Eating oatmeal is good for you for so many reasons! Oats have vitamin E, antioxidants, and just 1/2 cup of oats contains 15% of your daily protein. Bet you didn't know that! But the most amazing thing is what oatmeal can do for your cholesterol…
First of all, I do want to clear up the fact that yes, oats ARE good for you, even though they're grains! Because I know for people who don't consume grains, they'll say that all grains are bad, because the carbs in them spike your insulin, pause fat storage, and stuff like that. But here is why I eat oats!
It's true, eating oatmeal actually lowers cholesterol…contradicting the idea that oats cause fat buildup, or insulin resistance.
For one thing, oats, as a whole wheat, are so full of fiber that it actually calms your body's insulin response. So it's actually good for avoiding diabetes and having a good metabolism.
In fact, let me just quickly explain why oatmeal is healthier than other grains, and exempt from the whole issue on impacting your blood sugar and putting you at risk for diabetes! Oats have a low glycemic index, a term you might be familiar with especially if you have blood sugar issues. That basically just means that they are digested slower than other grains, so they don't spike your insulin. Some foods with a high glycemic index, that do contain white refined flour that spikes your insulin level, are bread, cakes, pasta, cookies, chips, muffins…Yes, all the good stuff!
So now that we've established oats are super healthy and amazing, how exactly do oats lower cholesterol?
Like I said, the fiber in the oats is the part that calms the insulin response and slows digestion. In this way, it also helps lower cholesterol.
Basically, any high-fiber foods will lower cholesterol, but it has to be the right type of fiber. Soluble fiber! Soluble fiber is able to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed in your blood.
You can get soluble fiber from eating oatmeal, but it's also found in lentils, beans, nuts, and fruits.
But I want to contrast this with insoluble fiber, which you see in a lot of whole-wheat foods like cereal. You also get insoluble fiber with different vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers.
Now, let me be clear!! Saying "soluble vs. insoluble" makes it sound like soluble fiber is good and insoluble fiber is bad, or something…But that's actually not true at all!
Even though insoluble fiber doesn't prevent glucose from being absorbed into your bloodstream the way soluble fiber does…both types of fiber reduce your risk of diabetes. And insoluble fiber has the added bonus of being the type that makes it easier to use the restroom. It draws water to your stool…sorry if that's TMI!
Speaking of TMI…I hope you learned "much information" but not "TOO much information" about eating oats today! Whether you like eating oatmeal or granola, just know that not all grains are bad!! Oats and barley will actually lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
(But, again, unfortunately the same can't be said about cakes, cookies, bread or pasta…😉)