After all, is oat fattening? This question is more common than it seems, mainly due to the increased 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 no one can doubt the tremendous nutritional value that oats have, being considered one of the superfoods, as it brings several benefits to human health. Next, you will learn more about this cereal’s properties and whether it suits weight loss diets.
Table of Contents
Is oatmeal 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, cereal is often indicated in diets for weight loss. This happens because of the composition rich in fibre and components that act as body fat reducers.
In practice, soluble and insoluble oat fibres 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 ingested throughout the day.
At the same time, water-soluble fibre can reduce body fat, which gets trapped in its gelatinous consistency and is discarded through the stool.
Finally, cereal also helps reduce glucose levels, causing the body to burn reserve energy stored in fat stores in the tissues. In this way, this adipose tissue is lost, favouring weight loss.
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, no cholesterol. On the other hand, dietary fibre, which includes soluble and insoluble fibres, represents 9.1 grams per serving.
Oats also have reasonable 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, and vitamins C and E.
Benefits of cereal for the body
You’ve seen that oats have many nutrients and compounds that aid in weight loss. 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
- It helps to gain muscle mass
- powerful energy source
- Rich in antioxidants.
Regulates bowel function
Firstly, the insoluble fibres, which, as the name implies, do not dissolve in water or with gastric juice, are sent whole to the intestine. They join the fecal bolus and widen the passage, improving intestinal mobility.
Second, the insoluble fibres 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 brings moisture to the region.
The organ’s functioning is regulated by the increase of fluids and the improvement of intestinal mobility. Thus, it is possible to avoid both constipation and diarrhea problems.
The presence of dietary fibre is also linked to lower cholesterol. What happens is that the fibres capture the fat molecules, but since they are not digested, the two substances travel to the intestinal tract.
In the intestine, other oat components prevent the fat molecules from being absorbed by the walls of the intestine. In this way, they are expelled from the body through the feces. Thus, they cause a gradual elimination of cholesterol and fat levels in tissues, improving their metabolism rate in the body.
Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
One of the soluble fibres in oat is β-glucan, a substance that reduces 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). This substance increases the fractions of high-density lipoprotein, also called good cholesterol (HDL), which 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.
It helps to gain muscle mass.
Proteins formed by amino acids found in the cereal act on the recovery and creation of muscle cells. Oats 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.
powerful energy source
Carbohydrates, about 66 grams for each serving of oats, also give 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 and will take longer to feel exhausted. Thus, consuming cereal in the form of vitamins, grains or accompanied by fruit is a great way to start the day more excited and prepared for anything.
Rich in Antioxidants
There is an antioxidant factor to complete the list of benefits of oats. 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.
What is the best type of oats?
The leading brands of oats sold in supermarkets are made from whole grains. In other words, it is formed by all the parts of the grain: 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. The most significant amounts of essential nutrients are found in it, even more critical than in the whole grain.
Even with fewer nutrients, the flake version is the best option for those starting to consume the cereal now. This is because they are thinner and have a more pleasant texture on the palate.
The ideal daily amount of food
As already stated, oats are a food with high-calorie content. Therefore, it should not be consumed in large quantities. The idea is to consume 40 grams of oat bran or 60 grams of flakes daily.
Is oatmeal released for celiacs?
In addition to bringing several health benefits and assisting in weight loss, oats are also 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 that they can be used as a substitute for wheat-based preparations.
However, some precautions must 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 severe consequences for the health of those who suffer from the disease.
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.