Oats! This Is A Post About Oats!

In the world of grains, oats don't suck.

So, compared to those asshats, oats are all right. They aren't trying to smother you in your sleep. But are they actually good for you? Can they improve your health?

Now, we're really talking about oatmeal. Probably for breakfast. If you currently eat three doughnuts every morning, Hell yeah switching to oatmeal will improve your health. If you put it in a cookie, it's still a cookie and still not going to improve your health. Don't be a rules lawyer! 

Quick summary so far: if your breakfast normally includes asshat grains, switching to oats will be an improvement. An improvement how? Good question.

The Smart
Yeah, it looks pretty likely that eating some oats will lower you LDL (bad cholesterol). There is also some evidence that eating oats will raise your HDL (good cholesterol). Within reason! Let's say your LDL is really fracking high and your HDL is really fracking low, oatmeal for breakfast is not a 100% miracle cure. You'll have to make other changes. But it's a good start.

Blood Sugar 
Oats have a medium glycemic load which means that they release energy slowly, giving you more of a prolonged benefit over time, as compared to other grains that can have a worse effect than candy bars (some rice's also release slowly). So yeah, oats can keep your blood sugar from spiking and keep you going longer. 

This doesn't mean that oats are the messiah of food. 

The Stupid
There are a lot of people who say that fiber content should also be one of the big bullet points. I think those people are dumb. 1 cup of cooked oatmeal has about 4 grams of fiber. Compare that to a pear (5.5) peas (8.8) or bean (15). Now, compared to three doughnuts, yeah, 4 grams is some good fiber. Compared to food with fiber, well, it's average, not quite a bullet point.

Vitamins and Stuff
Just in case you were wondering, oatmeal doesn't have much else in the way of vitamins. A little bit here and there, but just a little.

Questions From Facebook!
Steel Cut vs. Rolled Oats - Katie
So, there hasn't been a lot of high dollar clinical research into the differences between oats (crime!). There are a couple differences that stem from the way they are processed. Steel cut oats undergo less processing which gives them more texture and greater nutrient density, while requiring longer cooking time. That said, the differences aren't massive. If you're an oat layman, it may or may not be noticeable. By the way, Irish oats are steel cut.

Microwave vs Stove For The Most Nutrients - Danny
The short answer is a long answer.All foods lose nutrients at high heat and when in contact with water. The hotter the oatmeal is cooked, the more nutrients it will lose. The longer it is cooked, the more nutrients the more nutrients it will lose.So, assuming a good quality oat, a quick, lower temperature microwave will allow the oats to retain more nutrients than a long, high-heat stove-top boil. And the reverse is true as well.

So, WTF? What do you do? 

  • Start by replacing asshat breakfast grains with a organic, steel cut, non-flavored oatmeal. That's a pretty solid step
  • For full nutrients, use with grass fed whole milk. Microwave on a lower heat setting or, if you have a few extra minutes, try either soaking the oats in cold grass fed whole milk in your bowl or heat the milk separately and then mix in your bowl.  
  • Add berries for low sugar sweetness.
  • Want some protein? Hell yeah! Add in some chia seeds!
  • But I want granola! Uh, okay. Do that. If you want to buy some as a bar or cereal, look for single digit sugar. Or make your own! Granola is highly customizable. Google some recipes and make it awesome.