You know oatmeal is good for you, but chances are you don’t just how good it is for your health. Over the past two decades, reams of scientific studies have examined how a simple bowl of oatmeal boosts your health by warding off a variety of age-related ailments.
- A daily bowl of oatmeal has been shown to lower circulating cholesterol levels and cut risk for heart disease. The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps block the entry of cholesterol into your system.
- Eating oatmeal also helps regulate blood sugar levels—great news for diabetics. The soluble fiber meters the entry of sugar into the circulation, which prevents a rapid rise in blood sugar and potential artery damage.
- Weight control is another benefit of including oatmeal in your daily fare. The soluble fiber “swells” in the stomach, creating a feeling of fullness. Studies show that adding foods rich in soluble fiber like oatmeal helps reduce appetite and aids in weight loss.
- Oatmeal provides complex carbohydrates that your muscles use for fuel during activities, and B vitamins that work in the body cells to release energy from the foods you eat.
All varieties of oatmeal—steel-cut, old-fashioned, quick-cook and instant—contain soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates, but steel-cut, which takes the longest to prepare, is richest in soluble fiber. Top your bowl of oatmeal with berries, a small handful of nuts and a dollop of low-fat yogurt for a power breakfast!