Oatmeal is the Best Breakfast Food Ever

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

Oats are an incredible morning meal. If you’re not enjoying one of Nutrisystem’s great oatmeal offerings, look for steel cut oats or rolled oats. We have a slight preference for steel cut: one quarter cup of dried steel cut oats have fewer calories than rolled (140 versus 160) and sit lower on the glycemic index. Still, you can’t go too wrong with oats. Here are four reasons why oatmeal is the best breakfast food ever. But please, eat from a bowl, not a bag.

It fills you better than cereal
In a 2013 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, oatmeal eaters were fuller longer than those who ate “ready-to-eat” cereal. The study participants ate the same number of calories, but the added fiber—and, scientists surmised, the viscosity—helped the oatmeal keep their stomachs feeling full for four solid hours.

It’s got muscle-building, craving-killing protein
Part of that fullness factor can also be attributed to protein—oatmeal has more protein than any other “common” grain, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A half-cup serving of the dry stuff has 5 grams of protein, which helps build muscle, of course, but also helps your body feel fuller thanks to its slow digestion. You can add an extra punch of protein, too: A half-cup of milk mixed with your oats in place of water will bump you up another three grams—getting you into egg levels of a.m. protein.

It really does lower cholesterol
In a 2008 research review, scientists at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine found that oatmeal really does all that heart-healthy stuff we were told in the late 1990s. Oatmeal can lower total cholesterol levels, reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol without lowering “good” HDL, reduce the risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, and supply some unique compounds that may help prevent atherosclerosis, or hardening of he arteries.

You never have to have the same bowl twice
Eggs are both edible and incredible, but there’s only so many ways you can crack ‘em. But what you add to oatmeal can change your bowl every day, both in nutrition and flavor. Add a spoonful of peanut or almond butter for healthy fat, protein, and to make it even stickier. Toss in some blueberries and raspberries for a ridiculous punch of antioxidants; sliced banana for potassium; chopped walnuts for Omega-3s and crunch; or toss in just a few chocolate chips for a treat. For something really different, try it spicy—a small dash of cayenne pepper and some raisins is a surprisingly delicious twist on the usual morning flavors.