Why Oatmeal Is Good For You
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
Oatmeal is hands down, my favorite breakfast food. It comforts me, is satisfying and keeps my taste buds from wanting the wrong types of food. Oatmeal has long staying power to keep me full and supplies me with the energy my body needs. You can find me diving into a bowl of steel cut oats 5 to 6 days a week using a variety of my favorite healthy fruits along with some cold almond milk.
As I congratulate myself for the nutrition I am giving my body, I caution myself to remember to limit my serving to one or maybe two servings every once in a while. Oatmeal has been proven to lower cholesterol, is high in fiber and low in fat. It is also high in iron. Wonderful!
Need More Iron in Your Diet? Include Oatmeal.
Rolled Oats vs. Steel Cut Oats
There are several different types of oatmeal available. My favorite is steel cut. I was introduced to Steel Cut oatmeal one day watching a television show about health and nutrition. I decided to try it out and absolutely loved it. I have been hooked on it ever since.
Some people swear that the steel cut oats are healthier than rolled oats. I personally think that an oat is an oat whether it is rolled or cut. The thing that makes the difference, health wise, has to do with the ingredients added to the oatmeal.
For instance, whole milk will contain more fat than skim milk and almond milk may be healthier than regular milk. Adding a heaping tablespoon of sugar on your oatmeal is less healthy then using fruit, or the herbal sweetener stevia.
Nutritious Oatmeal Balls Require No Baking
The Three Basic Types of Oatmeal
Oats come in three basic types:
Old fashioned rolled oats – which are whole oats rolled flat.
Quick Oats – these are rolled oats that are ground up more than old fashion oats
Steel Cut – the difference with this type is that the whole raw oat is cut into smaller pieces
Rolled oats and steel cut oats are basically the same, just cut differently.
The Difference Between Rolled Oates and Steel Cut Oats
Rolled Oats are different in appearance than Steel Cut. While rolled are flat looking, steel cut is more like a wild rice.The difference in taste is much different. The steel cut has a more nutty taste and a chewier texture which I find appealing to the palate.
Steel Cut oats require a longer cooking time than rolled or quick oats. However, you can now find a "quick" version of Steel Cut Oats.
A couple of more things to consider is (1) steel cut is pricier and more difficult to find, (2) it is not processed which is healthier for you.
So, the only difference is a slight increase in fat in the old-fashioned and quick oats.
Nutrients For Steel Cut Oats
Always read the label on the foods you buy to avoid additives and preservatives. These are the "bad guys".
Nutrients 1/4 cup of Steel Cut Oats:
Calories – 150
Fat – 2.5g
Carbs – 27g
Fiber – 4g
Sugar – 1g
Protein – 5g
Facts About Oatmeal
- Whole oats are the only source of a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, believed to have protective effects against heart disease.
- Whole grain oats are called oat groats.
- Carbs make up 66% of oats.
- Oates originated in China.
- Oates date back to 7,000 B.C.
- Oates help lower your chances of getting Type 2 diabestes.
- October 29, is National Oatmeal Day.
Easy Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 4 ¼ cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries (or strawberries, bananas, peaches)
- Combine oats and water in medium saucepan and bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
2. Add salt (I omit this step).
3. Once 30-40 minutes of total cooking time has elapsed, you need to watch the oatmeal, stirring occasionally for the next 5-10 minutes. I prefer mine just a little more on the “crunchy” side so I only cook mine for about 25 minutes. I also add about 2 tablespoons of wheat germ during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
4. Remove from the heat when the oatmeal has reached the consistency that you like (thinner or thicker); 10 minutes should give you a medium thickness. If you like yours very thick, continue cooking for an extra five minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. I found that it took me a couple of times making oatmeal to really get it all down.
5. After scooping oatmeal into a serving bowl, sprinkle a little flaxseed over the top.
6. Top with any of the following:
- Sugar, honey or stevia
- Add milk (or not). I prefer almond milk. I love the taste and I try to limit all dairy.
If you decide that the steel cut oatmeal takes too long, then go with the quick oats. But please, avoid the “instant” oatmeal as it is filled with sugar and preservatives.
If you're thinking that I may go a little overboard with nutrition, well, you are right. I am hoping to live to age 102. And if I should meet my soul mate on this beautiful journey, 102 won't be long enough!
So eat healthily and live a long and wonderful life.
Which Type of Oatmeal Do You Prefer
© 2010 Audrey Hunt