Lately, I have been on an aggressive oatmeal kick – I love the texture, it keeps me feeling full, and it’s a great way to add in some nuts, seeds, and fruit into my diet. However, for all of the good things I have heard about oatmeal, I have also heard through the wellness grapevine over the years that it isn’t that healthy for one reason or another. I went digging so I could make up my own mind on it and here’s what I found:
Shown To Lower Risk And Symptoms Of Disease
One study conducted over nearly 30 years found that individuals who had a higher consumption of whole grains (except for popcorn) had a significantly lower risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Oatmeal has also been shown to significantly reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Well-rounded Source of Nutrition
While oats are not a low calorie food, they pack a MAJOR punch in terms of nutrients. For 100g of raw oats you get 67.7g of carbs, 13.2g of protein, 10.1g of fiber, 52mg of calcium, 362mg of potassium, 138mg of magnesium, 410mg of phosphorus, 4.25mg of iron, 3.64mg of zinc. On the flipside, this same amount of oats only has 6.52g of fat, 6mg of sodium, and .99g of sugar!
Can Aid With A Calorie Deficit
Because of all the amazing nutrients oats have, they have been shown useful in weight loss. For someone looking to lose weight, oatmeal may help with daily calorie reduction because it helps with satiety (feeling satiated). Oats are full of soluble (decreases fat absorption in your gut and promotes the growth of good gut bacteria) and insoluble fiber (encourages speedy digestion and healthy BMs!) and they help slow the absorption of glucose which helps your blood sugar level stay stable. All of these things help you to stay full and satisfied longer!
Must Be Prepared Properly
Soooo…now for the negatives. One of the potential downfalls of oatmeal is not the oatmeal itself, but unhealthy preparation. If you are making your oats with high amounts of sugar or fat (butter, whole milk), you are likely adding in extra calories that aren’t benefiting you. Try to prepare your oats with water, whole fruit, and unsalted/unsweetened seeds and (a few!) nuts, or try savory oats (my personal favorite!)
May Not Be Great For Dental Health
Oats (and all grains) are a source of Phytic Acid, which is a healthy acid, however it is shown to inhibit absorption of calcium, iron and zinc. When too much Phytic Acid is consumed and not enough calcium is absorbed into the body, this can lead to tooth decay. However, it seems that when oats are eaten in moderation (no more than .5 cup/day) and your diet provides enough calcium, this shouldn’t be a problem.
As always, we at GUADS encourage you to make up your own mind since you know yourself and your body best. Personally, I am even more Team Oatmeal than I was – To Oat for me!!
Written by GUADS Staff member Kate with contributions from benbrookfamilydental.com, phablecare.com, pubmed.gov, pubmed.gov