Oatmeal is always on the top of your list for a healthy morning breakfast. But, what if you include oatmeal for all three meals of the day? Does this have any health benefit?
Including oatmeal for all three meals of the day is called an oatmeal diet. Oats have always been part of the healthy foods because of their nutritional benefits. If incorporated correctly, making them part of all your meals can only result in a healthier body.
While oatmeal is rich in fiber and contains zero cholesterol, it is low in vitamin C and other essential nutrients required by the body. So, you need to add food groups that will supply the missing nutrients when you opt for an oatmeal diet.
Food Groups You Need To Include In Your Oatmeal Diet
Everything you include in your oatmeal diet should be carefully chosen, including the kind of oats you use. Here’s a list of foods to include when you are on your oatmeal diet.
1. Whole Oats
The type of oats you include in your oatmeal diet is of utmost importance. The more the oat grains undergo processing, the less nutritional it is for your body. Therefore, it is always best to avoid instant oats.
In an oatmeal diet, you can include whole oats or rolled oats which are easily available in health food stores. Although these may take more time to cook, they offer better health benefits than instant oatmeal.
Oats are rich in a few nutrients while deficient in others. To balance this deficiency, it is recommended to add fruits to your bowl of oatmeal. Some of the most important nutrients are provided by fruits. So, adding them to your oatmeal offers better benefits than having it alone.
Some fruits to add include blackberries, cranberries, apples, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, and others.
Plain oatmeal can be boring, so to make it tastier you can add nuts to your oatmeal. One of the important nutrients that oatmeal is deficient in is omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids can promote brain and heart health.
Walnuts are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Adding a few to your oatmeal provides better benefits. Other nuts you can add include almonds, cashews, pistachio, etc.
Apart from these, you can also add vegetables like carrots, beans, broccoli, or any other vegetables of your choice to make your oatmeal tastier and less boring.
There are different versions of the oatmeal diet. There are no strict rules except that oatmeal is going to be the main portion of your meal. Let’s examine these variations briefly.
Variations Of Oatmeal Diet
There are different approaches to go about an oatmeal diet. Whatever variation you choose, oatmeal is going to be the main part of your meal.
One approach to the oatmeal diet is consuming oatmeal and your desired fruit twice a day, for breakfast and dinner.
Another version requires you to have oatmeal with skimmed or low-fat milk three times a day for seven days of the week. This may turn boring and it’s very likely you’ll discontinue the diet due to the lack of flavors.
Another approach involves consuming oatmeal three times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can add fruits and spices like cinnamon to enhance the flavor for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, you can have oatmeal mixed with vegetables or you can also have a serving of oatmeal followed by a portion of low-calorie foods like chicken breast with vegetables, too.
Besides trimming your waistline, there are numerous other benefits an oatmeal diet can offer. Let’s examine these benefits.
Benefits Of Oatmeal Diet
Here are a few benefits of the oatmeal diet.
- Aids weight loss: Oats contain a powerful fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber can make you feel full for a longer duration, controlling the appetite. This may help reduce your extra weight faster.1
- Improves digestion: Rich in fiber, the oatmeal diet can improve digestion. Fiber is required to maintain regular bowel movements.
- May control blood sugars: Oats may help control blood sugars. Therefore, the oatmeal diet may be a good diet plan for diabetic patients. However, more research is required to substantiate this.
- Lowers cholesterol levels: Oats can lower the bad cholesterol levels in the blood.2 Therefore, the oatmeal diet may be an effective diet for those with high cholesterol levels.
Before you begin any diet, it is important to consult a doctor and communicate about your existing condition. If your doctor confirms that you can go ahead with the oatmeal plan, remember to avoid instant oats and cut down on sugary foods or refined carbohydrates.
|↑1||Rebello, Candida J., Yi-Fang Chu, William D. Johnson, Corby K. Martin, Hongmei Han, Nicolas Bordenave, Yuhui Shi, Marianne O’Shea, and Frank L. Greenway. “The role of meal viscosity and oat β-glucan characteristics in human appetite control: a randomized crossover trial.” Nutrition journal 13, no. 1 (2014): 49.|
|↑2||Whitehead, Anne, Eleanor J. Beck, Susan Tosh, and Thomas MS Wolever. “Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 100, no. 6 (2014): 1413-1421.|