Want to Get Healthy? Eat More Oatmeal!

No matter your age, if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain healthy weight levels, it is important to include oatmeal in your diet. It is highly nutritious, contains the best kind of complex carbs, and is high in fiber. Here is the scoop on oatmeal, why you should eat it, and some delicious ways to prepare it.

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Why is oatmeal effective for losing weight?

First and foremost, oats are a perfect source of fiber, which is essential if you’re looking to lose weight. Simply put, including more fiber into your daily diet is the easiest way to drop those pounds. Why? Fiber makes you feel full in addition to digesting slowly, and so you eat less. As a bonus, oats are low in calories, so it’s a one-two punch of eating less because you’re satisfied and consuming fewer calories which leads to weight loss.

Another factor is that oats have a zero sugar index, meaning your body won’t need to produce the excess insulin that converts sugar into stored fat. It goes without saying that if you have less stored fat to begin with, you are going to weigh less.

Tasty and healthy oatmeal porridge with fruit, berry and flax seeds. Healthy breakfast. Fitness food. Proper nutrition. Breakfast on Valentine's Day.

Which oatmeal is best?

If your goal is to lose weight, you should be aware that not all oats are the same. The four most common types are steel cut oats, rolled, quick, and instant. Studies have found that steel-cut oats seem to contain the most fiber and have the lowest glycemic index. However, it appears that rolled and quick oats are nearly as good, so ultimately the decision is mostly about taste preference. Cut oats are the coarsest, are chewiest, and have a nuttier flavor than the other two whereas quick oats have the mildest flavor.

One thing is certain: avoid instant oatmeal. It contains added sugar and is highly processed, so you end up with none of the health benefits but with all of the things you shouldn’t be eating if you want to lose weight.

Because oatmeal is a low-calorie food, you should probably compensate by adding other nutritious foods into your diet. Although you want to reduce your caloric intake overall, you don’t want it to be so drastic that you aren’t getting enough sustenance. It’s best to consult with your doctor to decide how to best change your eating habits.

How to cook oatmeal for weight loss?

Oatmeal porridge is the perfect replacement for rice-based dishes. Aside from being a healthier alternative, you’ll appreciate the fact that the cooking time is much faster. Here are instructions for preparing oatmeal-based breakfasts.

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Oatmeal with carrots and raisins. First, measure ½ cup of oats, ¼ cup of chopped carrots, two egg whites, ½ cup of skim or low-fat milk, a pinch of cinnamon, a teaspoon of maple syrup, and a small handful of raisins. Mix all of these ingredients minus the cinnamon and raisins in a pan and cook on medium heat until it bubbles. Take off the heat, add the cinnamon and raisins, let it cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy!

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Oatmeal with shrimp (feeds four). This one is pretty daring since most people (at least in Western culture) don’t think of oatmeal as being a savory dish. But it’s actually really good. Measure ¾ cup of rolled oats, 3 cups of low-fat milk, ⅛ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp, a pinch of salt, a dash of white pepper. Pour the milk in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the oatmeal and cook on low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly so that the oats don’t get clumpy. In a second pan, heat up the olive oil and saute the onions for about 30 seconds, and then add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Once cooked, add all of this into the pan containing the oatmeal and cook for around 15 minutes. You’ve got an unexpected oatmeal dish that tastes amazing!

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Oatmeal and sweet potato smoothie. With this one you’re really thinking outside the box! Cook the oatmeal as you normally would, boil a sweet potato on the side, put them in the blender, add some low-fat milk, and before you know it you’ve got a one-of-a-kind smoothie that tastes really good and is as healthy as it gets! You can even add a spoonful of unsweetened yogurt if that floats your boat.

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Oatmeal with a side of eggs. This is pretty basic. Simply cook the oatmeal on the stove with water or low-fat milk and pair it up with two eggs prepared however you like: fried, boiled, or scrambled. The combination of fiber from the oatmeal and protein from the eggs packs a one-two punch. It speeds up your metabolism and takes very little time to prepare.

Although reducing your calorie intake and eating the right foods is important, any weight loss program should also include exercise so that you don’t lose muscle mass. Make sure to discuss any change in your diet with a doctor.