Is Oatmeal Good for Your Health?

Also known as porridge, oatmeal is made from oats and is now a popular breakfast option for people around the world. You can find many forms of oatmeal, including instant oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal, and rolled oats. All these forms start with whole raw oats. They are cleaned first and then the outer shell is removed to get the edible grain. You can also buy oat groats, but you have to cook them for 50-60 minutes before eating. Oatmeal is certainly popular, but many people wonder if it is healthy too. Let's find out now!

Is Oatmeal Healthy?

Yes, it is healthy. In fact, it is one of the best heart-healthy foods available today. It is good for your heart because it contains high levels of a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which is responsible for lowering cholesterol naturally. It also contains antioxidants such as avenanthramides that help keep your arteries free of plaque. You may also include oatmeal in your diet if you are trying to lose weight because its fiber and water content can suppress appetite and keep you from overeating.

While oatmeal is healthy, you need to ensure what type of oatmeal you are eating. These days, you can find many flavored oatmeal packets in the market, which are not good for health. That is mainly because they have added sugar and salt. So, be sure to read the label before making a purchase.

Benefits of Oatmeal

Is oatmeal healthy? Yes, it is and here are some of the benefits associated with the consumption of oatmeal.

1. It Is a Whole Grain

Including whole grain in your diet can help prevent several chronic diseases. Regular consumption of oatmeal may lower your risk of type-2 diabetes and hypertension. It contains a plan chemical called lignans that lowers risk of heart disease. It is important to ensure that the food label on your oatmeal clearly mentions "whole grain oats" or else you will not get all those benefits associated with oats. It is better to avoid prepackaged oatmeal because it can be high in sodium and sugar. It may not contain enough dietary fiber, which is also the reason why you should check the label carefully before making a purchase.

2. It Helps Weight Loss

Oatmeal will always have a place in any weight loss diet. Thanks to its high fiber content, it makes you feel full for long and saves you from dealing with hunger pangs. By preventing overeating, you can hope to achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently. You will also be able to lower your caloric intake by replacing breakfast foods loaded with fat and sugar with oatmeal. Consider going for a smoothie consisting of fruit, ice, and blended oats for breakfast to manage your weight better.

3. It Lowers Cholesterol

Is oatmeal healthy for your cholesterol? Yes, you can include oatmeal in your diet and help lower your cholesterol levels. It lowers bad cholesterol levels mainly due to the soluble fiber it contains, which becomes gooey when digested and sticks to the cholesterol, thus preventing the absorption of cholesterol. If you already have high cholesterol, you should include oatmeal in your diet to keep it from going up.

4. It Improves Digestive Health

Oatmeal helps improve your digestive health due to its fiber content. It is actually a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber bulks up your stool and makes it easier to deal with constipation. It helps improve your intestinal health. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, turns into viscous gel in your stomach that plays a role in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

5. It Is Easy to Make

You do not have to spend a lot of time preparing oatmeal for you. You can find many ways to include oatmeal in your diet. You can add some almond butter to oatmeal to make it even more nutritious. A cup of cooked oatmeal provides you with 4g of fiber, 6g of protein, and only 150 calories. You can also get some important minerals from each serving of oatmeal. Some common examples are phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, thiamin, and iron.

6. It Is Suitable for People with Gluten Intolerance

If you are gluten intolerant, you can still include oatmeal in your diet. However, it is still a good idea to pay attention to the label and confirm with manufacturers to ensure there has been no chance of cross-contamination during processing.

How Much Should You Eat?

Is oatmeal healthy? Yes, it is, but it is equally important to know how much you should eat, especially if you are trying to lose weight. That is important to consider because oatmeal contains calories. How much you should eat daily usually depends on your unique circumstances.

If you are trying to lower cholesterol, you should be aiming for a cup-and-a-half of oatmeal daily. This would provide you with 3g of beta-glucan that may lower cholesterol up to 8%. If you are trying to lose weight, you may have a cup of oatmeal daily to get 6g of protein and 4g of fiber. This is enough to keep you full for several hours. 

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