Nasty Hidden Truths You Didn’t Know About Oats

is oatmeal healthy

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Oatmeal is one of those foods everyone thinks is super healthy. But, is that really the case?

Oats are said to lower bad cholesterol, keep us feeling fuller for longer, as well as being a good source of important nutrients.

Sounds pretty good!

And, if you normally eat Pop Tarts for breakfast, then yes, oatmeal is obviously a better choice.

However, if you think all oats are created equal, think again. There are definitely some oats which should not grace your breakfast table. Ever.

What Are Oats?

Groats

If we are to understand how to make a better breakfast choice, it’s important to understand exactly how oats are processed.

Oat groats are the oat kernels with the hulls removed. They can be used to make porridge, however cooking takes a long time.

You won’t normally find the whole form of the oat groats. What you usually buy at the supermarket are steel-cut, rolled, or instant oats.

Steel-cut oats are whole groats chopped up. These take longer to cook, contain more of their original nutrients, and taste nuttier than regular oats.

is oatmeal healthy

Rolled vs Steel-Cut Oats

Rolled oats are steamed groats that have been rolled out and flattened.

Instant oats are rolled, steamed, and precooked oats. These will often have sweet flavorings added, and are the least healthy option.

What Are The Benefits Of Oatmeal?

There are a number of benefits of eating oatmeal, although I’m not overly convinced that you can’t get those benefits from other foods just as easily.

Regardless, they are only a healthy breakfast option, if you make the right choice (more on that later).

Overall, they’re quite healthy

Oats are a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are a source of protein and complex carbohydrates.

You will often hear that eating oatmeal can help to lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because of the soluble fiber content.

While I agree that soluble fiber is a very good thing in the diet, you can get soluble fiber from other foods. I don’t think the research confirms you need to get that soluble fiber solely from oats.

So, alternative sources of soluble fiber include fruits and vegetables, as well as oat bran, nuts, flaxseeds, lentils, dried peas and beans, and psyllium.

I am certainly not going to deny that oatmeal can be a healthy addition to your diet. The reality is, however, that most people do not eat plain oatmeal.

If you wake up in the morning to a fresh bowl of plain oats, with absolutely no additives (sugar, syrup, fruit, salt etc), you are in the minority.

On the other hand, if you take old fashioned oats, and adulterate them with lashings of sugar, cream and jam, you should know it’s not really breakfast, but dessert you’re having.

Instant Oatmeal Is NOT Healthy

I can definitely see the appeal of instant oatmeal, when you’re pushed for time in the mornings, and want to make a better choice than sugary breakfast cereals.

But, as I always say, you need to take a look at the package labeling, to see what you are actually eating. Don’t just fall for the “heart healthy” claim on the front of pack.

Take for example, Quaker Oat’s Strawberries and Cream Instant Oatmeal.

It claims to be “heart healthy,” but a brief look at the nutrition label clearly shows it isn’t.

That fact that it contains no strawberries, and 12 grams of sugar, with half the fiber of regular oatmeal, is bad enough.

But, when the nutritional information states ingredients like, ”artificial strawberry flavor,” “partially hydrogenated soybean oil,” and “flavored and colored fruit pieces,” which they admit are dehydrated apples, treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention — this should be enough to make you seriously question your so-called heart healthy breakfast choice.

Don’t believe me? Check out the Quaker Oats official website to see for yourself.

Seriously, my mind boggles how they can name a produce “strawberries and cream,” when it doesn’t even have an ounce of strawberries in there.

These instant oats are nothing more than a mishmash of artificial colors and flavors, along with too much sugar and salt, and in some cases, high fructose corn syrup, disguised as something that is good for you by extremely clever marketing.

The Glycemic Index Of Instant Oats

When it comes to your blood sugar levels, lower and slower are generally better.

The glycemic index of old fashioned oats is 55 vs 83 for instant oats, so instant oatmeal is significantly higher.

That means that a bowl of  instant (or quick-cooking) oats quickly pushes up your blood sugar, so they won’t keep you feeling satisfied as long as rolled or steel-cut oats would.

Instant oatmeal has been processed to cook quickly, which means they are broken down and digested more quickly in the body, and this is why it has a higher glycemic index.

Even though you may not be diabetic, eating a lower glycemic index diet is much better for your health.

As researchers on this topic, from the Boston Children’s Hospital, put it;

When it comes to weight loss maintenance, existing research suggests that low-glycemic-index diets work with the body’s biology to help us to prevent the fall in metabolism that occurs with weight loss and stay fuller longer.

So, my advice is, if you are going to eat oatmeal, stay away from the instant versions completely.

McDonald’s Oatmeal Is NOT Healthy

I find it very interesting that even mega-corporations like McDonald’s are jumping on the health bandwagon by serving their “Fruit and Maple Oatmeal” all day long.

Incredibly, the McDonald’s oatmeal actually contains more sugar than a Snickers bar. No, I am not kidding you!

How it that possible?

Honestly, I cannot understand why McDonalds would take an ingredient like oatmeal, and basically turn it into junk food.

Does oatmeal really need 21 ingredients to make it edible? What’s wrong with just plain oats?

As Mark Bittman puts it;

A more accurate description than “100 percent natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

Yes, too true!

You may argue that the McDonald’s version is “convenient,” but this is nonsense.

In the time it would take you to go into McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make your oatmeal at home, while unloading the dishwasher, or getting the kids dressed for school, as it’s cooking.

And, even if you are too busy to eat before you leave the house, you could just put the oats into a container and microwave them when you get to work.

Is Oatmeal Healthy For Diabetics?

is oatmeal healthy

dtownsend

Oatmeal is one of those foods frequently recommended for diabetics.

You see, because oats are higher in fiber, they are promoted as releasing their energy more slowly than some other breakfast choices.

However, oatmeal is actually quite rapidly converted to sugar, and even if you leave off the added sugar, dried or fresh fruit, you will still experience high blood sugars.

If you’re diabetic, or have access to a blood glucose monitor, here’s a little test for you to try out.

1st morning
Eat a bowl of oats with whatever trimmings you normally add, then test your blood sugar after one hour.

2nd morning
Eat two hard boiled eggs, then test your blood sugar after one hour.

Compare the different effects these two breakfasts have on your blood sugar levels. This will give you a good idea if oatmeal really is a good choice for you.

How To Make Oatmeal Healthier

I am by no means anti-oats. In fact, when used correctly, oats can be a fantastic addition to your diet.

However by itself, oatmeal does not comprise a complete balanced meal, which means you need to pair it with other foods to get the balance right.

You can lower the glycemic load of oatmeal by combining it with a little lean protein, such as milk, a half-scoop of protein powder, or some natural yogurt after cooking.

Healthy fats are another fantastic option. Try some chopped walnuts nuts, or a sprinkling of ground flaxseeds.

Cinnamon or nutmeg are also good options to add flavoring, without the sweetness.

Time is always mentioned as a problem at breakfast, and I completely understand that.

However, even if you choose regular rolled oats, they can cook up on the stovetop in as little as five minutes. And, if you choose to microwave them, you’re done in around 2 minutes. The instant stuff isn’t much quicker, if at all.

Personally, I eat oats once or twice each week, along with a little honey, some walnuts and some milk.

I do, however, prefer to have eggs for breakfast, and I certainly notice that I am fuller for longer when I eat two boiled eggs at breakfast time.

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Monica, from The Yummy Life, shares this recipe for slow cooker, steel-cut oatmeal.

This recipe is great because you can make it ahead of time, then store in the fridge until you need it — no need to go for instant oatmeal after all!

Ingredients
2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups milk (or almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
1 tablespoon honey
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, additional milk

Method:

  1. Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approximately 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary).
  2. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.
  3. To reheat single servings: put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup of milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.
Servings: 7 servings (3/4-cup)

Overnight Oats

Another option is to put your steel-cut oats in a pan with water, and bring the water to boil for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the oats and go to bed.

In the morning, stir the oats, and they will be perfectly soft and chewy, and ready to eat as they are. Or, if you prefer them hot, microwave for a minute or two to warm through.

Oatmeal Skin Mask

If oats for breakfast just aren’t your thing, apparently they are great for skincare, being very good for making us look more youthful! :-)

So, check out Keeley’s recipe in the video below:

So, is oatmeal healthy? What are your thoughts on this topic?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy October 4, 2012 at 1:55 am

Neat article Robert, I eat oats every morning. I guess I am in the minority because I don’t actually put in any additives. Maybe occasionally, I’ll throw some cinnamon or sugar, but not frequently.

I will be following!

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Cathy in NZ October 4, 2012 at 5:57 am

I don’t eat them anymore – in fact I haven’t eaten any cereal for over a year. Due to the additives that occur, especially when now a lot of the packaged goods have my “problematic dried fruit additive”

Also oats, got really boring…

I was thinking about trying something I saw on a lunchbox cereal idea but then I couldn’t find the item in the supermarket I visited this week…well I did but it had the dratted “dried fruit” addition.

I don’t eat eggs either at that time, because I often use eggs as the protein base at the end of the day.

Just lately in NZ there has been a big who-ha about what children are eating or not eating before they go to school, what is in their lunchboxes…then we had $2.25 a day food for adults challenge to do with poverty in other countries. So food has got into the limelight in a big way.

I actually wasn’t pleased with many of the suggestions for both children and the adults challenge. Seems like it’s not very creative in many avenues. Bought about by the idea that everything has to be boring, shop bought and bland :-)

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Melanie October 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I don’t like the sound of that either Cathy. Breakfast does not HAVE to come in a box!! :-)

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Cathy in NZ October 4, 2012 at 5:59 am

You might wonder why I wasn’t pleased!

That is because I am living on a very tight budget but I do not let that hamper a food intake…preferring to eat things that are tasty rather than not eating/or binning.

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Nick October 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I like old fashioned oats with organic pumpkin. It adds a nice seasonal flavor. I also like to add vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, almonds, and sometimes english toffee stevia sweetener. It’s really healthy and really does taste like pumpkin pie.

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Melanie October 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Hi Nick, I must admit I’ve never tried oats with pumpkin. How do you cook the pumpkin?

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Nick October 11, 2012 at 3:13 am

Melanie,
I just add a 1/2 cup of packaged FigFoodCo. organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie style) to old-fashioned oatmeal after I cooked them in the microwave. It helps cool the oatmeal to stir in the protein powder, cinnamon, and english toffee stevia. Then, I add another coat of cinnamon and some chopped almonds on top. I let it cool in the freezer if I really want a cold pumpkin pie taste.

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Melanie October 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Sounds like dessert for breakfast… yum!!

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Anastasiya October 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Excellent article, Melanie! I really enjoyed reading it :-)
I almost bought a box of Quaker instant oatmeal a couple of weeks ago for a quick and healthy breakfast for my kids but thankfully I read the label first.
Today oatmeal (the regular kind with skim milk) is my girls’ favorite breakfast. I trick them a little by adding a little bit of cacao and 3-5 dark chocolate chips. They think they are eating desert for breakfast and I am happy that they finish the entire bowl without any whining. And like you said, it takes only about 5 minutes to get this delicious breakfast ready.

Thanks for a great article, as always!

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Melanie October 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Wow Anastasiya, that sounds amazing. You know, I bought cacao nibs recently and haven’t even used them yet. They weren’t at all what I was expecting, more like a coffee bean almost. Any ideas? I was thinking if I got a coffee grinder, I could grind them to make cacao powder and use it like cocoa powder??

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Laura April 11, 2013 at 11:39 am

Cacao nibs are nice in homemade granola. I can’t eat them on their own but mixed in with things, they make it chocolate like. My granola I make 75% nuts and seeds and 25% oats so it’s protein heavy. And I add no sugar, just coconut oil and butter :)

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Sascha October 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

You seem to be a really big fan of the two boiled eggs for breakfast but is that really all you eat? Because that is not really enough calories, at least not for me. But I tried it this morning just to see what this ‘magic’ breakfast will do to me and my blood glucose. I’m not diabetic but I do have a blood glucose monitor (my boyfriend is diabetic) and I ate two hard boiled eggs this morning. After just 30 minutes or so I was starting to feel hungry again. After 1 hour my blood glucose was 4.5 mmol/L and after 2 hours my blood glucose was 3.9 mmol/L and I was already not feeling well. After two and a half hours I was so hungry and feeling really weak and shaky that I had to eat something. So I was wondering if you eat two plain eggs each morning, or do you have some additions to it to avoid going hungry so soon? Because this was not a good breakfast for me and I still feel like I need to eat a lot to make up for my ‘missed breakfast’ (it feels that way). And my blood glucose was probably lower compared to my regular breakfast consisting of oats with yoghurt or oatmeal, but lower in this case is probably a little too low.

I do love oatmeal in the morning which I usually combine with soymilk, fresh fruit, nuts and flaxseed and some cinnamon.

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Melanie October 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Sascha,
I find most people tend to stick with the same breakfast every day, and yes, like I said in my article, I eat eggs most days, but once or twice a week I’ll have oatmeal. It really depends how hungry I feel. Most mornings I just eat the eggs. Occasionally I’ll have some cheese if they’re scrambled, or I might have some yogurt and fruit afterwards. And on an extremely odd occasion, I’ll have a slice of bread. I never feel hungry until about 11.30am/12 with that breakfast, and I am breastfeeding right now, too, so I’m also needing a few more calories than normal.

Anyway, it just shows how different we all are. I was very interested to see your blood sugar readings, they were terribly low. I would have suggested eating something again before letting them get so low that you felt ill. Perhaps I eat later in the evenings that you do, which means my blood sugars don’t drop so low overnight, and therefore the eggs are enough for me. I honestly never feel overly hungry with eggs, as I would with cereal, toast, oats, etc, and I know others who feel the same.

Your oatmeal sounds delicious in the mornings. I love it too with nuts and fruit, etc.

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Sascha October 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I was so suprised to experience such discomfort after eating this breakfast and even with this low blood glucose level I wasn’treally expecting to feel so shaky and weak. I always have blood glucose levels that are a bit on the low side. And most people will not suffer from hypoglycemia until blood glucose droppes below 3 mmol/L so I had some buffer because my blood glucose was 3.9 mmol/L. So perhaps there were other factors to make me feel this way, but I do know I will keep eating more calories and more carbohydrates when eating breakfast because I really respond well on them. I do however need to make sure I also eat enough protein. So thanks to you I do pay extra attention to always combine more carbohydrate foods with more protein rich foods and healthy fats (mostly trying to eat enough omega-3 rich sources especially since I’m a vegetarian).

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Melanie October 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I am glad something has been helpful for you :-)

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Dr. Mark October 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Basically, unprocessed oats = good.
Processed oats = bad.

I think a lot of the “studies” used to make advertising claims are misleading. While it is true that natural oats have benefits, the oats in the processed products aren’t used in the studies. They are making a dishonest leap and the public is buying it.

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Melanie October 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Some of the marketing tactics are absolutely shameful, aren’t they?

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Dr. Dale January 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Melanie,
What do you think the extra cooking time required by useing old fashion oatmeal or cracked groats over using instant Quaker Oats is doing to your breakfast? The only difference between that and instant oatmeal is the instant oatmeal has been steamed, or already precooked a little.. Your reasoning is flawed for not using instant, IMHO.

My normal breakfast is:
1/3rd cup of instant Quaker Oats, 1/4 cup blk Walnuts, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 Fuji Apple, 1 tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice, two drops of real vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon, and a dash of ground Ginger Root. All the above, I reduce to dust in my blender, then add 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk and cook two minutes in the microwave. It is very good, very fast, and healthy. I can make it from scratch and eat it in ten minutes.

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Melanie February 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi Dr Dale, The glycemic index of old fashioned oats is 55 vs 83 for instant oats, suggesting my reasoning is not flawed, instant vs old fashioned oats are not the same thing, as you suggest.

As I said in my article, I am concerned that many of the instant varieties are full of flavorings, sugar, and lots of additives. Above, I have uses the example of the strawberries and cream instant oats. It contains no strawberries, and 12 grams of sugar, with half the fiber of regular oatmeal. It also contains a partially hydrogenated oil. Clearly not a good option.

I have no problem with people wanting to eat oats for breakfast, I simply believe they should make it as healthy as they can.

Personally, I prefer to have an egg for breakfast, as I find it a lot more filling.

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rohit January 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm

thnx for sharing all these information i got all my queries about oat answered

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Teresa January 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I usually put honey, nuts and a teaspoon of peanut butter for extra protein. I don’t know if the peanut butter is a good thing but I try to work if off anyway. I find this gives me more energy and starts my day off great.

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Lisa January 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Not all of the instant packages have the added flavors. I just bought the instant Quaker Oats “Original” that is just the plain oats. Isn’t microwaving those instant packages the same thing as microwaving the regular rolled oats? They look exactly the same and it’s just a more convenient way to carry and make them at work.

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Terri February 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Hi There,

Interesting article. I am a great lover of oats, instant oats, to be exact and I will continue to eat them. I eat the plain instants oats that come in a box and not the flavoured oats or the ones that come in individual sachets as I have found them to contain way too much sugar. I do not enjoy oats once you put them in water or milk as they become slimy and simply inedible (my opinion) and I don’t like adding things to them – fruit, cream, yoghurt etc. Basically I eat my oats dry. I also suffer from IBS and have found that eating oats makes my stomach move. Previously my stomach woudl stop moving for days on end and I would have to go to the doctor to get some medication to move it along. With oats I have not had to for over 4 years now.

In the past year, I have lost some weight and at my last medical check up my cholesterol and sugar levels were within acceptable levels and my BMI was also under 25 or whatever a woman’s BMI is. All in all I am happy, but I do eat 4 cups a day (and I am working on cutting this back to at least two cups a day) which I know is way too much, and this has resulted in me producting excess phlegm which is quite uncomfortable as my throat is constantly filled with phlegm and I am forever trying to clear the phlegm.

Right now I am working with a doctor to find other ways of dealing with the IBS which is the underlying problem.

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Rick Harris February 6, 2013 at 11:18 am

I eat rolled oat porridge every morning, varying the additions of seeds, banana, coconut milk, dates, the list goes on.
But to be honest, articles like this that treat oats as an isolated ingredient or just for breakfast is a rather simplistic way of looking at healthy eating.
Oats can be incorporated across all meals of the day, and a balanced diet will be far more beneficial than a single minded focus on one ingredient (for example, your comments about needing protein too)

Finally, if you’re choosing to eat in McDonalds, what do you expect??!!

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Sidney Ford February 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I found the article very helpful, in that oats/oatmeal is often purported to be healthy (without critical examination to the contrary). Also, McDonald’s advertises its oatmeal offering as healthy — “100% natural whole grain oats…a touch of cream…loaded with red and green apples, cranberries and two varieties of raisins….” The advertising goes on to imply that because the consumer can add brown sugar (or not), it is sugar free in its natural state, which clearly is not true. I think the writer can expect truth in advertising, as can other consumers. The fact that it’s a fast food company doesn’t relieve it from accountability for misstatements of fact.

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GW February 26, 2013 at 2:04 am

I say go ahead and eat oats. They are better than most junk people eat for breakfast. Some just need to over-complicate the simplest things. Must be a control thing. “Hey look, I’m eating oats and I like them!” “Are they free-range titanium oats cooked in unicorn sweat? The you might as well eat a sausage biscuit.”

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Cybohmoob March 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm

This post is so misleading it makes me wanna go grab another bowl of Oat Meal.
You’re basing everything on your personal opinion. You have no facts to back up everything you just typed.

The fact is that OAT’s have the BEST, the cleanest, the longest lasting natural grain energy of any other foods. Even when it’s topped off with sugar or other oils it still delivers it’s long lasting energy and it’s fullness. THIS is what makes you healthier because you don’t eat other junk if you feel full and strong. The body has nutrients, energy and fullness so why would it want anything else? The secret to eating Oats is that the OAT’s long lasting energy makes you eat LESS so you end up taking in less SUGAR and FATS that you would simply eat from other sources if you were going without the Oats long lasting energy. Basically if you eat a HUGE bowl of OATS you just eliminated a HUGE potential of being hungry and eating something else like steak, hash browns, ect. Oats is basically food of the champions and if you learn to TOP oatmeal off with other champion foods such as wild rice, soy tofu, and beans you will never EVER see your cholesterol levels and blood pressure spike in your life time.

Just remember that even the Best healthy food sources from anywhere else just don’t even come close to a simple BOWL of plain OATS. It’s that simple.

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Armen May 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

You begin your comment with the view that this article is mere “personal opinion” and without “facts” (even though there are plenty of facts mentioned), and then you proceed to give a long paragraph of pure opinion, followed up by a final sentence that suggests that the healthiest foods can’t compare to oats (huh?).

Hmmm…

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Andrew March 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Nice article on oats. I appreciate the detailed information.

Andrew

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Brian March 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

I eat steel cut oats almost every morning with a little raw honey and fruits and nuts or flax. I think I’ve noticed my skin eczema has gone away. My scalp used to itch all day. I’ve started to eat homemade plain yogurt too which I think has helped. I switch off eating egg whites with one yolk once in a while. I think this is the way to go. I don’t eat much wheat or rice anymore too. More fiber, beans, veggies, fruit.

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Anna September 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I’ve been eating 1/2 measured cup of home-cooked quick-cook oats, with homecooked (and homegrown) apples, spices, a [small] touch of brown sugar, stevia, and a splash of unsweetened almond/coconut milk along with an egg for breakfast for a few days, and my eczema, which had flared, has begun to subside. And I feel good and not overloaded.

I also have begun making “fritters” with quick-cook oats. I don’t use a lot of wheat or corn flour in my cooking and we don’t keep bread in the house (recovering bread-a-holics here), and to get my husband to eat his veggies, I’ll puree them with some egg white and a 1/2 cup of cooked oats, spices, diced green onion and then drop the batter in a bit of olive oil in a nonstick skillet – just enough to give it some browning and carmelizing but not enough to make it fatty. They’re pretty tasty; the texture is very moist and some might not like it, but the hubby does and he gets extra fiber and vegetables, right?

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Anna March 21, 2013 at 3:03 am

I must be the exception to the rule – I keep reading everywhere that oats cause a blood sugar spike and won’t keep you satisfied, but my experience is exactly the opposite. If I eat eggs or practically anything else for breakfast I am hungry again within the hour. But if I have a bowl of soaked oats (soaked overnight in soy milk with some raisins and cinnamon added) I find I don’t get hungry until mid-afternoon, like 2:00 to 3:00 pm – I’ve been known to forget lunch! To me, then, oats seem like the logical choice.

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zastomito March 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Here is my recipe:
- 100 grams of groats cooked for half an hour and left another 20 minutes to soak up put in the blender along with some raw almonds, half a tablespoon of cocoa, tablespoon of honey, and half a tablespoon of powdered egg white.
You can vary, like putting boiled egg, coconut or anything else that comes in mind.

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Laura April 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

Great informative post again Melanie thanks. I used to eat porridge everyday but now I am more similar to you and will have maybe 1-2 a week as a break from the egg breakfasts. I think this will be useful to lots of people!

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Megan April 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

Just since it looked like no one mentioned it. I eat cold oats that are uncooked. It is really nice just mix a bit of yoghurt, milk, and oatmeal together and leave it in the fridge overnight. I like to add chia seeds, and berries or chia seeds with apple slices and cinnamon.

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Bobby Stanley April 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm

This is a great article. People tell me all the time about the oatmeal they eat. It’s always the instant crap!! I don’t eat at McDonald’s and I’ve heard, “Well they have Oatmeal, you could eat that”. I tell them, NO. ha-ha. I eat oatmeal at least twice a day. I always add a fruit (apple, blueberries, strawberries), a nut (almonds, pecans, or walnuts), cinnamon or nutmeg, sea salt, and occasionally garlic powder. This one sounds weird. But try it, if you like garlic you may like this. I add garlic everyday during the winters, it helps me to not get sick ;).

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Armen May 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

When you’re a garlic lover, you never want to miss an opportunity to add it in.

Nice suggestion, Bobby.

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amby April 17, 2014 at 2:47 am

I do love my oats with garlic, any kind of herb or spice. I’ll add some curry, chicken, kale, broth what ever! I treat oats the same as barley after all it’s just a grain food.

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Roger April 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Staffordshire Oatcakes, no similarity to Scottish Oat cakes , more of an oat pancake ,like a deliciously soft stretchy chappati. In fact they were dreamt up by some incredibly resourceful person to satisfy the tastes of soldiers who had returned from India and missed the breads they had eaten there. If you’ve never eaten one you’re in for a treat. I searched a long time looking for an authentic recipe without luck, then finally this article provided it….. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/28/an-oatcake-revival
I couldn’t find REALLY fine oatmeal so I whizz rolled oats in a coffee grinder, also use half the amount of yeast ( level dessert spoon instead of tablespoon) I store them stacked on a plate inside a plastic bag and peel one or two off as required. Heat and fill with egg , bacon , tomatoes , cheese , whatever takes your fancy

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sheldra April 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Melanie,
I make savory oatmeal with poached eggs in the morning. It is delicious. I use a low-sodium broth or bouillon instead of water or milk in the oatmeal. I find its best if you use a little more water than usual. The consistancy should be a little thicker than congee or jook (rice porridge). Then, I poach 1 or 2 eggs depending on the day’s activities, and add them after. It is my FAVORITE.

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amby April 17, 2014 at 2:50 am

Perfect!

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Gonny May 6, 2013 at 6:30 am

Never ever prepare your outmeal, or anything else to eat,
in a microwave…
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ScbbQ2pYd9I

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Shelly Webster January 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

I am in full agreement!! Cancer rates SOARED when the microwave was invented!!

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Kitty May 24, 2013 at 2:32 am

What rubbish. To carry on about how unhealthy oats (and cream and sugar) can be – yet you “Personally, .. eat oats once or twice each week, along with a little honey, some walnuts and some milk.”? The number of times you have contradicted yourself in the article is laughable.

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Nick May 24, 2013 at 3:02 am

Are old fashioned oats not healthier than instant oats? Is honey not healthier than table sugar or cream? Are walnuts and milk not healthier than sugar and cream? I don’t understand your logic or reasoning.

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Armen May 31, 2013 at 8:50 am

I don’t think you read the article, Kitty.

Try again.

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Timmy August 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Kitty. you need to reread the article. Sigh.

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Diane May 31, 2013 at 2:22 am

Strongly dislike this article. From the start of this article your bias against oats is the highlight of this article – brushing aside all sorts of positives of oats saying that “you can find that else where”. And crapping on oats because overly processed oats are unhealthy is like talking about potatoes than spending the whole article summing up how potatoes are so unhealthy because chips are bad for you.

And your summary for what you eat as your breakfast – 2 eggs. 200 calories. No carbs or fibre. How is that a balanced meal???

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Armen May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am

There’s no bias, Diane.

The author plainly states she eats oats 1-2 times/week.

What the article seeks to do is answer the question, “Is Oatmeal Healthy?” and walks us through the various factors which need to be taken into consideration before the question can be answered.

Finally, eggs are perhaps the most complete food that can be eaten, and keeping your blood sugars from a spike first thing in the morning has important health benefits.

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Savaannah June 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

About the instant oats, if the oats are ‘original’ flavor, is it healthier than the sweetened ones (chocolate, strawberry ect).

Thanks.

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AA June 21, 2013 at 1:16 am

I take instant oats regularly for the past month. My weights keeps ballooning from the time i started. I was startled. It has been years since my weights jump as fast as this. I I suspect the instant oats as the problem. That is the only change i have in my regular diets.

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Gonny June 22, 2013 at 7:07 am

Hi, there.
Here in Holland every day more people come to realize that the microwave is a killingmachine…it kills everything, including the good stuff in your food.. Please…do not prepare yoir healthy food in the microwave anymore.. It is really a scary thing. You need to google for microwave and cancer.. And I assure you, you will be in shock! Thinking you were living so healthy, wile in the meantime every time you heated your food in the microwave, you ate dead food, or worse…. At the same time you do have some really good ideas about healthy foods and stuff, but about this killingmachine I must warn you.
Have a nice weekend!! Greetings from Holland!

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Timmy August 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I agree. Precisely why i don’t have a microwave at home.

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Julian June 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hi there great article however you are forgetting something, not all instant oat meal options contain sweeteners and artificial flavoring, there are options with nothing but plain and boring oat meal (no salt, no sugar, no preservatives, no noting). Yes it might have less nutrients but it’s not unhealthy at all, we must be careful with our statements many people could get the wrong idea.

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Doug July 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

There aren’t any REAL Strawberrries!! What a rip!

WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, RED 40), CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, OAT FLOUR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, FOLIC ACID*.
*ONE OF THE B VITAMINS
**ADDS A DIETARILY INSIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TRANS FAT

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vlad July 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

The author of this article is obviously not a doctor and not qualified to speak about topics such as glycemic index. I recommend to anybody with a real question about the healthiness of oats to ask a real dietician, not rely on some angry blogger who thinks they know about nutrition.

This article is contradictory and the author is clearly a smelly c.u.n.t.

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Timmy August 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Scrolling through the comments, there are valid points in each and every comment. However, all the comments are based on each and everyone’s own opinion so there is no need to be aggressive. Truth or false, just take it with a grain of salt. You are neither entirely right nor wrong. Just get any kind of oatmeal you want, cook it however way you want it, and enjoy it.

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Loes August 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm

As a diabetic, I can tell you that eating only two boiled eggs for breakfast is plain deadly for someone with diabetes, especially someone who takes insulin injections like I do. Also, as a diabetic (type 1) I can tell you that oatmeal does wonders for my blood sugar, thank you. I could NOT eat only two boiled eggs as a diabetic if I don’t want to end up hypoglycemia thank you, so please don’t talk about subjects you, clearly, don’t know that much about.

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charlotte September 4, 2013 at 11:05 am

Will overnight oats still contain the beta-glucan present in cooked oats?

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Ron September 22, 2013 at 1:42 am

Bless your heart, Melanie. I have no idea how you tolerate the haters, the persons who read your articles without comprehension, and those who take a few words of your opinions and attack them according to their narrow frames of reference. Your article was balanced and offered advice about breakfast, rather than offering a comprehensive plan for an entire day, much less one for a complete dietary lifestyle. Please keep publishing your thoughtful opinions. By the way, a breakfast of two eggs followed by one ounce of honey for “breakfast dessert” keep me satisfied for four hours.

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Melanie September 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thank you Ron :) I appreciate your support :)

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Jon December 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm

A few misconceptions above about microwave cooking. Microwaves work by penetrating the food and through friction (caused by the microwaves) heat up the water inside. This then cooks the food from the inside-out. This is not a dangerous way to cook, it is a quick and safe way to cook. Also, what kills nutrients in food is the length of the cooking process, the longer the food cooks, the more nutrients are either destroyed or seep out into the water. Microwaves benefit from much reduced cooking times and are therefore generally more nutrient preserving.
If you want to avoid cancer from cooking then stop grilling, frying, roasting and barbecuing your foods. All of these processes burn the food and when you burn food you change it’s chemical composition which can cause cells to mutate when ingested and can induce cancer.
Harvard University did a detailed study on this very topic I remember seeing it a couple of years ago. Feel free to look it up on their website.

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nik January 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Hi, interesting article. It doesnt really cover the middle ground though? I find it quite easy to find instant oats with zero sweeteners added. The ingredients are simply wholegrain rolled oats and something called soya lecithin which is claimed to be added to stop the milk boiling over while cooking it. So if I have this for breakfast with skim milk is it healthy, even though it is instant?

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dieta da usp sopa March 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Hello, this weekend is good designed for me, because this occasion i am reading this
enormous educational paragraph here at my home.

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Allison March 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I normally buy the cylindrical tubs of 100% Instant Oatmeal, leave it at my desk and prepare 1/4 cup everyday (with the convenient hot water from the office Keurig Machine). I’ll add either blueberries or cinnamon or sometimes just a pinch of salt. This normally serves me as mid-morning snack if I worked out early in the day or a late afternoon snack, fueling me for a work out later in the evening. Easy, effiicient, and hearty…I love oatmeal!

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joseph April 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

i eat a 12 ounce portion of cooked old fashion oatmeal 5 days a week, with 2 ounces of milk and splenda. this works good for my digestive tract , i notice some weight gain and a full feeling for most of the day. should i cut back the portion size or the days i eat oatmeal. i have been doing this for 5 months.

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Steven Reiley April 12, 2014 at 4:00 am

I love oats in the morning. I soak mine over night. I just add water and cover. I microwave in the morning for 1 minute. They come out great. I add a little honey for sweetness and then seasonal fruit from my garden. This month I have been adding strawberries. Soon it will be apricots, peaches, then apples. The fresh fruit really adds something to the oatmeal. I only eat it during the week. On the weekends I eat other things so I don’t get tired of oatmeal.

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Ian Morris April 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

I start the day with rolled oat with boiling water poured on, sometimes with sliced banana but never any plain sugar or milk.

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keddy tear April 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Hi,
Recently I brought weikfield white oat…I got some doubt that does oat make us unhealthy… most of my friends comment not to have oat meal as it make us unhealthy….is that true….

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Melissa April 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I found these recipies, and they are fantastic. It keeps me full for a really long time and is perfect for the summer months. And it’s all natural – you control everything you put in!

http://www.theyummylife.com/Refrigerator_Oatmeal

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