Posted on October 28, 2021 at 12:45 PM by IWLS Dietitians
National Oatmeal Day is on October 29, 2021 and your Iowa Weight Loss Specialists dietitians would like you to know different ways to enjoy oatmeal for any meal of the day!
With colder temperatures setting in, many of us look for comfort foods to get through the chilly fall and winter seasons. One of the healthiest options for comfort food is oatmeal. Oatmeal is not always at the top of everyone’s go-to list for breakfast (or even lunch or dinner), but it can be an incredibly versatile, satisfying, and quick meal option for those pursuing weight loss.
A cereal grain made from gently processed oats, oatmeal can be purchased in several different forms. Rolled or old-fashioned oats are oats that have been flattened by a roller and steamed. Similarly, quick oats are broken down even further, rolled thinner, and steamed in order to cook more quickly. Steel-cut oats are cut but not rolled or steamed, so they take longer to cook and have a different texture.
Oatmeal is low in calories with 150 calories per serving. It provides about 5 grams of protein, is a good source of fiber (4 grams), and is low in fat. Oats are nutrient-dense, rich in micronutrients including thiamine, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. While oats are naturally gluten-free, factory processing practices may lead to gluten contamination, so people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance may need to avoid oatmeal or look for brands that specifically make products for gluten-sensitive individuals.
There are a number of health benefits to consuming oatmeal on a regular basis. Its fiber helps to promote regular digestion and gut health. Oatmeal keeps you fuller longer by slowing down the transit time in the stomach, which can aid weight management goals. This delayed emptying also slows the uptake of glucose into the bloodstream for improved blood sugar control. The soluble fiber in oatmeal binds to cholesterol and prevents it from moving into your bloodstream, helping to reduce overall cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.
Oatmeal can easily be incorporated into the diet. It can be eaten in the traditional form (cooked or microwaved) or cold (overnight oats). Because of its mild flavor, oatmeal blends well with a variety of flavors and toppings including cinnamon and other spices, sweeteners (stevia, honey, maple, brown sugar), seeds (chia, flax, hemp), and fruit (berries, apples, bananas, dried fruit). You can also try adding in other flavors like nuts and nut butters (peanut, almond), chocolate, pumpkin, or coconut flakes. Stirring in a protein powder or shake can give oatmeal extra sweetness and protein.
Consider making your oatmeal bowl savory. Oatmeal can pair well with foods like fried eggs, sautéed and caramelized vegetables, cheese, bacon or sausage, and greens and herbs.
Try adding oatmeal to different foods to boost their nutrient profile, including baked goods (cookies, muffins, breads), homemade granola, meatloaf and meatballs, and black bean burgers.
Iowa Weight Loss Specialists dietitians have provided more recipes on our nutrition tab on our website. For more recipes, click here!
-Simon Knoblauch, RDN, LD