Of all the superfoods, oats in all its forms may not be number one, but it’s right up there. Here are ten reasons why we all should strive to get more oats in our diet.
1. Oats are a source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Oat soluble fiber promotes heart health when eaten as part of a daily diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, while insoluble fiber benefits the digestive system.
2. Oats may help with weight control. People who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to weigh less than those who skip it. Additionally, oats are a great choice for breakfast or any other meal occasion because they add fiber to the diet. Research shows that people with higher fiber diets tend to weigh less.
3. Oats are a whole grain. As part of a plant-rich, lowfat diet, whole grains may help protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers. Whole grain oats can be part of a diet that helps people maintain a healthy weight.
4. All oat forms are equally nutritious. Steel cut, old fashioned oats (5 minute), quick oats
(1 minute), and instant oats are different forms of the same thing â€“ whole grain oats. On an equal weight basis, there is no nutritional difference between steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, quick oats and regular unflavored instant oatmeal. The only difference is the way the oat has been cut and/or rolled. Cutting and rolling affect cooking time and baking use, not nutritional content.
5. Oats are the only major grain proven to help reduce blood cholesterol. Eating three grams of soluble fiber from oats each day, as part of a diet that’s low in fat and cholesterol, has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
6. Oats offer many nutritional benefits. Oats contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and unique antioxidants in addition to a greater proportion of protein than other common cereals.
7. Oats are packed with flavor. Oats impart a nutty flavor to favorite baked goods and to toppings for fruit crisps and crumbles.
8. Oats add texture. Oats add a pleasantly chewy texture to baked products.
9. Oats are quick, convenient and full of variety. From Instant Oatmeal to Quaker Oatmeal Express, and from regular to flavored, there’s an oatmeal to fit every taste and schedule. All Quaker oats, including instant, are whole grains.
10. Oats are versatile. Oats go beyond the breakfast bowl. Try them in meatloaf/meatballs, as a coating for chicken and fish, and as a partial flour replacement when baking. Quick or old fashioned oats can be substituted for up to one-third of the flour called for in recipes for muffins, biscuits, pancakes, loaf-type quick breads, coffeecakes, yeast breads, cookies and bars.