We all love cereals, they’re one of our favorite breakfast foods and have been since we were little. However, most of the cereals we buy are loaded with refined carbs, hidden sugars, preservatives and artificial colors which are quite health detrimental. But what’s the alternative?
A big bowl of oatmeal is your best option, as it’s the healthiest breakfast choice for anyone. Oats are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and are the only food that contains avenanthramides, potent antioxidants with amazing cardiovascular benefits.
One portion of oats (30gr) has just 117 calories and is consisted of 66% carbs, 11% fiber, 17% protein and 6% fat.
Oat carbs are good for you because their fiber is intact and are released in your bloodstream much slower than the other types of carbs. Moreover, 11% of the carbs in oats are fiber while 85% of them are starch, but quite different starch than the one in other grains. It has a higher viscosity and fat content.
There are 3 types of starch in oats:
- 7% of the starch is rapidly digested. This means your body can easily break it down and turn it into glucose.
- 22% is slowly digested starch. This means your body breaks it down and absorbs it much slower.
- And 25% of the starch in oats is resistant starch. This means that unlike the other types of starch, your body doesn’t fully digest it but it serves to feed the beneficial gut bacteria and ease digestion.
Oats are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber and have the highest content of beta glucan (soluble fiber). This kind of insoluble fiber provides a number of health benefits, including the ability to lower your cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar levels. It also stimulates bile acids excretion.
If you consume beta-glucans on a regular basis you’ll lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders, suppress your appetite and you’ll feel full for longer.
Oats are a rich source of protein as well which is good because proteins make you feel full for longer and help build and maintain your muscles. And it’s not just any protein, they contain the high-quality types like avenalin which is quite similar to proteins found in legumes.
Whole oats have higher fat levels than other grains and are abundant in unsaturated fatty acids.
Oats are health beneficial but before you start adding them to your diet here are a few things you should know:
– Always buy rolled or steep cut oats and avoid the processed and instant ones as they’re loaded with artificial flavors and sugars which will only cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
– Portion out your oats and be careful not to eat too much because they’re high in sugars. Even small portions of oats will keep you full.
– You can add some nutrient-dense toppings such as honey, nuts, seeds, maple syrup, fresh fruits, dried coconut and nut butter. Steer clear of sugary stuff like raisins or dried cranberries.
– If you have a gluten sensitivity or suffer from celiac disease be careful and make sure the label of the oats you buy states gluten-free.
Add oats to your diet and enjoy the numerous health benefits they offer.