Monday, August 27, 2018
Oatmeal is Good For You
...Fiber is oatmeal’s main health attribute. “Fiber is good for so many things throughout the digestive tract,” Slavin says. In the stomach and small intestine, for example, fiber helps slow down food processing and absorption in ways that promote fullness and mellow the body’s insulin response. All that could reduce a person’s risks for type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease, she says. Move farther along into the large intestine, and fiber feeds beneficial gut bacteria and promotes healthy stool, she says.
And unlike wheat and most other grains, oats contain large amounts of a specific type of fiber called beta glucan, which studies have consistently linked to healthier cholesterol scores and a reduced risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
But oatmeal’s health attributes extend beyond fiber. “There’s now increasing evidence showing that whole grain oats contain many phytochemicals, meaning plant-made small molecule compounds, that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects,” Sang says. He points to one particular oat phytochemical—called avenanthramide—as a promising inflammation fighter.
Oats are also an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, says Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. But he warns that loading oatmeal up with sugar, sodium or other additives can quickly diminish or offset its health benefits—a warning voiced by other experts. “Instant has all the whole grain components, but my concern is the sugar added,” Sang says...