Does Oatmeal Make You Fat? (Or Can it be Used as a Diet Food?)
A big resounding “No” would be the answer. Oatmeal is not fattening at all, in fact it’s about the best breakfast cereal you can ever eat for good health.
Of course we are talking about plain oats here and not the flavored, sugar laced, brands of instant oatmeal; neither are we talking about oatmeal cookies high in butter and sugar.
Oatmeal – the cholesterol lowering cereal
The best thing about oatmeal which makes it a great “fat burning” food is the presence of insoluble and soluble fiber.
Any food rich in soluble fiber will aid in fat reduction because of its tendency to bind, and discard, the cholesterol producing substances in the stomach.
If you have been adjudged to have high blood cholesterol, after your routine body check up, it’s time for you to move on to a healthier breakfast option, namely oatmeal.
Here are benefits you will reap from eating this excellent cereal:
- The insoluble fiber, beta glucan, present in oatmeal will help relieve any constipation issues you suffer from, clean up your colon and free up energy which the body can then use for removing toxins.
- The soluble fiber, which converts to a viscous gel in your digestive tract, reduces the LDL (bad cholesterol) in your body by biding with substances related to high cholesterol. It does not impact the HDL (good cholesterol) production.
- Oatmeal has a lower Glycemic Index (GI), in other words the carbohydrate is slow to be absorbed into the blood stream. It slows down the sugar absorption from any starchy food you might eat after the oatmeal and thus helps in regulating blood sugar levels. No wonder oatmeal is recommended as miracle food for diabetic patients.
So even if you eat cholesterol rich food after an oatmeal breakfast, you will be saved from any adverse effects thanks to the cholesterol fighting properties of oatmeal.
How to eat oatmeal?
Oatmeal is not fattening but if you buy the flavored instant oatmeal concoctions being sold in the market today, you are likely to ingest a lot of fattening ingredients especially the “refined sugar”.
It is tempting to go in for apple or cinnamon flavor, sweetened oatmeal, but it’s not in the best interest of your health.
You are best off buying simple rolled oats, from brands such as Quaker oats or any other brand. Rolled oats are easy to prepare and can be eaten with relish with fruits like blueberries, raisins and honey.
All you need to do is boil the rolled oats for 15 minutes or so until it obtains a viscous consistency. If you are a “no fuss” eater, this simple gruel is the most healthy breakfast to take in. But if you are fussy about taste you can add some honey and flavored protein powder to the oatmeal. You can also add some dry fruits like dates or raisins to the oatmeal porridge.
Some people like to eat their oatmeal with milk, but this is a slightly fattening option.
Though oatmeal has a bland taste, its best eaten plain with water. Avoid adding butter or refined sugar to the oatmeal if you are looking to go low on fat.
Does oatmeal contain fat?
One cup of oatmeal, close to 80g, will generate approximately 300 calories in the body. 8% of the calories will be obtained in the form of fat. But the good news is that the fat present in oatmeal is the “good fat”, or rather the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are good for the body per se. You are not going to gain “fat” by eating oatmeal.
The best thing about oatmeal is that it’s a whole food laced with nutrition in the form of Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. The carbohydrate from cereal is released slowly into the blood stream and so it makes for an excellent breakfast before a workout or exercise session.
In conclusion, oatmeal is not fattening but is highly nutritious and provides for excellent wholesome health benefits. So tuck into a bowl of boiled oatmeal, with some fruits and raisins, and enjoy a healthy day.
Image Source: Micah