Oatmeal: The king of grains

Fact: I love oatmeal. Fact: I am not ashamed to talk about how much I LOVE oatmeal. Fact: Oatmeal is surprisingly amazing for you and your weight management goals!

1/2 cup of oatmeal, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar-free syrup, and a handful of mini chocolate chips! A perfect 200 calorie snack

Oatmeal receives a bad wrap because of the heavy carbohydrate load and how boring it is, but instead of thinking of oatmeal as a bowl of tan mush, think of it as a delicious canvas waiting for your own personal flare and flavor!  Not only is oatmeal incredibly customizable, but it provides incredible value and benefits to your day. 

What you didn’t know about oatmeal

Oatmeal helps you feel full and suppress your appetite! If you start your day with a bowl of oats instead of regular cereal, you will be less likely to snack at 10am. This power comes from the slow-to-digest fiber hidden in every spoonful. Processed oats are already broken down significantly during the manufacturing process (notice how your cereal melts in your mouth?!). But oatmeal makes your body do the work. The time it takes to digest also helps stabilize sugar levels in your blood. 

Eating oatmeal can reduce your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. Again, the super-protective qualities stem from the soluble fiber and whole grains in your oatmeal. Consuming soluble (the kind that dissolves in water and forms that gel-like consistency.. I am looking at you, oatmeal) and insoluble (the other kind that adds bulk.. think cauliflower) fiber helps move material through your body. Fiber is not digested like carbs, fats, and proteins, so it passes through your digestive track intact. Fiber is like a cleaning service for your system, and oatmeal contains both types!

Oatmeal also can help you sleep. Carbohydrates are essential in serotonin synthesis in the brain. A small bowl of oatmeal in the evening makes and amazing pre-bed snack because I feel warm, full, and my brain is actually producing the hormone that causes relaxation, happiness, and sleepiness. Oatmeal literally makes me happy. Oats also contain B6 and melatonin, which help you catch those zzz’s. 

What you need to know about oatmeal

Oatmeal can add up in calories and sugar very quickly. To stay within your goals, consider these few things when it comes to nomming on oats.

  • 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal is 150 calories plus your toppings
  • Quick oats are processed and pre-cooked so the nutrients are compromised as compared to old fashioned oats
  • The hatching Dino Eggs are just sugar-coated sugar. Don’t give into the packaging
  • Topping such as dried fruit and brown sugar add calories quickly. Keep track of those!
  • Steel cut oats are the best choice if you have the time
  • You can microwave old fashioned oats for 1-2 minutes instead of on the stovetop
  • Let your oats sit overnight in almond milk and fresh fruit for ready-to-go cold oats
  • Apples and Cinnamon Instant packages (Kroger Brand) are under $3 and just 130 calories. Add half a scoop of protein powder to a filling breakfast in under 2 minutes and 200 calories!

Take back breakfast with delicious and healthy oatmeal! You can have it hot, cold, with fruit, chocolate chips, protein powder, whatever you want. Your body and your tummy will thank you.



Further reading: 

Mayo Clinic on Fiber

Benefits of Oatmeal

Oatmeal and Sleeping




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