Experts unanimously agree that oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options out there since it is low in calories, rich in beta-glucan (a type of soluble fiber), protein, and a host of other essential minerals like copper, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, etc. Oatmeal has complex carbs that does not raise blood sugar sharply and therefore does not cause steep insulin spikes. It’s also a gluten-free grain, rich in antioxidants. That’s a whole lot of goodness in a simple bowl of oatmeal, but we gotta admit, plain oatmeal can look and taste bland, and eating it day in and day out, can get quite boring. Since most people feel oatmeal is a bland food that needs added seasoning, food companies bring to us oats in masala form, in different flavours. But are masala oats healthy, and can they be made a staple in a weight loss diet? Let’s find out:
Benefits of Eating Oatmeal Daily:
Oatmeal comes in different forms – rolled, steamed, steel cut, but the most popular one is instant oats. Oatmeal has the ability to absorb liquid and with its high fiber content (beta glucan) keeps your tummy full for a longer period of time; you would not feel the need to snack often, which will help you from piling on unwanted calories through the day. Studies have revealed that people who eat hot cooked oatmeal for breakfast feel fuller for longer and do not crave for food during the course of the day.
Nutrition Details Oatmeal:
In terms of nutritional value, one cup of oatmeal has just 300 calories and 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber and 0.8 gram of natural sugar. Oatmeal is rich in fiber which helps you feel fuller for a long period of time, which means you can keep your appetite in check. Also, pure oats are gluten free.
Talking about masala oats – a very popular brand of oats lists 360 calories in 500 gm. So, calorie wise, it looks pretty good. But a look at the ingredients list would show a lot of questionable factors – maltodextrin for example (it’s a thickener to increase the volume of a processed food). Food companies also tend to add flavour enhancers, identical flavours, artificial colors, salt, vegetable oil, sugar, transfat as well to appeal to the tastebuds of consumers – just the kind of things you need to avoid to lose weight. Oats, by itself is a weight-loss friendly food, but when it comes in a heavily processed form with unhealthy ingredients, it loses all its glory.
Summing up, it’s prudent to cut down consumption of processed food as much as possible, especialy when trying to lose weight. Always pick plain oats without added flavours or taste enhancers. If plain oats do not appeal to your tastebuds, you can prepare masala oats at home with basic kitchen ingredients and veggies – the options are just endless with oats.