Oats – Your Secret Weight Loss Weapon

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in eating oatmeal for weight loss.

oatThe oat is a species of cereal grain. Oatmeal is a product made by processing oats.

Oatmeal means any crushed oats, rolled oats or cut oats used in recipes such as oatmeal cookies. The porridge made from this is also called oatmeal.

Oat kernels look very much like wheat in structure. Because the oat kernel is soft, the nutritious bran is not removed.

Whole grain oats contain seven B vitamins, vitamin E, and nine minerals, including iron and calcium. Oatmeal is also a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates.

The quality and quantity of the protein in oats is far superior to that of wheat and most other grains. One ounce of oats has twice the protein of wheat or corn flakes. But the most important nutritional advantages are the soluble fiber and the GLA (gamma linoleic acid).

Another health benefit to eating oatmeal is that the nutrients and fiber it contains can help you lose weight and fight off certain types of cancer.

Studies have also shown that oatmeal reduces cholesterol, maintains blood sugar levels and fights against heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

How do oats help in weight loss

Oatmeal is one of the most satisfying foods an individual can consume at breakfast, which makes it less likely that people will feel hungry later in the morning.

The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water, which significantly slows down the digestive process by creating a gel. For one cup (219 g) of cooked oat bran, for example, it has 6 g of dietary fiber. The gels delay stomach emptying, so you feel full longer and don’t feel hungry quickly which helps with weight loss.

Scientific studies & research

A recent study (November, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)has found that in addition to lowering cholesterol, eating oatmeal can also be part of a weight loss plan.

The results of the study, which were presented on October 23, 2006 at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO), found that people who ate a bowl of oatmeal as part of an overall reduced calorie weight loss plan, which included walking, lost significant amounts of weight and body fat when compared to control subjects who only exercised.

Other findings from the oatmeal plus walking group included:

  • A decrease in waist circumference of 2”.
  • A 5% reduction in body fat.
  • 80% of the weight loss was from loss of fat with lean muscle mass largely preserved.

Recommended quantity

One cup contains less than 150 calories, making it an excellent choice for those who are watching their waistline. Experts and dieticians recommend eating 3-5 bowls of oatmeal a week