187940364Did you now that January is National Oatmeal month? Far from being a boring breakfast traditionally enjoyed by super healthy people, oats are a great, versatile source of fiber with a whole host of benefits that will help you to lose weight and get healthy. Here we’ll take a look at the key benefits of including oats in your diet and we will look at the different kinds of oats available so that you can make the best, and healthiest, choices.

Why Are Oats So Good For You?

Whether you have had weight loss surgery, are considering surgery such as gastric bypass, gastric band or gastric sleeve surgery, or you are just trying to lose a little weight by making your diet healthier, here are just a few ways that oats can help:

  1. Oats contain fiber and are harder to digest than processed cereals and other breakfast option, so will help you to stay full for longer, preventing snacking and resulting in weight loss.
  2. Eating oats regularly will help lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.
  3. Oats could help to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure.
  4. Oats help to control blood sugar levels. This reduces your cravings for sugar as well as lowering risk of type 2 diabetes.
  5. High in fiber and lignans, oats could help to reduce the risk of some cancers, including bowel cancer and hormone related cancers like breast cancer.
  6. Eating oats from an early age can reduce a child’s risk of developing asthma.
  7. Don’t just eat them! In the bath, or in a face pack, oats can relieve itching and dryness, resulting in glowing, nourished moisturized skin.

Types Of Oats

Oats are oats, right? Well, no. Quick oats, ready oats, rolled oats, steel cut oats; depending on what has been done to them, your oats may be more heavily processed than you may think. Here is a quick run-down of the types of oats you can get, from least processed to the most:

  • Oat Groats are where all oats begin, as hulled toasted grains of oats.
  • Steel Cut Oats (Irish Oats) are oat groats that have been chopped into chunks and toasted. These oats need to be cooked for about 45 minutes before you can eat them.
  • Stone-Ground Oats (or Scottish Oats) are the same as steel cut oats but have been ground into small pieces. They need to be cooked for around 20 minutes.
  • Rolled Oats have been steam and rolled to make flakes. These can be eaten as they are or cooked to make oatmeal, which takes about 10 minutes.
  • Quick-Cook Oats are rolled oats that have been rolled even thinner, so that they cook more quickly.
  • Instant Oats are the most heavily processed member of the oat family. The groats are chopped very fine before being flattened, pre-cooked and then dehydrated. What’s more, instant oatmeal usually has salt and sugar added to it. So, despite all the health promised from your instant oatmeal, you are much better off steering clear and making your own.

So, Which Are Healthier?

We have already eliminated Instant Oats from our shopping list, but what about the other types? Is there really that much difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats? As it turns out, no. Steel cut oats and rolled oats all contain the whole grain, which means that they contain pretty much the same levels of protein, fiber and calories. The same goes for glycemic impact; rolled oats and steel cut oats are neck and neck, whilst, once again, instant oats and quick cook oats are less likely to keep you feeling fully fuelled for longer periods of time than their less processed relatives.

When it comes to choosing oats, leave the quick cook oats and instant oats on the shelf. Experiment with the other varieties to see which texture and cooking time suits you best (some people find that pre-soaking or slow cooking oats works best for them). Whichever you prefer, you can be sure that including oats in your daily diet is a simple, low cost, healthy way to manage cholesterol, blood sugar and weight.

For more information about diet before and after weight loss surgery, or to find out which weight loss surgery procedure would be best for you, contact us today for a free callback from one of our US based, qualified case managers.