Oatmeal is a very healthy and popular choice for breakfast. It is the most critical morning meal that most dietitians and doctors recommend. It is also called a heart-healthy morning staple. But do you know why it is so healthy for your heart? A few experts have revealed the real grounds for the oatmeal to be so beneficial, and you will be happy to know that the answers were fascinating.
What Are Oats And Oatmeal?
Oats are whole-grain foods packed with plenty of fiber. The scientific name of oats is Avena sativa. Oat groats are the most complete and whole form of oats, and they take a very long time to get cooked. So, to avoid time consumption, most people go for crushed, rolled, or steel-cut oats, which take comparatively lesser time to get cooked.
The most highly processed type of oats is quick or instant oats. They have a mushy texture and also take the lowest time to get cooked. Oatmeal is very much like porridge, and it is mainly taken for breakfast as oatmeal after boiling the oats in milk or water. Oats are also in granola bars, muffins, cookies, and other baked items.
Reduce Your Cholesterol
Oatmeal is famous for its soluble fiber content, and it is a great way to support your heart. It helps to fight LDL cholesterol effectively, which might prove helpful for reducing cardiovascular diseases in the long run. Even when you add some healthy toppings like sliced almonds, crushed peanuts, bananas, berries, and many others to your breakfast oatmeal, it can also enhance the taste of your meal along with the fiber content.
Oatmeal acts as a medicine in lowering LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. In some adults, about 10% of LDL cholesterol levels were reduced after eating oatmeal. Each of them consumed roughly a bowl or somewhere between 40 and 60 grams of oatmeal each day. This cholesterol-lowering benefit depends on the number of oats you eat. The more the amount of oatmeal you consume, the lower your cholesterol levels will go. A popular belief is that the soluble fiber in the oats mixes with the cholesterol present in the small intestine. The fiber content binds the cholesterol molecules together and flushes them out of the body instead of letting them absorb the blood.
There’s no doubt that oatmeal helps in lowering cholesterol levels. But your toppings or the ingredients that you add to it can reduce the benefits of oatmeal. Items like chocolate, butter, cheese, and whole milk can increase the number of calories consumed, which may prove to be less helpful for lowering cholesterol. Oats are also in snacks and granola bars. But they are often high in fat and sugar content. So, make a proper check of the servings you want to make to gain the total benefits of cholesterol-lowering.
Oatmeal Gives You A Blast Of Fiber
Oatmeal is a great heart-healthy meal. After adding nutritious toppings, it is an entire bucket of fiber. Oatmeal consists of a substance called beta-glucan fiber, which is a form of soluble fiber. It helps in improving the total cholesterol count along with LDL. Thus, it supports heart health. Standard, flat oatmeal doesn’t contain any added sugars and has a high fiber content. It makes it another excellent option for controlling blood sugar. Your oatmeal gets a more significant nutrition boost when you top it with fruits, nuts, seeds, and so on.
Sugared Oatmeals Can Increase The Chances Of Heart Disorders
People should generally remain far from the single-serving flavored oatmeal as it is usually very rich in sugar. Higher sugar content is the main reason behind heart disorders. But instead of using sugary substances for flavoring your oatmeal at the house, you can use things like cocoa powder, nut butter, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
Oatmeal can be very healthy, but unhealthy ways of preparing or serving can adversely affect your health. So please stick to the correct way of preparing it.
The Sodium Content Is Not Good For Your Heart
Many types of oats and, more specifically the instant oats, are rich in sodium and sugar. It is the biggest downside of oats. Sodium and sugar surely enhance oatmeal flavor and cook faster, but it is not suitable for our heart health. It also negates many good effects of oatmeal. But still, you can try to use regular oats to make your morning meal or try baking a cookie that you can munch on as a healthy protein cookie anytime. Try to avoid instant oats as they can cause more harm than good.
Oatmeal Can Help You Lose Weight
Gaining weight is the most obvious reason for many life-threatening diseases, heart disorders being one of them. The rich fiber content of your oatmeal is good for your heart as it helps to lower your cholesterol levels. Fiber also allows you to stay full for a longer duration, which aids in weight loss. Weight loss and cholesterol-lowering both are the key ways to reduce your weight and keep your heart healthy. You can also try to make your oatmeal with water and then add fruit juice and nuts for flavors.
Sugar Containing Oatmeal Can Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes
Extra sugary and packed oatmeal or adding extra-sugary toppings like maple syrup or brown sugar or butter, or some high saturated fatty products can make your oatmeal a dessert. If oatmeal is consumed regularly, this may have adverse effects after adding such high-calorie foods. It can lead to fatty deposits on your heart and other organs, which is a sure way of acquiring diabetes. And this can also cancel the cholesterol-lowering effects of oatmeal itself. So, add your extra toppings to your oatmeal consciously.
Unhealthy Additional Ingredients Can Cause Inflammation
Many health benefits of healthy foods are negated by adding other elements to them. The same happens with oatmeal, on adding flavor enrichers like syrups, butter, and sugar. It increases the calorie count of your meal to a considerable extent that can lead to stress on your heart. It improves cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight gain and also contributes to weight gain.
Avoid adding sugary products to your oatmeal to enjoy its benefits to its fullest extent. Natural flavor enhancers can add to the nutritional values, but sugary, unhealthy additions are equally harmful.
Oatmeal Protects Your Heart
Oatmeal consists of nutrients that can protect your heart. It is the healthiest grain available on earth, which is full of nutrition. As already mentioned earlier, they can reduce your risk of heart disorders.
Whole oats are rich in antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin E, and this is the best for protecting your heart and keeping it shielded against any disorders. It also contains potassium and magnesium, which protect your heart. These two minerals are essential to keep your heart in good condition.
The Final Say
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfasts that you can ever have. It can help you reduce your cholesterol levels, lower your blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. Choose varieties of oatmeal with the least amount of added sugars to receive the full benefits of oats. Try adding walnuts, chia seeds, nuts, and healthy ingredients that will only add to the nutritional values and never take a toll on your health.