Oats are a good source of soluble fiber and contain beta-glucans, which helps lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. They also contain insoluble fiber, which prevents constipation, promotes regular bowel movements and may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Oats are also a gluten-free whole grain, perfect for those with digestive issues. They are rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese and several B vitamins.
Oats are very versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. One of the most popular way to eat oats are for breakfast as oatmeal, made by boiling oats in water or milk. Oatmeal is a more nutritious breakfast option than granola and many other breakfast cereals, which tend to be higher in added sugar.
Another popular breakfast option with oats is overnight oats. This is a no-cook method of soaking oats overnight with liquid (milk or water) and mix-ins like nuts, seeds and fruit. When you wake up, you have a pudding-like porridge, perfect for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.
Here’s a favorite overnight oats recipe from my book “Finally Full, Finally Slim.” To make my peanut butter berry overnight oats, add the following ingredients to a mason jar and soak overnight:
- 1 cup of blueberries or strawberries.
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds.
- ½ cup whole-grain oats.
- ¾ cup fat-free milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- 2 teaspoons peanut butter.
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
- Cinnamon to taste.
No need to fear gaining weight from oats and other whole grains. Studies indicate that whole grains may help you lose weight by making you feel fuller and reducing your appetite.