taste is like a blank canvas for a variety of seasonings and spices. You can combine oatmeal with your favorite veggies or last night’s leftovers, and top with an egg or a sprinkle of cheese to enjoy breakfast for dinner.

Foods that bring back comforting memories are precious and should be savored slowly. But proceed with caution when it comes to what I call “Ratatouille impersonators” — foods that remind you of a past experience but taste nothing like the original. For example, instant flavored oatmeal may conjure up Mom or Dad’s homemade dish, but in reality, it may have more than 10 grams of sugar as compared with 1 gram. Make sure your oatmeal is healthful by choosing brands with little to no added sugar, and add your own toppings for flavor. To stay on the safe side, look for brands that list only oats on their ingredient list.

5 Oatmeal Mistakes Making You Fat

Oatmeal is one of the best breakfast options available. Whether you make it in the microwave or opt for creative overnight oats recipes, this hearty whole grain cereal can fill you up and help you slim down. But only if you make it properly.

That’s right; as healthy as oatmeal can be, there are still common mistakes that can make you pack on the pounds. From overdoing it with the maple syrup to eating it plain, oatmeal can quickly go from a slimming breakfast to a blood sugar-spiking, fattening disaster—which could make it one of the worst breakfast habits for your waistline. Here’s what to avoid the next time you mix up a bowl for breakfast.

1

You’re Eating it Plain

On its own, oatmeal is relatively low-calorie, high in fiber, and high in protein. A serving of ½ cup dry oatmeal made with water sets you back 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. But even though it’s made with whole grain oats, oatmeal is pretty carb-heavy. To maximize satiety and prevent spikes in blood sugar, add a little more fat and protein to your oatmeal. Stirring in one tablespoon of nut butter not only makes it creamy and delicious, but it will also add about 4 more grams of protein and 8 more grams of fat. Tossing in some chia seeds and/or almond slivers will also do the trick.

2

You’re Eating Prepackaged Flavored Oatmeal

You may think you’re saving time by buying conveniently prepackaged oatmeal, but even healthy-sounding varieties can be teeming with extra chemicals and sugar. Some instant oatmeal packets contain as much as 14 grams of sugar and questionable ingredients like inflammatory vegetable oil and artificial dyes. You’re better off buying plain, unflavored oats and adding your own toppings. Plus, it will save you money in the long run.

3

You’re Adding Too Much Sugar

Starbucks’ Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal is a great breakfast option, especially when you’re on the go—but only if you just add the mixed nuts. Tossing in the brown sugar packet that comes with it adds in an additional 12 grams of sugar and 50 calories. This goes for when you enjoy it at home; adding in brown sugar, maple syrup, or table sugar can quickly up the carb count and spike your blood sugar. If you’re craving sweetness in your oatmeal, opt for fresh fruit and cinnamon instead. A handful of blueberries or chopped apple slices will add a little natural sugar with some essential filling fiber to keep you full until lunchtime.

4

You Add Dried Fruit

Although we’re all about adding your own toppings to oatmeal rather than buying a prepackaged variety, dried fruit packs a ton of extra sugar without the necessary fiber of fresh fruit. Tossing in just ¼ of a cup of Ocean Spray Craisins will tack on a whopping 29 grams of sugar and 33 grams of carbs. Compare that to fresh cranberries, which are only 46 calories and 4 grams of sugar for a whole cup.

5

You’re Not Adding Protein

Oatmeal itself contains protein, but only about 5 grams. Compared to its nearly 30 grams of carbs, you should make sure you’re getting in extra protein, especially in the morning to help maximize satiety and stabilize blood sugar. Pair your protein with a couple slices of lean bacon, mix in some egg whites while it’s hot (seriously! It’s delicious!), or stir in a spoonful of nut butter. You’ll squash those mid-morning snack cravings and stay full until lunch.

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Oatmeal diet for weight loss: Is the 7-day low-calorie meal plan safe for you? Tips to burn body fat fast

Oatmeal diet can help you lose weight&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspThinkstock

New Delhi: Oatmeal, made from dry oats, is a favourite breakfast for many people, especially those trying to shed a few kilos to slim down. Packed with healthy carbs and fibre, oats are a whole grain food that is claimed to offer many health benefits. Studies have shown that oats and oatmeal can help people lose weight, lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In fact, supporters of the oatmeal diet plan claim that the popular diet can help people lose up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg)in just one week.

Oats are whole grains and can be part of a healthy diet. They can be made more palatable and nutritious by adding healthy fruits and veggies. But, if you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your weight loss journey, the oatmeal diet might be the perfect eating plan to help you get a flat tummy within a short span of time. But, what exactly is the oatmeal diet? Is it healthy, will it really help you reach your weight loss goals? Read on to find out what the oatmeal diet is and whether or not you should try it for yourself. Read – Lemon and ginger tea for weight loss: Lose belly fat with this amazing detox drink in 1 week

What is the oatmeal diet and how does it help with weight loss?

As the name suggests, the oatmeal diet is a weight loss programme that involves replacing your daily meals with oatmeal, which is high in fibre but low in calories. Basically, the oatmeal diet plan is separated into three phases, with the first phase being the most restrictive.

In phase 1, dieters only eat oatmeal for all three meals each day for the first week. They can only eat whole oats and not instant oatmeal. Some people include fruit in this phase.

In phase 2, dieters eat oatmeal for three meals a day and add one-half cup of fruit or raw vegetables to each meal. They can also eat instant oatmeal in this phase.

In phase 3, dieters can resume a regular, healthful diet, but stick to one meal of oatmeal each day. They can also add fruits, nuts, and natural flavourings to the oatmeal to enhance its flavour, but should limit fat intake while on this phase of the diet. Read – Cucumber water weight loss drink: Replace sugary drinks with THIS to burn belly fat and cleanse your system

The recommended serving size for oatmeal is ½ cup. Apart from some fruit and veggies, the diet does allow you to add or have a small amount of skim milk as well as low-fat yogurt on the side. You can also flavour your oatmeal with some spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla extract, etc. Advocates of the oatmeal diet claim that the diet has the potential to deliver serious results, while also providing nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins and calories a person needs to maintain energy while losing weight. Dieters claimed losing up to 5 pounds in the first week. Besides helping you lose weight, oatmeal can also help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and aid in digestion.

Tips for optimal weight loss on the oatmeal diet

  • For optimal fitness results, follow the diet as outlined or instructed by your dietician.
  • Know the right way to prepare and at oatmeal.
  • Do not go over the recommended calories or cheat on the diet.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid alcohol or other empty calories.
  • Stick to your fitness regime.
  • Get adequate sleep each night.

Read – Weight loss: Cycling vs Walking – which is more effective to reduce belly fat and burn calories?

Risks of the oatmeal diet

While oats and oatmeal are very filling and may help you lose weight, it is a very restrictive eating plan and does not provide the nutrients that a person needs on a daily basis. The oatmeal diet is a very low-calorie diet that may not be safe for everyone to maintain a healthy diet.

Like any other fad diets, the oatmeal diet can be dangerously restrictive, mainly because it focuses on a single type of food – oatmeal. Moreover, the tedium of eating oatmeal for one or more meals each day can make it hard for people to stick to the eating plan, which is again another hurdle when it comes to losing weight. Hence, the diet is not recommended for long-term weight loss. Read – Reverse fasting best diet for weight loss? 5 meal-timing tips for burning belly fat effectively

The bottom line

Oats and oatmeal are a healthy diet staple for many good reasons. They can be a part of a healthy diet and can be an effective way to shed the pounds if done properly. But it is not healthful as a sole source of nutrients. For instance, oatmeal can be an ideal option for breakfast that is not only delicious but can help you lose weight by keeping you full for longer. Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a variety of fresh and whole foods combined with regular physical activity will help you lose weight and keep it off forever, helping you live a healthier, fitter life.

Disclaimer: All content, including tips and suggestions, is purely for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

9 Amazing Benefits Of Oats: Does A Bowl Of Oatmeal A Day, Keep Diseases At Bay?

There isn’t a single morning when my grandmother doesn’t start her day without a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oats doused in milk. It always made me look at her quizzically and wonder… Why oats? Yes, it’s healthy, but can one really have it every single day? Nutritionist Gargi Sharma says, “Oats are rich in soluble fibers which help in lowering cholesterol levels. These soluble fibers help increase intestinal transit time and reduce glucose absorption. Oats also contain beta glucan which is a lipid lowering agent. A very healthy breakfast option – you can spruce your oats with fruits and crunchy nuts.” Be it a quick fix for hunger pangs, a light and hearty evening snack or the much needed energy to carry you through your hectic morning, oats is the one superfood that can easily fit itself to suit your needs. Protein-packed, full of fiber and low on fat, oats are designed to boost your energy levels and help you lead a healthy lifestyle. They are not only good for the stomach but are interestingly super filling, satisfying and versatile. Oats contain a wide range of nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, etc. which make them top the healthy food charts. We tell you benefits of oats.

Here is a list of 9 benefits of oats:

1. Prevents cardiovascular disease: “The antioxidants present in oats are beneficial for heart disease and the dietary fibers help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the good cholesterol (HDL)”, says Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja. Oats also contain plant lignans, especially enterolactone, which protect against heart disease. Thus, oats help reduce your cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. He adds, “It is a key food item that has proven to be good for the heart”.

benefits of oats: The antioxidants present in oats are beneficial for heart disease

2. Prevents Constipation: Oats are a rich source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which helps in regulating bowel movements and hence prevents constipation. Including oats in your daily diet can keep the issue of constipation at bay. Savour them as part of your breakfast meal.

3. Controls Blood Sugar Levels: Since oats help stabilise blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, diabetics should consume oats regularly. The high fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars, and beta-glucan delays the fall in blood sugar levels before meals and slows the rise after a meal.
(Also Read: Does Eating Oats for Breakfast Really Help You Lose Weight?)
4. Reduces Cancer Risk: Lignan, the same compound which helps prevent cardiovascular disease also “helps reduce chances of hormone-related cancers like breast, prostate and ovarian cancer”, according to the American Cancer Society. Therefore, eating oats is good for both men and women.

benefits of oats: Lignan, the same compound which helps prevent cardiovascular disease

5. Reduces Hypertension: If you suffer from high blood pressure, a daily dose of oats will help combat this problem and in turn, lower risk of hypertension. You can savour this healthful delight in the form of breakfast or during lunch time as well.
6. Rich Source Of Magnesium: Oats are also a rich source of magnesium, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels, aiding the heart muscle, and regulating blood pressure. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
7. Supports Weight Loss: Oats is a low calorie food which slows digestion and makes you feel full for longer. Thus, reducing your cravings and helping you shed a few pounds. Cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan.

benefits of oats: Oats is a low calorie food which slows digestion and makes you feel full for longer

8. Enhances Immune Response To Disease: The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten has been shown to help neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.
9. Protects Skin: Oats have been used as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation while also providing an array of benefits for the skin. According to The American Academy of Dermatology, “Oatmeal is able to normalise the skin’s pH. It also helps moisturise and soften the skin.”

Best Oatmeal Recipes

For those who don’t like the taste of regular oatmeal, we’ve rounded up some inventive recipes to make your mornings fun and healthy. Cooking with oats like never before:
1. Chocolate Oatmeal Bars Recipe
For Crust and Topping:
1⅓ cups oatmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups light brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
10½ tbsp butter
For Filling:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp butter
3 large eggs
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and add some oil.
Combine flour, oats, 1⅓ cups light brown sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl, add 10½ tablespoons melted butter and stir to combine.
Press half of mixture firmly into the pan and bake about 8 minutes, cool it.
To make the filling, melt the butter and chocolate chips together and stir until it’s smooth.
Whisk together flour and sugar in a bowl.
Whisk eggs into cooled chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour mixture.
Pour chocolate filling over cooled crust and top with remaining oatmeal mixture.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Note: Cool completely before serving.
(Also Read: 8 Quick Oat Recipes: From Oats Uttapam to Oats Kheer and More!​)

2. Banana Oats Smoothie
Ingredients
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup yogurt
1 banana, cut into thirds
½ cup milk
2 tbsp honey (optional)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Top it off with a pinch of cinnamon and serve immediately.

Oatmeal recipes: banana oats smoothie

3. Chocolate Oat Fondant
Recipe by Seema Chandra
Here is a classic French dessert with a healthy addition of oats. The sinfully flavourful chocolate soaks in the aromatic goodness of oats, and in the end it’s what you call – having the best of both worlds.
For the fondant:
Melted butter for brushing the ramekins
Cocoa powder for dusting
200 gms good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (70 %)
150 gms butter, cut in small bits
3/4 cup demerara sugar (ground)
4 whole eggs
4 yolks
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oats (ground)
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp of cocoa
1/2 cup milk to loosen batter (optional)
For the strawberry compote:
1 cup freshly cut strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the fondant:
Brush butter on the insides of your ramekins, and dust with cocoa powder. Put them in the freezer to set.
Take a pan of simmering water, and place another bowl that fits snugly over it, without touching the water. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until the whisk leaves a trail. Now add the flour, oats and baking soda into the eggs and beat it well.
Pour the melted chocolate into this batter bit by bit, beating well in between each addition. Add a little milk to loosen the batter.
Take the ramekins out of the fridge and pour this batter in equal quantities into the ramekins.
Put these back in the freezer, and take them out just before you’re ready to bake them.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees till the fondant rises and flowers out of the ramekin.
For the strawberry compote:
In a pan add butter, strawberries and sugar.
Add the lemon juice and vinegar.
Let the strawberries leave a little juice.
Your compote is ready.

Oatmeal recipes: chocolate oats fondant

4. Oat Crunchies
150 g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup coconut
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup flour
Instructions
Melt butter, syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan and keep stirring.
Mix in coconut, oats and flour until combined.
Roll table spoonsful of oats into balls. Spread on a greased oven tray and flatten with a spoon.
Bake at 180C degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool on a rack and voila!

benefits of oats: If you suffer from high blood pressure, a daily dose of oats will help combat this problem

5. Chocolate Banana Oatmeal
Ingredients
1 cup water
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tbsp chocolate-hazelnut spread
Pinch of salt
Instructions
Bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan.
Stir in oats, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover and let stand 2 to 3 minutes.
Top it off with banana and a yummy chocolate spread.

oats recipes: chocolate banana oatmeal

Now that we have shared with you a list of benefits of oats, include this wonder delight in your daily diet and watch out for results.

When it’s cold outside, a bowl of hot oats makes a warming and comforting breakfast. If you’re a Scottish traditionalist, your porridge will be made with oatmeal, soaked overnight with water, salted, then served with creamy milk, and you’ll view rolled oats, cooked quickly and garnished with sweet additions, as an outlandish foreign aberration. Classic Scottish porridge is indeed hard to beat, but a bowl of steaming oats of any type offers is such an obligingly blank canvas, it’s tempting to turn sorcerer’s apprentice. Whether you top with nuts and seeds, stir in frozen berries, add a blob of cold natural yogurt, drizzle over honey, cap with soaked dried fruits, dust with grated coconut, or slice in fresh fruit – oats are endlessly versatile and interesting.

Why are oats good for you?

Oats contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fibre that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This slower digestion prevents dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that would otherwise encourage our bodies to produce and store fat.

Oats are a rich source of magnesium, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels, aiding the heart muscle, and regulating blood pressure. A body of evidence suggests that eating magnesium-rich foods reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Experimental and clinical data also suggests a link between magnesium deficiency and depression.

Where to buy and what to pay

For the widest choice of stoneground oatmeal – fine, medium, pinhead; kiln-dried oat flakes, and oat bran – buy from wholefood shops. Guide price per kilo: £2.25- £2.65 organic oatmeal, £1.85 organic flakes.

Joanna Blythman is the author of What To Eat (Fourth Estate, £9.99). To order a copy for £7.99 with free UK p&p, go to theguardian.com/bookshop

Oat pancakes

These pancakes, based on a Shetland Island bannock recipe, make a really good breakfast with poached eggs and bacon or go really well with smoked or cured fish and creme fraiche.

They take a little time to make but only because the oats need to soak in milk for several hours. I usually make these with oatmeal but they work very well with oats too. If they are jumbo oats I tend to whizz them in the food processor briefly before soaking them.

375g oats or oatmeal
1 tsp salt
600ml milk
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Butter for greasing

1 Mix the oats and salt and add the milk. Stir to amalgamate and leave overnight or for 3 or more hours. To finish beat in the eggs and bicarb.

2 Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into a hot, lightly buttered, pan, I usually aim for crumpet size or a bit bigger. The mixture spreads a little and aim for a decent thickness. Turn them over when they are set around the edge and some bubbles come up. Cook on the other side until they are set through. Keep the first ones warm in a cloth while making more.

Rosie Sykes is head chef of Fitzbillies (fitzbillies.com) and co-author of The Kitchen Revolution (Ebury Press, £25). To order a copy for £19.99 with free UK p&p, go to theguardian.com/bookshop

Ever since I got to college, I’ve struggled with breakfast. Either I skip breakfast and run on an empty stomach until lunchtime or my hangover gets the best of me and leads me to an 11 AM brunch feast. It’s hard to find a happy medium. However, all of that changed when I started eating oatmeal once a day for breakfast.

I recently made the pledge to cook up an oatmeal breakfast everyday because I was having a hard time regulating my eating habits. In college, rather than working a 9-5 job and having a steady meal plan, you’re constantly getting invites to spunky restaurants or food-related events. But for some reason, starting the day with oatmeal felt like an attainable commitment to a healthier, more structured routine.

Day 1: Yum!

Jocelyn Hsu

Oatmeal is tasty. There’s not much else to it. The first day of eating oatmeal didn’t conjure up any earth-shattering realizations about my body, but I figured it took a little time to build up the results.

Day 3: Is my metabolism speedy or what?

Christin Urso

One word — FIBER. One cup of oatmeal has about four grams of fiber and I was eating over two cups in the morning. Naturally, I was making bathroom trips more frequently, and they were quicker and easier. In other words, fiber does wonders for #2 time. I was surprised at first, but man, I could get used to this.

Day 7: I am a routine queen

Nancy Chen

The fiber was really regulating my digestive system… which meant my bathroom schedule was becoming very regular. It’s nice to have a set routine for potty time, so that was a huge and unexpected perk.

My life also started to feel more in sync. There’s something about waking up to do the same thing every morning. Not everything in my day has to have order, but having at least one regimen is comforting.

Day 10: Potential weight loss?!

Kavita Gurm

10 days is hardly enough to attribute one food to weight loss, but my pants were feeling a smidge looser and I felt lighter and more refreshed. Eating oatmeal for breakfast kept me full until lunchtime, so it does a good job with managing over-eating. My goal here isn’t to lose weight, though — it’s just to be healthy overall.

Day 14: Feeling gooooood

Rachel Tison

After eating oatmeal everyday for two weeks, my body feels different… in a good way. My meals are spaced out better, and I feel lighter on my feet throughout the day. Usually after a big breakfast, I feel weighed down, but after two weeks of establishing this oatmeal routine, I usually have a much better start to my day.

Biggest takeaway? More energy.

Rachel Resnick

Rather than stuffing my face with a bagel and cream cheese, I’m making a concentrated effort to eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. The health and dietary benefits are obvious reasons for trying to make this commitment, and I had a few added perks like extra energy and faster metabolism. Without sounding like a Quaker Oats sales rep, I encourage anyone and everyone to give this experiment a try!

Oatmeal has a reputation for being boring, but it’s far from it. Sure, oats are plain on their own, but that’s exactly what makes them such a perfect canvas to experiment on. You can make them sweet or savory and you can cook them or not, but whatever you do, odds are your bowl of oats is always going to end up tasting pretty damn spectacular. With a little creativity on your end, you can easily eat it every single day without getting sick of it.

And why wouldn’t you want to? Oatmeal has nutrients like fiber and protein, which means it’ll keep you energized and satisfied well until your next meal. Plus, it’s easy for even the most inexperienced home cook to make. As long as you make sure to add other delicious, nutritious toppings that will make it a full meal (like fruits or veggies, protein sources like Greek yogurt or fried eggs, and healthy fats like seeds or nut butters), registered dietitians say it can be a great addition to your daily routine.

Whether you already eat oatmeal every day and are looking for some fresh ideas to spice it up, or you want to start eating it more often, these are all the best ways to keep it exciting. From adding a dash of cocoa powder to baking it, you’ll want to try these ideas out ASAP.

Start by experimenting with the different kinds of oats.

First of all, there isn’t just one type of oat, there are several. Steel-cut, quick-cooking, old fashioned—these varieties all taste different and delicious in their own way. For example, steel-cut has a mouthfeel like rice that makes it great for savory risotto-style dishes, but not so great for overnight oats. Old fashioned oats, on the other hand, are perfect for anything you want to soak overnight. But if you want a quick non-cook oatmeal (like muesli), quick-cooking oats are what you need. Don’t feel chained to these pairings, though. Feel free to experiment with the different kinds of oats in any ways that you think would taste good.

Try baked oatmeal—it’s great for meal prep!

Audrey Bruno

“Experiment by making a baked oatmeal,” Lindsey Pine, M.S., R.D., owner of Tasty Balance Nutrition, tells SELF. ” basically a casserole and provides a firmer version of oatmeal,” which means it’s great for meal prep, she explains. It’s easy to cut into slices and even easier to grab on your way out the door. And one recipe equals a bunch of servings, so you’ll have enough for the whole week in one go. Try this recipe out to get started.

Make your oats taste like your favorite dessert.

There are so many great dessert-style oatmeal recipes out there. Love carrot cake? There’s an oatmeal recipe that tastes like it here. The same goes for apple pie, cheesecake, and so, so much more.

Or give your breakfast a savory spin.

Audrey Bruno

Steel cut oats teach us the basics

By Kelly Clark / Healthy Eating

  • Steel cut oats are better than rolled oats
  • Factories shouldn’t be part of the digestion process
  • Do you always have to choose steel cut oats?

Find out why small changes, like choosing steel cut oats, make a big difference.

I wanted to write this post because the difference between succeeding and failing is often down to choices we make early. Decisions can trigger a series of events. Understanding why one option is superior to another makes it easier to put your energy behind choices that set you up for success.

Steel cut oats: My story

Steel cut oats? I just heard about them recently.

Until a few weeks ago I ate rolled oats (aka porridge) a few times a week for breakfast. I stirred in some cinnamon and dried cranberries before microwaving them for one minute.

Meanwhile I’d cut up an apple to throw on top. Add a latte (made of 2% milk) and I thought it was a pretty good, roughly-balanced breakfast made mostly of whole foods, as recommended by the Eatwell Guide.

Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates: rolled oats

Dairy and alternatives: 2% milk (now I drink 3.25% milk)

Oil and spreads

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat and other proteins

Fruit and vegetables: apple & cranberries

… though I was always surprised how quickly I felt hungry after this meal.

This is a reenactment.

Last month I went to the grocery store. I was making sure I spent enough to get the offer; I take the loyalty points program seriously 🙂 Steel cut oats were on sale, so I threw them into my basket and headed home.

A couple days later I got ready to make a quick breakfast. But when I read the instructions I was surprised to see that steel cut oats need twenty minutes to cook! That was the start of me understanding how rolled oats are different.

Steel cut oats vs. rolled oats

The main difference is that rolled oats are more processed than steel cut oats. Rolled oats (similar to quick oats or instant oats) are precooked, dried and then rolled. This process removes the roughage.

What is roughage?
Roughage is a fibrous material found in food that’s indigestible. Fiber aids the passage of food and waste products through your body.

After extensive auditions for this photo shoot, we chose this rolled oat (L) & this steel cut oat (R).

Processed foods cook faster, you digest them faster and you feel hungrier faster. Then you can either eat more food or be preoccupied by hunger pains. Each decision we make triggers a positive or negative series of events.

Another option is to choose steel cut oats. Set off a healthy domino effect! Steel cut oats are considered whole foods because they’re very close to their natural state.

Steel cut oats aren’t processed in a factory so:

  • they still contain roughage
  • your body needs to do all the work (whole foods take longer to digest)
  • energy and nutrients are released slowly

When energy and nutrients are released slowly, you stay full longer.

Rolled oats (left) and steel cut oats (right).

Stay full longer

I don’t believe in counting calories now (but for the 10 years I was overweight, I obsessed over them.) Talking about calories here, however, demonstrates an important point. 200 calories of quick oats and 200 calories of steel cut oats affect your body differently. After eating quick oats you’ll feel hungry faster.

Whole foods simply go further. They take longer for your body to break down and extract energy, which keeps you full longer. I also prefer the taste and texture of steel cut oats.

If you change your eating habits to include more whole food (beans, rice, vegetables and fruit), then you’ll eat less.
– Roy Walford, doctor

Whenever possible, I choose an orange over orange juice, brown rice over white rice and steel cut oats over rolled oats. Choose natural foods over factory foods. Let your body do the processing!

Trouble shooting:
If 20 minutes is too long for your morning routine, cook your steel cut oats the night before, while you’re cleaning up after dinner. Then add a bit of water the next morning, give them a stir on the stove and breakfast will be ready in less time than quick oats! You’ve likely heard this idea before:
Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old …

Steel cut oats with cinnamon, dried cranberries and apple slices.

Don’t get lost in the details

I didn’t understand there was a difference between rolled oats and breakfast grains like steel cut oats or Red River Cereal until recently. Yet I’ve been a healthy weight for 18 years.

The goal of this post is not to say never eat rolled oats! Or to suggest you’ve ruined your day if you eat rolled oats. As I write this post I’m actually eating a rolled-oat-raison-coconut cookie I bought yesterday when visiting a loved one in the hospital. I’m also eating an orange and drinking a milky coffee to make it a more balanced snack that includes some whole foods.

Whole foods help you eat less and stay full longer, naturally—which helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight. And get on with your life.

My objective is to explain how our bodies work. Then it will make sense to introduce more whole foods while you start eating more balanced meals and snacks. Choices get easier when you recognize why they’re a good idea.

When I was trying to lose weight I had no idea how our bodies work. I got so lost in the details. Every choice was a struggle. Now that I simply focus on eating balanced meals and snacks made mostly of whole foods, every choice is simplified.

Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.

Next Steps:

Whether you:

  • are eating tons of processed foods
  • have never cooked for yourself
  • been trying to exist on diet pop and rice cakes (a very processed food)

Cut down on processed foods! Work toward eating balanced meals made mostly of whole foods.

Having a strategy for change also helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. But first… you need to fix the BIGGEST weight-loss mistake. Are you making it? Sign up below and find out in 60 seconds.

Sedona by Houdmouth

Have you “flipped the script and shot the plot?” Are you ready to change your story? Take control of your health. Start including some whole foods in your meals and snacks instead of processed foods.

What whole food have you substituted for a processed food? Let me know in the comments below!

Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it

‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ you may have heard your parents say, and amazing things can happen to your body if your breakfast includes oatmeal. This one super grain is a healthy nutritional powerhouse that hides behind its dull appearance.

For over two thousand years, humans have learned to grow and harvest oats as a source of food and medicine. Medicinally, oatmeal was and is used for healing the skin, intestinal illness, nerve problems, and uterine complaints, among others.

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Oatmeal Every Day

Certain health conditions, for example, gout, may not benefit from a diet of oatmeal every day. If you have current health concerns, speak with your health care professional before making a change to your diet.

Nutritional benefits of eating oatmeal every day

Oatmeal is a whole grain that gives you 13 grams of protein in one small half-cup serving. One tiny quarter-cup serving of oatmeal gives you almost 100% of your recommended daily intake of manganese.

Oatmeal also has many antioxidants including vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid. Other nutrients provided by a daily helping of oatmeal include Vitamin B1, Biotin, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Copper and Magnesium among many other phytonutrients.

Changes you can see in your body when you eat oatmeal every day

One of the best benefits of eating oatmeal daily is that doing so can help prevent obesity and weight gain. This is due to the feeling of satiety, or satisfaction of your hunger, that oatmeal gives you when you eat it.

Oatmeal makes you feel full longer and creates positive changes in your body in a couple of ways. First, oatmeal provides excellent low-level energy for a longer period of time. Secondly, oatmeal provides fiber to keep your stomach feeling full longer.

The low-glycemic impact (GI) of a bowl of oatmeal eaten in the morning provides a good source of energy throughout the morning hours, without a dramatic increase or drop in blood sugar. Maintaining lower blood sugar levels over a longer period of time helps the body regulate insulin usage.

The low GI of oatmeal helps you avoid cravings due to a drop in blood sugar. Without the low blood sugar cravings, we are less likely to reach for our favorite comfort food.

The daily caloric impact of an oatmeal breakfast is huge. Oatmeal could help you decrease your total daily calories by as much as 81%. In a study of high-GI breakfasts versus low-GI breakfast foods, oatmeal prevented people from over-consuming calories at later meals.

Most low calorie, low fat diet foods are not good at making us feel satisfied. Oatmeal is good for that happy, satisfied, not-hungry-at-all feeling, which also means that you will eat less throughout the rest of the day. This daily decrease in your need for calories will result in wonderful weight loss and fat loss changes in your body.

Other health benefits of eating oatmeal every day

In addition to helping you slim down, lose body fat and prevent overeating, oatmeal provides some significant health benefits. Other oatmeal benefits cited by theworldshealthiestfoods.org with research to back up the claims are:

* Lower cholesterol

* Less risk of cardiovascular disease

* Lower risk of heart failure

* Improved immune response

* Stabilize blood sugar and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

* Excellent source of fiber which protects against breast cancer

* Whole grains protect against childhood asthma

* Safe grain alternative for celiac disease sufferers or those who are avoiding gluten in their diets

* Extend life expectancy

What you need to know about oat processing

Whole oats are processed in different ways before they become a steamy bowl of sticky goodness at our breakfast table. Here’s what you need to know about oat processing from theworldshealthiestfoods.org:

Oat groats: unflattened kernels that are good for using as a breakfast cereal or for stuffing

Steel-cut oats: featuring a dense and chewy texture, they are produced by running the grain through steel blades that thinly slices them.

Old-fashioned oats: have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.

Quick-cooking oats: processed like old-fashioned oats, except they are cut finely before rolling

Instant oatmeal: produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin.

Oat bran: just the outer layer of the oat grain that resides under the hull.

Any of these choices can make a hearty meal, but as you know with other food sources, the less processing usually means a higher nutritional benefit. Look for steel-cut oats as a starting point for your best-tasting daily bowl of oatmeal.

Look for creative ways to add this food that will make you feel full longer. Try adding oatmeal to a shake, smoothie or to your favorite yogurt. Add some oats to your regular baking recipes, like muffins and cookies.

You can use oatmeal as a grain replacement in any meal. Take a favorite quinoa recipe and substitute oatmeal as the grain. Enjoy the benefits of oatmeal and you’ll love seeing your body transform in the mirror every morning.

What Happens If You Eat Oatmeal Every Day for a Month

By Sandy Schroeder

Are you a breakfast oatmeal person? If you are, or want to be, you might be interested in a recent story on Prevention that tells what can happen if you eat oatmeal every morning for a month.

I was interested because I do eat oatmeal often in the morning, and I believe it makes a big difference if you eat old fashioned oats, not the instant packets. At the same time you can add healthy toppings like Greek yogurt, fresh fruit or dried apricots. A scoop of pure dark chocolate cocoa and peanut butter work too.

The writer in Prevention points out a few more cool things that happened during the oatmeal-for-a-month experiment.

No Morning Snack Needed

That mid-morning demand for a soothing snack simply evaporated as that fiber-filled bowl of oatmeal covered the ground until lunch. After substituting a hearty bowl of old fashioned oats topped with fruit, whole milk, and a small amount of brown sugar, instead of eggs with veggies or a smoothie, the writer found she was content all morning.

Money Saved

For less than $3, a giant canister (18 ounces) of oatmeal replaced many of those extra energy bars that were being used for morning snacks.

No More Worrying about Calories

Now the scale looked a lot less menacing. A cup of oats delivered 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber to help lower body weight, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also provided health-building minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium.

It’s Fun to Be a Creature of Habit

The writer wrapped up the story with the confession that oats were traded in for a waffle or two when she was traveling. However, she said she soon realized she missed the consistency of her oatmeal routine which made her whole morning satisfactory and quite predictable.

If this sounds tempting to you, I recommend trying it. You can turn your personal bowl of old fashioned oats into a custom creation, adding and subtracting ingredients until you come up with one or two prime choices. Mashed banana, baked apple slices, fresh strawberries or raspberries, honey, chocolate chips, peanut or other nut butters and scoop of flaxseed are all possible additions. Greek yogurt, a scoop of homemade jam, or maple syrup work too. Enjoy.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Euless, Tex.

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