Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Really…oatmeal!? Yup, it’s up there with other health powerhouses like salmon, acai, almonds, quinoa, flax, chia, and kale–just to name a few.
In its natural form (not with added sugar or preservatives, I’m talking about 100% natural Quaker oats/steel-cut oats) oatmeal is as healthy as it gets, and it’s perfect for weight-loss. Here are a few of the reasons why oatmeal shoots to the top of health food kingdom.
A. Health & Weight Loss
1. Oatmeal is the PERFECT Breakfast
Oatmeal is a slow-digesting, complex carb that’s loaded with fiber. That translates into long-lasting energy, minimal fat storage, and reduced appetite. Oatmeal packs a BIG surge of energy at the start of the day. It’s literally the perfect breakfast food.
- It’s also a great pre-/post-workout food
2. Fiber Rich
The high fiber content promotes digestive health, fights cancer and heart disease, and cleans toxins from the body.
- It reduces LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
- Prevents/helps relieve constipation
- The phytochemicals in the oats actively fight cancer
3. Controls Blood Sugar
Oatmeal regulates blood sugar levels and prevents insulin from spiking. Low insulin levels are the key to losing body fat and sculpting a flat belly. For anyone looking to shred body fat and reveal your abs, meet your new best friend.
4. Low Calorie, Uber Filling
Oatmeal only has 150 calories per half cup. For so few calories, oatmeal is EXTREMELY filling.
5. Good source of protein.
Oatmeal has 5g of protein naturally, but if you cook it with milk the protein content jumps up to 11g per serving. That’s A LOT for a carbohydrate! The milk also adds calcium and vitamin D.
6. Sugar free.
Oatmeal has no sugar or refined carbs whatsoever. See my bullet point about insulin levels.
7. Sodium free.
In its plain form, oatmeal is sodium free, which keeps blood pressure levels down.
8. Nutrient dense.
Oatmeal is a great source of vitamin A, iron, manganese, the B vitamins, and selenium–a natural antioxidant.
Per 28g Serving
Its got one ingredient–rolled oats. That means no preservatives, chemicals, added sugar, or artificial sweeteners.
10. It’s an ideal weight-loss food.
See points 1-6.
B. It’s quick and easy to make.
You have 4 chances and 2 minutes to mess this up…
1. Dump oatmeal in bowl.
2. Add milk/water/almond milk.
4. Customize with toppings.
Okay, okay…oatmeal can be a little boring when it’s made plain with water, but the beauty of oatmeal comes with its versatility. By itself oatmeal is incredibly healthy–customize it with a few au-natural toppings and you’re in a whole new stratosphere of nutrition. Here are a few recipes and tips to create delicious, creative oatmeal every time.
1. Add milk.
Oatmeal with 1%, 2%, skim, or almond milk is absolutely delicious when compared to the watered-down variety. Check plus for the additional protein.
It makes all the difference.
3. Cinnamon it up.
Cinnamon is the perfect spice. It packs HUGE flavor and health benefits–all for zero calories. Cinnamon is an uber powerful antioxidant, controls blood sugar levels and insulin (back to the fat burning factor), and can actually boost metabolism.
4. Bananas and cinnamon.
My go to meal. The bananas add potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and additional fiber.
5. Apples and cinnamon.
Try this if you’re a fan of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Keep the skin on the apples, you’ll triple the fiber intake.
Honey in it’s raw form is a natural antioxidant. Like fruit, honey is made primarily of fructose–a slow digesting sugar.
7. Berries, berries, berries.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all a great source of antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber.
Flax seeds are an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids–fats that improve cholesterol and overall heart health. They’re also high in antioxidants.
9. Greek yogurt and fruit (or Chobani flavored)
Like strawberries and cream? Yogurt adds a nice sweet, creaminess to oatmeal. Also, using greek yogurt bumps up the protein content significantly
10. Cinnamon raisin.
As traditional as it gets. Simple. Classic. Delicious.
11. Peanut butter and jelly.
Savory + sweet, all at once. The PB contributes loads of healthy fats, and also adds thickness.
Mixing in walnuts, almonds, cashews, and peanuts adds healthy fats and a nice crunch.
13. Almond Joy – Shredded coconut and almonds.
The almonds add healthy fats. Coconut contains a healthy type of saturated fat called lauric acid which has been shown to boost HDL (good cholesterol), while keeping LDL levels neutral.
Follow Lean It UP on Twitter for real-time fitness/nutrition tips, advice, info, and updates.