Oatmeal, the breakfast of champions!

18-Feb 2014, by Lee Sandwith

oatmealMost breakfast cereals available in supermarkets are absolute garbage and disgracefully misleading in terms of their health benefits. Most are laced with refined sugar and contain simple, white carbs which should ideally be avoided when trying to lose weight. Even the majority of cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ – such as brown, bran based products, and ‘special’ weight loss cereals – are often full of added sugar which, in my opinion, is tantamount to miss-selling.

This is not news as it’s been reported on and blogged about for years. There is one absolutely awesome exception to this: enter oatmeal!

Oatmeal and weight loss

Super healthy and perfect for anyone looking to lose weight, oatmeal should feature in the top 5 of every healthy eaters shopping list. Bizarrely, some people hold the belief that you should cut oatmeal out of your diet if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. Quite frankly, this is crazy talk!

I came across a great article from author Esther Crain on this very subject, posted on the Woman’s Health website which, in my opinion, just nails it in terms of why oatmeal is the boss!

It’s quite short so here’s the entire article for your perusal:

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“Oatmeal has been trendy with foodies and celebs for a while now, thanks in part to its rep as a low-fat, high-protein superfood. But here’s another reason to boil some water and make yourself a bowl tomorrow morning: Oatmeal can help keep you from packing on the pounds, according to a new study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Researchers gave one group of study subjects oatmeal for breakfast, while a second group was served a ready-to-eat oat-based breakfast cereal. Both breakfasts clocked in at 363 total calories. When asked to rate their appetite at regular intervals after finishing, the oatmeal eaters described themselves as significantly less hungry and more satisfied than the cereal eaters—even up to four hours following their meal. Researchers think it has to do with the fact that oatmeal is thicker and delivers more filling fiber than other cereals.

Whatever the reason, the study results suggest that oatmeal keeps hunger at bay, which can help you stay slim—all the more reason to make one of these easy, delicious oatmeal recipes“.

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Oats so simple!

There are lots of different types of oats available which can be a bit confusing, and, to that end, I seem take receipt of frequent questions from confused budding healthy eaters. As with most things related to healthy eating, it’s not that complicated.

Whilst all the variations of oatmeal are very healthy there are three different types which are processed slightly differently before they hit the shelves: steel cut, rolled and instant. Let’s take a quick look at each from the least to the most processed.


Firstly, steel cut oats are wholegrain (groats) which are less processed than rolled and instant oats as the only process they go through is cutting with razor sharp steel blades.

Next, to produce rolled oats, following the cutting process, oats are steamed and then rolled between cylinders to produce a lighter, flatter flake which is essentially easier to cook.

Finally, instant oats are produced by cutting groats into small pieces before the rolling and steaming process which makes them even easier to cook, hence the ‘instant’ definition.

Nutritionally speaking, there isn’t much difference between instant, rolled and steel cut oats, however, as steel cut oats are thicker and less processed than their counterparts they hold onto more of the grain meaning they are more ‘wholegrain’. In weight loss terms this means that they take longer to digest resulting in an even slower release of energy.

That said, all three types of oatmeal are extremely healthy and in today’s world grabbing instant oats may be your only option but if you have a bit more time, in order of preference, go for steel cut first, the rolled, then instant.

Things to watch out for

Most oatmeal found on supermarket shelves is great, however, you may come across one or two with some hidden, undesirable ingredients lurking inside.

Watch out for any undesirable ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, artificial colours or flavours, sugar or salt which are really not required. You’re looking for 100% oats in the ingredients list, nothing else.

Also, some companies seem to be developing flavoured oatmeal which can be nuked in minutes to save on time. Many of these seem to have a lot of added sugar so should be avoided. Oatmeal is so quick to make anyway it’s a bit lazy to want to shave a couple of minutes off something that only takes 3 minutes in the first place!

We’ve published two great, super quick, super fast recipes in our recipe of the week section: the first is made with blueberries, the second with peanut butter! Check them out, if you like them please leave us a comment and if you have any other great oatmeal recipes please share them!

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