A hot bowl of oatmeal, filled with a variety of fruit, is one of the most nutritious breakfasts you can eat.
However, often individuals who are on a high protein, low-carb diet avoid oatmeal because they feel that this low fat breakfast is too high in carbohydrates.
Though technically this is true, the fact remains that a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit is a low glycemic breakfast which will supply you with tons of carbohydrate energy.
Oatmeal is also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber which together play a vital role in appetite control and weight management.
Note: The type of oatmeal I am referring to in this article is not the instant kind which comes in different flavors. These packaged oatmeal tend to be high in sugar. I am referring to plain oatmeal, such as Quaker Steel Cut Oats, that can be prepared from scratch.
According to the American Cancer Society:
- Insoluble fiber’s cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity.
- Soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. LDL is bad; HDL is good.
- Soluble fiber slows down the digestion of starch. This is beneficial to diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in blood sugar level that usually occur after eating a meal.
- It has been found that those who eat a high fiber diet are less likely to develop heart disease.
- The phytochemicals in oats are believed to have cancer-fighting properties.
- Oats are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Magnesium.
- Oats are also a good source of vegetarian protein.
Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber
The main difference between insoluble and soluble fiber lies in how each functions within the body. Insoluble fiber’s main role is to make stool heavier and speed its passage through the gut, which consequently helps relieve constipation. Thus, insoluble fiber plays a crucial role in the prevention of colon cancer.
Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. This is how high fiber diets help prevent heart disease.
Soluble fiber also plays a vital role in the prevention of diabetes by prolonging the amount of time it takes food to enter the intestines thus helping control blood sugar levels by allowing food to be absorbed at a slower rate. Therefore, it is especially important for diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals to eat a high fiber diet.
How To Enhance The Flavor and Nutritional Value of Oatmeal
- Make the oatmeal with skim milk instead of water. This will add more calcium and protein without adding too many calories.
- Add Stevia to the oatmeal, if you prefer it sweet. Stevia will naturally sweeten the oatmeal.
- Stir in your favorite unflavored protein powder after the oatmeal has been cooked. Combined with milk, this will give you a breakfast that is high in fiber, calcium and protein!
- Add any fruit and nut you wish, such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and sunflower seeds, to the oatmeal.
Oatmeal & Fruit Recipe: A Low Glycemic Breakfast
- 1 cup Quaker Steel Cut Oats
- 1 1/2 or 2 cups skim milk (depending on your texture preference)
- 2 baby bananas or 1 whole banana, sliced
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 2 packets of Stevia or 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
- Place milk in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or until luke warm
- In a non-stick pan place the milk and oats
- Over low heat gently stir milk and oats for 5-10 minutes
- Remove from heat, stir in the sugar and cinnamon and let oatmeal cool
- Divide in two and place in bowl
- garnish each bowl with one sliced baby banana and diced apricots
Calories: 300 per serving
Glycemic Breakdown of This Oatmeal & Fruit Breakfast Recipe
|Low Glycemic Foods||GI = 55 or less|
|Medium Glycemic Foods||GI = 56-69|
|High Glycemic Foods||GI = 70+|
|Quaker Steel Cut Oats||GI = 42|
|Skim Milk||GI = 32|
|Baby Banana||GI = 42|
|Dried Apricots||GI = 35|
|Cinnamon||GI = 0 Studies show that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels|
|Brown sugar||GI = 70|