Is it ok to eat oats every day?

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Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
Ask Emma

20 May 2021

Why oats are ok to eat every day

1. They are good for your digestion

One of the reasons you should be considering eating oats every day if you don't already is that they are very good for your digestive system. The reason being, they are a good source of dietary fibre. Unlike other popular breakfast options such as cereal or toast, for example, oats have been less readily processed, meaning that they are able to hang on to much of their fibre and nutrient content.

Having a consistent fibre intake helps to keep your digestive tract healthy and encourages your toilet habits to be more regular. We should be aiming to get at least 30g of dietary fibre in daily so a healthy breakfast option incorporating some oats can put you off to a good start.

Research has also suggested that oats have some prebiotic potential. This means that some of the fibrous portions from oats that make it to your large intestine partially undigested have some particularly beneficial actions as a result of keeping your good gut bacteria happy. (1)

Technically, they can act as a source of food for those bacteria which can then produce health-promoting metabolites as a result, much like our Molkosan Fruit can, if you feel you need an extra boost still!

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2. They contain protein

One concern that some people might have regarding oats is that they contain carbs. Is it too many carbs? The answer is usually no, because oats are very well balanced in that they contain a good dose of protein too.

Plus, whilst oats contain a good amount of carbohydrates, remember these are good quality, complex carbs including fibre, which help to slow the release of the simpler carbohydrate units into your system. Plus, with the help of at least 10% protein and around 7% healthy fats, oats are definitely a perfect, well-balanced option in terms of their macronutrient proportions.

See, protein, healthy fats and complex carbs are the perfect combination to help keep you feeling fuller for longer, especially if you pair your oats with yet more healthy ingredients! As well as their impressive macronutrient profile, oats are also a micronutrient powerhouse. They boast impressive levels of essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron, as well as retaining a number of plant-specific phytonutrients and anti-oxidants – and that's what happens when you stick to eating more wholefood options – yey!

3. They can help balance blood sugar

Due to their pretty neat nutritional profile, as mentioned above, oats are very good at helping to balance your blood sugar levels. Now, unless you've been warned about the risk of pre-diabetes you might wonder what the significance of this is, but healthy blood sugar responses are important for us all.

By helping to keep your blood sugar levels nicely balanced with healthy, whole-food options such as oats, you can not only help to stabilise your appetite and ward off cravings, but this can even have benefits for your mood and energy levels – all of which very much linked.

4. They can help energise you

Now, for a little more on energy levels. When you eat (as long as it isn't too much at once) you generally benefit from an energy boost as the components of your latest meal become available for your body to use as energy. However, depending on what you choose to eat or drink, in some cases, these effects may be quite short-lived.

Sources of refined sugar or caffeine, for example, can be quite deceiving. Initially, these options will give you a lift in energy, that's for sure, but what isn't often apparent is the energy slump you're very likely to experience soon after. Hence, why it can turn into a vicious cycle of peaks in troughs in your energy levels.

Instead, by opting for sources of complex carbohydrates rich in fibre, plus together with sources of protein and healthy fats, we can help stay energised for longer without feeling we are in major need of an energy boost by mid-morning or afternoon.

5. They can be good for your heart

Is it really true that something as simple as the humble oat could actually be beneficial for your heart health? Well, interestingly there certainly seems to be some truth in this, and this links back once more to the fibre content.

Unbeknown to some, our digestive and heart health have some quite strong links. See, when we talk about cholesterol, did you know that your liver makes up to 80% of your circulating cholesterol levels, rather than it coming from your diet directly? This means it makes sense to look after your liver if you are worried about your cholesterol levels!

Next, another part of the puzzle is the role of dietary fibre. Soluble fibre, and in particular as special component called beta-glucans which oats contain, form a gelatinous mass when going through your digestive tract as they soak up some extra water (just another note there, drinking water is also a must!).

But this gloopy mass isn't as it seems; it's actually extremely protective as it can mop up any unwanted extras, including excess cholesterol, and excrete it from your system. (2) Over time, this may have some positive effects on your overall cholesterol levels.

6. They are super versatile

Oats could risk seeming a little boring if people aren't too sure how to prepare them or how to jazz them up sufficiently, but that's exactly what I'm here for.

Oats can, of course, be used as part of a simple porridge recipe which you can get a little creative with, perhaps by trying out some different ingredient combinations there. However, for me, I love some extra texture which is why I often opt to make a homemade granola instead, I live for that crunch! Click below to see my latest recipe: 'Nut-free, apricot granola'.

 One final note from me is that oats don't always have to be sweet, with a little imagination, they can work in savoury dishes too. They can make a nice alternative to breadcrumbs as a healthier option, or in place of flour as a gluten-free option. Remember, oats are technically 'gluten-free,' but just always be sure to check the packaging in case the risk of cross contamination is there.

Other ways to include more oats in your diet

Here are a few tasty recipes you can try to help you add more oats into your daily diet:

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