If you love cereals, you should know that most of them are full of hidden sugar, refined carbohydrates, artificial colors, and preservatives.
Therefore, a healthy switch would be a bowl of oatmeal !
As a breakfast, oatmeal is one of the healthiest choices you can make. Oats are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, and are the only source of avenanthramides, antioxidants with strong heart-boosting properties.
A portion (30g) of raw oats contains only 117 calories, and by weight, contains 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, 7% fat, and 11% fiber. Here is what this means in terms of your health:
The carbs in oats are beneficial, as they have their fibre intact and release much slower into the bloodstream.
Also, 11% of the carbohydrates are fiber and 85% are starch, which is much different than the starch in other grains, it is higher in fat and viscosity, which is its ability to bind with water.
Oats contain three starch types:
- Rapidly digested starch (7%), that is quickly broken down and converted into glucose
- Slowly digested starch (22%) which is more slowly broken down and absorbed
- Resistant starch (25%), which is not digested like other starch, but feeds good gut bacteria and helps digestion
Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but are the richest in the soluble fiber beta-glucan. It offers many health benefits, lowers cholesterol levels, as well as blood sugar and insulin levels, and stimulates the excretion of bile acids.
The regular consumption of beta-glucans also lowers the risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber suppresses appetite and leads to satiety, and slows down digestion.
Protein provides a feeling of satiety, and builds and maintains muscle. Oats contain a high-quality protein, the main protein being avenalin (80% protein), which is similar to the protein in legumes. It is also rich in the minor protein avenin, which is similar to gluten in wheat.
Whole oats are higher in fat than more grains and contain mostly unsaturated fatty acids.
Yet, these are the most important things you need to know when buying and eating oatmeal:
— You should avoid instant and processed oatmeal, as it is high in sugars and artificial flavorings, which cause blood sugar spikes. Instead, choose steep cut or rolled oats, which ensure a steady glucose release into the bloodstream.
— You should control the portion of oats, as it is high in sugars. Eat small portions, and it will still keep you full.
-Add nutrient-dense toppings, like seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, honey, maple syrup, dried coconut, nut butter, and avoid sugary toppings like dried cranberries, or raisins.
-If you are celiac or sensitive to gluten, you should read the label carefully, and choose oatmeal processed in a gluten-free facility.
Now, just enjoy your bowl of oats and its countless health benefits!