Is Oatmeal Good For Weight Loss?
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Is oatmeal good for weight loss? We’re here today to prove to you that oatmeal is good for weight loss. We have many reasons to strongly think so.
Join us in finding out why oatmeal is good for you and how you can eat oatmeal for weight loss.
Oatmeal has been around for many years. But in recent years, it has gained a lot of popularity.
On Instagram especially, we see many different versions of oatmeal recipes such as overnight oats, porridge (cooked oats), and baked oatmeal.
How many calories are in oatmeal?
1 cup of dry oats provide:
|Source: USDA, FoodData Central, 2019
|Oats, regular, dry (1 cup)
As you can see, oats are rich in carbohydrates and fiber. Oats are also higher in protein than any other grain.
Moreover, oats pack many vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, folate, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
The number of calories a bowl of oatmeal provides depends on how you prepare and serve it (these light oatmeal cookies for example are all low calorie). But we can say that a healthy filling oatmeal bowl that would fit your weight loss program should be around 300-350 kcal.
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Is oatmeal healthy?
High in beta-glucan
Oatmeal contains a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. When mixed with water, beta-glucan forms a thick, gel-like solution, which provides many health benefits.
First of all, it helps you to feel full for longer. Feeling full prevents the urge to snack between meals and reduces your portion sizes. That, in turn, helps to achieve your weight loss goals.
Research has shown that having oatmeal increases fullness and decreases the desire to eat four hours after eating.
Secondly, beta-glucan helps with weight control. Studies on overweight and obese adults concluded that people who consume oat cereal had a larger decrease in waist circumference. If that wasn’t enough, people who consumed oatmeal and a lower body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat compared to non-consumers.
And these results were evident as early as week four of adding oats to their diets. How amazing is that!
The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps to increase good bacteria in the gut, which helps to have regular bowel movements and avoid constipation problems.
Takeaway: Beta-glucan in oats helps with the feeling of fullness, weight control, and regular bowel movements.
Control blood sugar levels
Beta-glucan in oatmeal can also help improve blood glucose and insulin responses for type-2 diabetic patients.
A review of research on people with type-2 diabetes found that eating oatmeal helps with blood glucose control.
Rolled oats have a glycemic index (GI) of 55, which makes them a low-GI food. Low-GI foods release glucose into the blood slowly, which helps type 2 diabetic patients maintain better glucose control.
A balanced glucose profile is a crucial factor in losing weight for these patients.
Takeaway: Oats are low-GI foods and may help improve blood glucose levels in patients with type-2 diabetes.
Improve cholesterol levels
Beta-glucan also helps in lowering cholesterol. One study determined that adding three or more grams of oats every day into your diet can reduce total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), aka “bad cholesterol”.
Takeaway: Oatmeal supports healthy cholesterol levels.
Is oatmeal fattening?
Losing weight with oats is possible only if you eat them the right way.
Like any other food, you should check your portions and toppings when making oatmeal because it is easy to go overboard and add unnecessary calories to your bowl.
Although the amounts may change according to your diet, an average ideal portion for oats to put in a meal would be half a cup.
Don’t add extra sugar
The worst thing you can do is to add extra sugar to your oatmeal. Whether it’s table sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey doesn’t matter; you only add extra calories, nothing nutritionally valuable.
If you want to sweeten up your oatmeal, try adding cinnamon and fresh fruit like banana or apple.
Be careful with the toppings
The other toppings you should be aware of are nuts and nut butter. They can add a nice touch to your oatmeal, plus some good quality fats and protein, which increases satiety and prevents spikes in blood sugar.
But don’t overload your oatmeal bowl with them. Have around 1-2 teaspoons of nut butter or 1-2 tablespoons of nuts as a topping.
Takeaway: To have oatmeal as a healthy option for weight loss, use plain rolled oats, add healthy toppings, and measure them to track your portion sizes (try these vegan low calorie breakfasts for some calorie controlled oatmeal goodness!).
Our take on oatmeal recipes
There’s no best time to eat oatmeal; you can fit any oatmeal recipe into every meal. It can be a filling breakfast, a portable lunch on the go, or a quick dinner when there’s nothing left in the fridge.
We love overnight oats because they are easy to prepare (no cooking skills necessary here!) and incredibly delicious. The simple rule is to soak oats in your milk of choice overnight and enjoy them cold or heated in the morning or whenever you want (have a look at this article on which milk is healthiest and best for the planet if you’re struggling to choose!).
If you haven’t tried them before, here’s our step-by-step guide to making overnight oats and our six favorite recipes. We are 100% sure that you’ll find at least one to enjoy!
Another delicious way to enjoy oats, especially on hot summer days, is in a refreshing yogurt parfait. It’s high in protein from Greek yogurt and high in fiber from oats and fruits. Check out our Healthy Yogurt Parfait for a yummy filling start to your day.
Conclusion: Is Oatmeal Good For Weight Loss?
We believe that now you’ll agree with us that oatmeal is good for weight loss. Whether you’re eating oatmeal every day, or just a couple of days in a week, oatmeal provides many health benefits and aids in weight loss.
Oatmeal is among the healthiest carbohydrates you can eat in your diet. But whether or not oatmeal is weight loss friendly depends on how you’re preparing it.
In the end, weight loss is all about calories in, calories out. When you go over your daily caloric intake with extra calories from the toppings on your oatmeal, oatmeal can turn into a fattening food that ruins your weight loss plan.