Oats, oatmeal, porridge might be not on the “official” superfood list but health benefits of oats are incredible – it’s a low key natural superfood and gets included into our list 🙂
I get asked by clients if oats are fattening as they are carbs, so we thought best to clarify.
Oats are one of the “safe carbs”.
They are a good source of protein, fibre, antioxidants, “good” fats too, and contain many vitamins and minerals – check out the whole breakdown at Authority Nutrition.
They are “safe carbs” as they are slow release carbs. They take longer to have an effect on blood sugar levels and cause less of an insulin spike. They also take longer to digest, helping you feel full for longer.
Like anything, safe is safe in moderation. Oats CAN be fattening if you eat loads and if there are too many tasty things added. That includes jams, honey, all sorts of syrups, dry fruit…
Think of it like this. 1 tablespoon of honey is 12g of sugar. Most recommendations are to keep your sugar intake to under 40g a day. If you add 3 spoons of honey to plain oats you’re at your daily limit and it’s not even 8am (probably)
That’s the main issue with instant oats. Most of them are loaded with sugar for flavour. Another thing to remember – instant oats are processed twice for shelf-life and make them “instant” which decreases nutrient content.
So instead of instant oats, try overnight oats. These may be more nutritious as soaking is good against phytates (phytates can bind to minerals such as iron, lowering the nutrient value of foods such as oats. Again, the whole phytates being bad thing is too one sided, they’re not necessarily bad, they’re not necessarily good but need to be understood to make a decision)
Here’s a great article on soaking oats. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/reasons-raw-soaked-oats-are-a-must-try/
Personally, I’ve never been able to stomach porridge but soaking oats and adding to yoghurt really hits the spot for breakfast. Chop in an avocado and add a fig or two and I don’t get hungry till midday so this is a great way to minimise snacking.
Final thing when you start eating more oats and that’s to drink water! You’ll need to increase water intake to aid with digestion of oats.
Now that we know more about oats go to the local supermarket, walk straight past the instant stuff and get a bag of the much cheaper, much more nutritious plain oats and enjoy.