As a breakfast food and mid-meal snack, oatmeal is potentially a better option than the majority of foods available in the market. However, as with all other foods, moderation is the key to oatmeal consumption.
9 health benefits of oatmeal
The term oatmeal is used to refer to a common oat porridge that has been made from any of the flat oats: the ground, steel-cut, or rolled variety.
The 9 health benefits of oatmeal include:
- Lowered cholesterol and blood sugar levels:
- Oats are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
- The fiber content helps maintain gut health by promoting the growth of “good bacterial colonies.” These colonies help regulate immunity.
- Protection against heart diseases and blood pressure:
- Oats may help control weight:
- An easy source of good nutrition:
- Gluten-free nature:
- Oats are naturally gluten-free, but always confirm that the oats you are buying have been made in an environment where there are no other gluten-containing products, such as whole wheat. Read the labels carefully.
- May help you live longer:
- Oats can potentially help with skincare:
- Numerous skincare products contain colloidal oatmeal, which is finely ground oats.
- The FDA approved colloidal oatmeal for skin protection back in 2003; however, oats have a long history of treatment in skin conditions.
- Oat-based skin products have been proven to control itching and irritation caused by eczema and other skin disorders.
- May decrease a child’s risk of asthma:
- Studies have shown that introducing oats to infants before the age of 6 months old has been associated with a decreased risk of developing childhood asthma.
- Help with constipation relief:
- Studies have shown that oat bran, which is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain, has helped relieve constipation in elderly people.
Oatmeal nutritional content
Is oatmeal safe to eat for everyone?
Oatmeal is likely safe for most people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, when consumed as food. However, it may cause gas and bloating in some. Hence, instead of eating a cup or bowl of oatmeal, start with a quarter cup and increase slowly to the intended amount. This is a good technique to minimize digestion problems and help the body adjust to oats.
The possible contamination of oats with gluten-containing whole grains, such as wheat, rye, or barley, makes oats an unsafe option for people with celiac disease. However, if you have the condition but are symptom-free for at least six months, you can eat moderate amounts of pure, non-contaminated oats bought from a trusted manufacturer.
Are there any side effects of eating oatmeal?
The potential side effects of eating oatmeal include the following:
- Though oatmeal has a good nutritional profile to make up for breakfast and mid-meal options, it is still a grain.
- Oats contain phytic acid, an antinutrient that is known to interfere with the absorption of the vitamins and minerals from oats into your body.
- So, you need to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet to make up for the possible nutritional loss.
A high savory snack can make you consume more
- Being a good source of carbohydrates, consuming more due to its high savory nature can make you gain weight instead of helping you in your efforts to maintain or lose weight.
- Being a bland food, you may tend to add more than the allowed amount of sugar, which may further hamper your weight loss journey. Adding maple syrup, honey, or chocolate pieces to oatmeal can cause weight gain rather than weight loss.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. Oats. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-814/oats
Londre R. Start your day with healthy oatmeal. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/start-your-day-with-healthy-oatmeal