2 New Reasons Oatmeal Might Be the Healthiest Breakfast Ever
It wasn’t that long ago that oatmeal was touted as the best solution for high cholesterol and every one was on the bandwagon. But after cholesterol marketing claims by oat brands were said to over promise, oatmeal companies eventually agreed to tone it down, causing some consumers to lose interest. Regardless of the ups and downs of oats in the market place as a cholesterol improving health food, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition says that whole grain oats can not only improve cholesterol numbers, but also insulin sensitivity and gut flora composition. It looks like oatmeal may be back on the top of the list for best and healthiest breakfast once again.
How Oats May Improve Blood Sugar and Boost Your Body’s Healthy Bacteria
In the most recent study on whole grain oats, researchers aimed to compare the effects of whole grain oat flour against low bran oat flour. Two diets were created for two groups of mice (no human studies quite yet). Once the study concluded the whole grain oat group gained 14.6% less weight throughout the course of the study compared to the low bran oat flour group (over at least 7 weeks). The whole grain oat group also had improved insulin sensitivity results shown by significantly lower plasma insulin numbers. The plasma total cholesterol was nearly 10% less and non-HDL cholesterol was 11% less in this same group. In every category, the whole grain oat flour had significantly better results.
As for the gut flora? You’d be surprised how much your gut, and what lives inside of it controls your health! Having certain kinds of microbiota in your digestive system predicts about 64% of variation in plasma insulin and nearly 89% variation in plasma non-HDL cholesterol. Eating the whole grain oat flour diet helped the right kinds of microbiota flourish! By increasing the amount of whole grain oats you eat in your diet, you may have an improved chance of avoiding chronic diseases in the long run. While researchers aren’t sure exactly how the whole grains, like whole grain oats, alter the gut flora and thereby change cholesterol and insulin resistance, the future looks bright for giving oatmeal the thumbs up for your breakfast routine. If you’re looking to improve your gut flora with lots of tactics, you’ll appreciate this to-do list and in depth look on your digestive health
Despite the fact that we have yet to run this study on human subjects, the benefits of a fiber filled breakfast go beyond good gut flora. Try our healthy oatmeal cookie recipe for dessert or go gluten free with this coconut version. However you serve up those whole grain oats, get ready to feel satisfied and full well into lunch.
Carlene Thomas RD,LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and wellness. She provides nutrition guidance to the public in a variety of ways including corporate wellness, private clients and contributes an expert nutrition voice to a variety of media.