Food Spotlight: Oats


I’m starting a new series of posts called food spotlights. Each post in the series will give you the nutritional low down on a particular food, why it is good for you, or not good for you and ideas on how to incorporate it into your diet or how to phase it out altogether. For today’s post, the first in the series, I chose oats.

Why  Oats are good for you:

There have been countless  studies done on oats and their heart protective powers. One of the many reasons oats rank so high with  doctors around the world is that the soluble fiber in oats actually bind to the “bad” cholesterol and remove it from your body, which prevents it from clogging your arteries.

Another bonus to the fiber contained in oats is that  they also  help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. When you eat, your body has to take the food you have eaten and change it  into glucose, which is the form of sugar our bodies use for energy. The glucose is then either used immediately for energy or stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen for a later date. If it used immediately for energy, it is released into your bloodstream. The fiber in oats, slow down this release which ensures that your blood sugar levels don’t spike and crash, but stays more level and constant.

Yet another plus to eating your oatmeal in the morning is that oats contain selenium, which is a plant lignan. Plant lignans in general have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers such as bowel, prostate and those forms of cancer that are hormone related.

How to Include Oats in Your Diet:

Oats can be eaten in a variety of ways. The two most common are oatmeal and granola. Another way to include them in your diet is to purchase oat flour to bake with instead of white flour. You can also add whole rolled oats to pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies and breads. My favorite way to eat them is cooked as oatmeal. I measure out 1 cup of oatmeal and put it in a bowl with 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder and 1 Tbs.of peanut butter, stir it all together and enjoy it that way. I’d love to hear your favorite ways of including oats in your family’s diet. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your ideas and recipes with us!

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