Oatmeal makes you fat or slimmer? find it out

After all, is oat fattening? This question is more common than it seems, especially due to the increase in the search for a healthier diet, making people pay more attention to the food eaten.

In addition, this cereal has gained an important place in Brazilian dishes, whether for breakfast or a snack in the afternoon. For these reasons, it is normal for questions like these to arise.

But what no one can doubt is the great nutritional value that oats have, being considered one of the superfoods, as it brings several benefits to human health. Next, you will find out more about the properties of this cereal and whether it is really suitable for weight loss diets.

Oatmeal is fattening?

Oats is a cereal that has a high caloric value. According to the Brazilian Table of Food Composition (TACO), each 100 gram serving of oats contains 394 calories. And this is the value of almost a quarter of the daily recommended.

However, even with this particularity, the cereal is often indicated in diets for weight loss. This happens because of the composition rich in fiber and components that act as body fat reducers.

In practice, soluble and insoluble oat fibers increase in size in contact with water. This effect also happens inside the stomach, making you feel full more quickly. With this, there is a reduction in appetite and consequently in the amount of calories that are ingested throughout the day.

At the same time, water-soluble fiber has the ability to reduce body fat, which gets trapped in its gelatinous consistency and is discarded through the stool.

Finally, the cereal also helps to reduce glucose levels in the body, causing the body to burn reserve energy, which is stored in fat stores in the tissues. In this way, there is a loss of this adipose tissue, which also favors weight loss. ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )

Nutritional properties of cereal

As already mentioned, oats are a very nutrient-rich food. According to TACO, for every 100 grams of rolled oats, 13.9 are proteins and amino acids.

In addition, the cereal has 8.5 grams of lipids and essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6), an average of 66.5 grams of carbohydrates and best of all, it has no cholesterol. On the other hand, dietary fiber, which includes soluble and insoluble fibers, represents 9.1 grams per serving.

Oats also have good amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, sodium, copper, zinc and potassium. Among the vitamins, it is possible to find portions of B-complex vitamins, such as B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9, in addition to vitamins C and E. ( 4 , 5 )

Benefits of cereal for the body

You’ve seen that oats have many nutrients and compounds that aid in the weight loss process. However, cereal consumption is not only linked to weight loss, but also to maintaining a healthier life.

See below what are the main benefits of oats and why add them to your family’s diet:

  • Regulates bowel function
  • lowers cholesterol
  • Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Helps to gain muscle mass
  • powerful energy source
  • Rich in antioxidants.

Regulates bowel function

The dietary fiber , both soluble as insoluble, are already known since old help the healthy functioning of the intestine. This happens for two main reasons.

Firstly, the insoluble fibers, which as the name implies, do not dissolve in water or with gastric juice, are sent whole to the intestine. There, they join the fecal bolus and widen the passage, improving intestinal mobility.

Second, the insoluble fibers turn into a fermented mass that works by stimulating the production of gases and the proliferation of colonies of benign bacteria. In addition to retaining water, which bring moisture to the region.

With the increase of fluids and the improvement of intestinal mobility, there is a regulation of the organ’s functioning. Thus, it is possible to avoid both constipation and diarrhea problems. 1 )

lowers cholesterol

The presence of dietary fiber is also linked to lower cholesterol . What happens is that the fibers capture the fat molecules, but since they are not digested, the two substances travel to the intestinal tract.

In the intestine, other components of oats act by preventing the fat molecules from being absorbed by the walls of the intestine. In this way, they are expelled from the body through the faeces. Thus, they cause a gradual elimination of cholesterol and fat levels in tissues, improving their metabolism rate in the body. ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease

One of the soluble fibers in oat is β-glucan, a substance that is related to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular accidents. Some studies show that consuming just 40 grams of oats a day helps to reduce the chances of developing these problems.

In addition, this food acts directly in the reduction of the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL), a substance that increases the fractions of high-density lipoprotein, also called good cholesterol (HDL) and that is good for the body.

Oats also have satisfactory amounts of omegas 3 and 6, which also have cholesterol-regulating properties and prevent clogging of the arteries. ( 1 , 2 )

Helps to gain muscle mass

Proteins formed by amino acids found in the cereal act on the recovery and creation of muscle cells. Oats, moreover, have a higher protein content than any other cereal used for human consumption.

This makes it a great functional food and perfect for those who want to gain muscle mass while burning fat. ( 6 )

powerful energy source

Carbohydrates, about 66 grams for each serving of oats, are also responsible for giving you more energy to face the day or exercise. This is because carbohydrates are metabolized to glucose, a type of sugar.

With this, the body has more energy to spend and it will take you longer to feel exhausted. Thus, consuming the cereal in the form of vitamins, cereals or accompanied by fruit is a great way to start the day more excited and prepared for anything. ( 6 )

Rich in Antioxidants

To complete the list of benefits of oats there is the antioxidant factor. The main components of the genus found in this cereal are vitamin E, phytic acid and phenolic compounds, powerful antioxidants that prevent cell degradation.

Vitamin E, also called alpha tocopherol, is an important antioxidant. It works by slowing down aging and protecting the body against diseases such as cancer, diabetes and even Parkinson’s.

Phytic acid, on the other hand, stimulates the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc , in addition to acting against the release of free radicals through cell oxidation. ( 3 , 5 )

What is the best type of oats?

The main brands of oats sold in supermarkets are made from whole grain. In other words, it is formed by all the parts of the grain that are the bran, the endosperm and the germ. Therefore, they keep all the essential nutrients in the cereal.

Regarding the different processes the cereal goes through, the best type of oat is bran. In it are found the greatest amounts of essential nutrients, even greater than in the whole grain.

The flake version, even with less nutrients, is the best option for those who are starting to consume the cereal now. This is because they are thinner and have a more pleasant texture on the palate. ( 5 )

Ideal daily amount of food

As already stated, oats are a food with a high calorie content. Therefore, it should not be consumed in large quantities. The ideal is to consume an average of 40 grams of oat bran or 60 grams of flakes per day.

Cereal consumption can be done through porridge , smoothies with banana or even accompanied with fruit and honey. Always be careful about the amount of sugar that is added to the meal. ( 2 )

Is oatmeal released for celiacs?

In addition to bringing several health benefits and assisting in weight loss, oats are also a food free for people with celiac disease. That is, people with an autoimmune disease where gluten consumption causes a severe inflammatory reaction.

Celiacs generally have difficulty finding gluten-free foods on the market. The good news is that oats do not have this component, so they can be used as a substitute for wheat-based preparations.

However, some precautions need to be taken as some locations process the cereal on the same machinery used for processing wheat. Thus, it is always important to check the list of ingredients to confirm if the product has traces of this other food, which can have serious consequences for the health of those who suffer from the disease.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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