When it comes to food that’s good for you, going back to the basics, like Grandma used to make, is probably your best bet. The cliché is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and oatmeal also makes breakfast one of the healthiest and most filling.
There are other oatmeal products out there that are made from basic oats, but a regular box of oatmeal in its simplest form, minus the sugar, additives and preservatives, is the best choice.
Praise For Oatmeal
Oatmeal has long been a breakfast staple in my family, because we recognize how good it is for you, and it just tastes good. Oatmeal warms you up in the wintertime, but this hot cereal can be eaten year-round. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, full of water-soluble dietary fiber, which is slowly absorbed and digested by the body, meaning you’ll feel fuller longer.
It also helps lower cholesterol and, therefore, protects the heart. The fiber content in oatmeal further helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and because oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, sugar spikes are abated.
Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements and eliminate constipation or diarrhea issues. As fiber passes through the digestive system and sweeps it clean, your risk for developing conditions like colorectal cancer are also greatly reduced.
Oatmeal is also the kind of food that “sticks to your ribs,” so to speak, so it will get you going in the morning and sustain you through a workout, if necessary. As a result of the full sensation after eating only a small portion, you will likely lose weight over time as your appetite gets under control.
Spice It Up A Bit
Oatmeal alone can seem a little bland, but it doesn’t have to be. Sweeten your oatmeal with a little honey, brown sugar or stevia and add your favorite raw fruits as a sliced topping for even more flavor. Sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon add really great flavor and texture, and the added fiber in the apples will fill you up even more. Cinnamon has other health benefits as well, but that’s another story. You could also add raisins, sliced strawberries and blueberries as partial sweeteners.
Is Instant Oatmeal Okay?
Instant oatmeal comes already sweetened with dried fruit added, but this variety is processed and full of unnatural preservatives, so instant oatmeal is not recommended. If you must grab an occasional pack of the instant kind when on the go, it’s probably okay, but not on a regular basis. You could even buy oatmeal at a fast food restaurant nowadays to save time.
When purchasing oatmeal from the grocery store, what you want to look for is oatmeal (rolled oats) labeled “old-fashioned” or steel-cut oatmeal, which both take between 10 and 30 minutes to prepare. Usually when you find foods that can be prepared very quickly, they are processed foods with unnatural additives and preservatives that are foreign to the body. The extra time it takes shouldn’t matter, because it’s your health we’re talking about here, and what’s more important than that?