Oats Balance Blood Sugar and Four More Things You Need to Know

October 17, 2014

Do you love your morning oatmeal, but are still wondering about its health benefits or different ways to enjoy it? Read on for SupermarketGuru’s tips.

Oatmeal is a breakfast favorite, and for good reason, it helps curb appetite, decreases risk for both colon cancer and high cholesterol, can help balance blood sugar and is incredibly easy to whip up in the morning.  Read on for five more things you need to know about your oats.

Nutrient dense. Oats contain manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, biotin, B1, magnesium, chromium, zinc and more. Many of these nutrients contribute to blood sugar balance and relaxation, as well as boosting immunity and more. Oats are also rich in antioxidants which are implicated in the cholesterol lowering and anti inflammatory effects.

Savory. You may be accustomed to sweetening up your oats, but oats' neutral taste makes a prime canvas for more inventive flavor pairings.  Savory oats -- are a brilliant way to enjoy the classic breakfast food. They're delicious topped with a poached egg, or turkey sausage, or even some hot sauce and veggies. Now, your morning breakfast could be a great way to get in a serving of vegetables or two.

Fiber rich. A diet rich in fiber helps keep you regular, may lower your risk of colon and rectal cancer, and if you are watching your weight, can make you feel full longer, so you eat less. In addition, certain types of fiber help lower blood cholesterol levels, and can even help to control the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal.

Add some protein. Keep in mind that contrary to what many of us think, Americans generally don't eat enough protein for breakfast. Protein is critical for maintaining muscle mass and more, as proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. Protein also helps keep us feeling satisfied longer and our blood sugar more stable – so that we’re not hungry soon after breakfast with no ability to concentrate. Oats have protein, but get creative and add other sources like nut butters, chia seeds, have it savory with eggs and sausage, or even mix in some of your favorite protein powder. Adding extra protein will help make your oat breakfast even more of a lasting hit.

What’s the difference? Oat groats: unflattened kernels that are good for using as a breakfast cereal or for stuffing.  Steel-cut oats: featuring a dense and chewy texture, they are produced by running the grain through steel blades that thinly slices them.  Old-fashioned oats: have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.  Quick-cooking oats: processed like old-fashioned oats, except they are cut finely before rolling  Instant oatmeal: produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin. Oftentimes, sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to make the finished product.  Oat bran: the outer layer of the grain that resides under the hull. While oat bran is found in rolled oats and steel-cut oats, it may also be purchased as a separate product that can be added to recipes or cooked to make a hot cereal. Oat flour: used in baking, it is oftentimes combined with wheat or other gluten-containing flours when making leavened bread.