Does Eating Oatmeal Benefit Your Health?

Simply put, oatmeal is awesome!

As long as you know which type to buy.


That's because not all brands of oatmeal are created equal, and many of the ones you can buy in your store will be jam-packed with sugar. This isn't necessarily bad, however if you are diabetic or if your body does not respond well to insulin spikes, you should avoid any type of oatmeal that are advertised as containing "brown sugar", "raspberry sauce", "apple cinnamon", or anything else that sounds sweet.

The oatmeal which will benefit your health the most are the old-fashioned "rough" type - not the "instant" oatmeal which you just pour some hot water over and get yourself a delicious sweet dish in a few seconds. Just go for the plain oatmeal, and if you need to add some extra taste to it, you can always do so in your own kitchen - berries, nuts and dried fruit are all great additions that I personally enjoy. As long as we are on the subject of taste, you might want to cook your oatmeal in low-fat milk instead of water - the result will be a far creamier dish that will be more pleasant to your senses, I guarantee it.

As far as health benefits go, oatmeal has an extremely high fiber content - roughly 7 grams per 1/3 of a cup! In case you aren't sure - yes, that's a lot. The reason you want to have this much fiber in your diet is because it makes you feel full for longer, and also does wonders for your entire digestive tract; this in turn results in better absorption of vitamins and micronutrients from everything else you eat, leading to an avalanche of additional non-direct benefits.

You'll also like oatmeal for it's high complex carbohydrates content. When I say "complex", I mean that they take a longer time to be digested, which again makes you feel satiated for longer, and also reduces insulin spikes which are common for simple carbs. As I said before, this will be of particular interest to diabetics, and everyone who finds themselves sleepy or tired an hour or two after eating simple carbs (such as sugar for example).

If you are gluten intolerant or suffer from celiac disease, you'll be happy to know that oatmeal does not contain many of the proteins which cause reactions in gluten-sensitive people. However, you should make sure to check the label anyway, as certain brands of oatmeal may contain trace amounts of whey. Though if you have no gluten intolerance, then this is a moot point for you.

Oatmeal will also likely benefit your heart, due to the plant lignans they contain, which your intestinal flora will convert into mammalian lignans. Some of these are suspected to have positive effects on our cardiovascular system and may also protect you against certain types of cancer, although this is still up for debate.

You will also get a large dose of multivitamins and minerals from even the smallest serving of oatmeal. They are particularly rich in thiamin and iron, which will do wonders for your heart, as well as help your body convert carbohydrates into energy more readily.

Still wondering whether you should go for it?

-By Jehad Nazzal


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