The benefits of oatmeal for breakfast
Oatmeal (just like oatmeal itself) are foods whose benefits have been known for several hundred years. Even at the beginning of the last century, a diet on oatmeal was recommended by doctors as a means of improving health and normalizing body weight, and today scientists are finding more and more evidence-based evidence of the benefits of oatmeal.
It is proved that oatmeal is the ideal breakfast choice for people who want to lose weight (due to its low glycemic index and the ability to normalize blood sugar), and for those who care about the health of their stomach (oatmeal contains beta-glucan component, being a unique form of water-soluble fiber ).
Oatmeal pancake is also baked on its basis - a proper nutrition dish consisting of oatmeal, milk and eggs. There are many recipes for salted and sweet oatmeal pancakes, including the use of various fillings - from cottage cheese, ham and cheese to bananas, apples, honey and other sweet additives. The calorie content of oatmeal pancake directly depends on the ingredients used.
Oatmeal Glycemic Index
Recall that the glycemic index is a numerical expression of the ability of a certain food to increase the level of insulin in the blood. Foods with a low glycemic index increase sugar levels smoothly, contributing to a stable feeling of satiety, while foods with a high GI increase sugar quickly, causing it to fall in 30-60 minutes.
The glycemic index of oatmeal directly depends on the method of preparation and the amount of sugar, fruit and other sweet ingredients used in the recipe. For example, oatmeal on water has a GI of 40 units, while oatmeal on milk is already about 60 units, and instant oatmeal with sugar - 80 units or more, belonging to the category of “desserts” and “fast carbohydrates”, and not to healthy nutrition .
Beta Glucan: Useful Fiber
Beta glucan is a polysaccharide (a type of complex carbohydrate) found primarily in oatmeal and barley, but is also present in mosses and lichens². The substance is one of the types of fiber, which means that it cannot be digested by the human stomach, although it dissolves in the esophagus and is actively involved in digestion.
The fiber intake rate is about 20-30 g per day. Given that the content of beta-glucan in oatmeal is approaching 2-8% of dry weight, a portion of oatmeal for breakfast in 50 g can cover the daily need for this element by almost a quarter. The calorie content of such a portion is 180-200 kcal (or 370-390 kcal per 100 g of dry cereal).
The benefits of oatmeal for weight loss
The content of oatmeal in water-soluble beta-glucan explains its benefits for those who want to lose weight - as such, oatmeal contains the “usual” amount of calories comparable to other cereals - however, beta-glucan has unique health properties that fundamentally distinguish oatmeal from , for example, buckwheat.
In addition to the fact that beta-glucan forms long-term saturation and slows down the onset of hunger, it normalizes blood sugar, lowers bad cholesterol, and also improves intestinal mechanics and the state of its microflora (1) . In fact, beta-glucan envelops the stomach, thus improving the mechanical function of the intestine.
Oatmeal to improve bowel function
Scientific studies show that by optimizing the functioning of the intestine and improving the state of its microflora, oatmeal is able to exert an immunomodulating effect on the body. Recall that it is the intestine that is the largest immune organ in the body. Beta-glucan has a prebiotic effect, contributing to the growth of the population of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
In fact, oatmeal is a breeding ground for beneficial microorganisms (including bifidobacteria), while inhibiting the development of harmful ones (4) . However, we note that oatmeal in milk contains lactose and casein - some people may be allergic to these components, thus crossing out any benefit of oatmeal for breakfast.
What is useful oatmeal:
- Has an average glycemic index
- Provides long saturation
- It has the properties of a prebiotic and enhances immunity
- Normalizes blood sugar
- Helps lower bad cholesterol
Is oatmeal gluten free?
Gluten (or gluten) is a group of proteins found in cereal starch. The most common types of such proteins are gliadins, prolamins and glutelins, which account for up to 85% of the amount of protein in wheat. The acute allergic reaction of the body to gliadin protein (celiac disease) implies a gluten-free diet .
Since oats are a cereal crop, prolamins (proteins of the gluten group) are present in its composition. More specifically, oatmeal contains avenines. By their structure, these substances are close to wheat gliadins and rye secalin. That is, a gluten-like substance in oatmeal is contained. However, in most cases, the body of people with celiac disease is still able to digest and absorb this substance³.
Gluten Free Oatmeal
The role is played by the fact that the biological activity of avenins varies depending on a number of factors - the variety and method of growing a particular plant, as well as the distribution of grain structure and combination with amino acids. At the same time, the most dangerous, wheat gluten, often gets into oatmeal during grinding of grains, since often the process is carried out on the same equipment.
There are varieties of oatmeal in which the content of avenins is reduced by selection. In addition, manufacturers process such cereals on a separate processing line to work exclusively with oats - in this case, the package contains the mark “does not contain gluten”.
How to cook oatmeal?
To prepare oatmeal, depending on the desired density, 4-5 parts of liquid per one part of oatmeal will be required - 120-150 ml of water or milk is taken per standard portion of oatmeal. Oatmeal is poured into boiling liquid, and then put on low heat for about 5-10 minutes, until the milk or water is completely absorbed.
To improve the taste and sweetening of oatmeal, it is better to use natural fruits, rather than sugar or jam, in extreme cases, you can use the stevia sweetener. Banana will be the best choice both in taste and price. Add half of the finely chopped banana to the freshly cooked porridge, and freeze the second in the freezer for next time use.
How to cook oatmeal in the water:
- 1 part cereal
- 4-5 parts of water
- 5-15 minutes of cooking
Oatmeal on water or milk?
The presence of lactose in it can serve as a minus of oatmeal in milk. If a person has milk intolerance, such porridge is not recommended to him. In addition, oatmeal cooked in milk with fruit can provoke bloating - however, in this case, it is more correct to talk about individual intolerance to a combination of ingredients, and not about a dangerous allergy.
We also note that in a very small number of people there is a food allergy to oat protein (avegin) - most often we are talking about small children. Introduce oatmeal into their diet must be careful and in small portions.
The unique properties of oatmeal are explained by the content in its composition of a special type of water-soluble fiber. Regular consumption of 30-40 g of oatmeal for breakfast not only helps to normalize blood sugar and reduce bad cholesterol, but also improves immunity due to the positive effect of oatmeal on the growth of the population of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
- Preparation, characterization, and biological properties of β-glucans, source
- Beta-glucan, source
- Why Oats Are Safe and Healthy for Celiac Disease Patients, source
- Oats: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings, source
- Mechanisms by which wheat bran and oat bran increase stool weight in humans, source