6 Best Health Benefits of Oatmeal

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Many people crave oatmeal for its comforting qualities. And, based on the research on the health benefits of oatmeal, there are good reasons to include it in your diet. Oatmeal is a comforting and delicious food that is also incredibly good for you.

Health Benefits of Oatmeal

Here are five reasons to make oatmeal a staple of your diet, along with healthy ways to incorporate it beyond breakfast.

Oatmeal is full of nutrients

A half-cup serving of dry, quick-cooking oats provides about:

  • 150 calories: This is a good amount of calories for a breakfast food, as it will help you feel full and satisfied until lunchtime.
  • 5 grams of protein: Protein is an important nutrient for building and repairing muscle tissue.
  • 27 grams of carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy.
  • 4 grams of fiber: Fiber is important for gut health and can help you feel full.
  • A few grams of fat: The fat in oatmeal is mostly unsaturated fat, which is good for your heart.

Oats are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Iron: Iron is important for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function.
  • Zinc: Zinc is important for the immune system.
  • Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant that can help protect cells from damage.
  • B vitamins: B vitamins are important for energy metabolism.
  • Calcium: Calcium is important for bone health.
  • Potassium: Potassium is important for blood pressure regulation.

Oats are also a good source of fiber, which is important for gut health and can help you feel full.

Oats are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they are packed with nutrients but low in calories. This makes them a healthy choice for people of all ages.

Oatmeal provides antioxidants

Oats contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect cells from damage. This damage, known as oxidative stress, can lead to aging and disease. Polyphenols can help to reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells.

Polyphenols have been linked to protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. This is because polyphenols can help to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and blood sugar levels.

Oatmeal supports better nutrition

If you have avoided oatmeal because of its carbohydrate content, you may be surprised to learn that this healthy starch can actually help with weight management. In fact, a study found that people who regularly eat oatmeal have higher scores on the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index (HEI), which is a measure of overall diet quality.

The HEI takes into account factors such as the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The study also found that people who regularly ate oatmeal had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than people who did not eat oatmeal regularly. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

These findings suggest that oatmeal can be a part of a healthy diet for weight management or even weight loss. However, it is important to note that oatmeal is not a magic bullet for weight loss. It is still important to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Whole grain nutrients

Oatmeal’s whole-grain nature contributes to its ability to promote healthy weight management and enhance overall nutrition. Unlike refined grains that have been stripped of their bran and germ, whole grains retain their fiber and essential nutrients, making them a more nutritious and satisfying food choice.

Improves satiety

Oatmeal may contribute to an increased sense of fullness after eating, as suggested by a small study. In this research, participants’ levels of hunger and fullness were compared after consuming either oatmeal or another breakfast option, such as oranges. The findings revealed that individuals who consumed oatmeal not only experienced greater satiety but were also less inclined to snack in the hours following breakfast.

Oatmeal’s Beta-Glucan fiber is health-protective

Consuming half a cup of oatmeal supplies approximately 14% of the daily recommended intake for fiber, and the specific type of fiber present in oatmeal offers distinctive protective benefits.

Supports immune function

A study found that oatmeal has something called beta-glucan, a kind of fiber. This fiber doesn’t just help the immune system, but it also lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eating oatmeal regularly might lower the chances of getting heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Oatmeal acts as a antioxidant

The study goes on to describe how beta-glucan also works as an antioxidant. In this capacity, it is associated with protecting against the hardening of arteries and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Beta-glucan not only supports healthy digestion, preventing gut inflammation, but it also serves as a prebiotic. Prebiotics essentially nourish beneficial microbes in the gut while hindering the growth of harmful bacteria.

Reduces blood sugar levels

In 2020, a research study examined the use of oatmeal as a temporary measure to regulate blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Consuming oatmeal led to a notable decrease in blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity. Scientists attribute this effect, at least in part, to beta-glucan and concluded that adding oatmeal into the diet can serve as a helpful approach for both preventing and managing diabetes.

Oatmeal may help you live longer

According to a meta-analysis from 2019, eating oatmeal might decrease the risk of death from various causes, including heart disease—a major cause of mortality in the United States. The researchers examined 33 previous studies in their review to assess the connection between specific foods and the risk of overall mortality or cardiovascular disease. Their findings suggested that incorporating whole grains into the diet, such as having oatmeal for breakfast, was associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including heart disease.

All unsweetened oatmeals are good choices

People usually ask about the superiority of steel-cut oats compared to other oatmeal varieties. According to information provided by the Oldways Whole Grains Council, many types of oats exist. Steel-cut oats, also known as Irish oatmeal, are groats—oat kernels—sliced into two or three pieces with a sharp, steel blade. This type of oatmeal is denser and requires a slightly longer cooking time.

Regarding other unsweetened oatmeal types: Scottish oatmeal is a coarser, stone-ground variety, and old-fashioned rolled oats are groats steamed and then rolled into flakes. Quick or instant rolled oats have even thinner flakes, and instant oatmeal is a finely chopped version of rolled oats.

While steel-cut oats are technically less processed, each variation comprises whole oats. Both steel-cut oats and old-fashioned oats offer nutritional benefits. In essence, similar advantages can be obtained from any oatmeal type, provided it is unsweetened. Choosing unsweetened oatmeal also grants the flexibility to choose the type and quantity of sweetener, if any, to add.

Healthy ways to eat oatmeal

Elevate your morning oatmeal experience by introducing wholesome additions. Give your oatmeal a delightful twist with a dash of maple syrup, complemented by the anti-inflammatory goodness of cinnamon or ginger, and the freshness of added fruit. For an extra nutritional boost, add nuts, seeds, or nut/seed butter for healthy fats and bonus plant-based protein into your breakfast bowl.

Add veggies

Feel free to mix in finely chopped or shredded vegetables for added nutrition. “Zoats,” which is a popular breakfast choice for many, involves adding shredded raw zucchini. Simply use a box grater to shred the zucchini and fold it right into your oatmeal.

Add protein

To make your meal higher in protein, mix plant protein powder with dry, old-fashioned rolled oats before adding hot water. If you’re making overnight oats, put your oatmeal blend in the fridge overnight, and enjoy it chilled when you’re ready to eat the next morning.

Add something savory

Make your oatmeal savory by cooking it plain and then adding sautéed or oven-roasted veggies and herbs. Boost the protein with foods like eggs, beans, lentils, or tofu, and top it off with healthy fats such as sliced avocado or a bit of pesto. You can also try rolled oats in veggie burger patties or use them instead of breadcrumbs in dishes like meatballs or casseroles.

Use it as an ingredient

Old-fashioned rolled oats can be used in many dishes. Mix them with almond butter and cinnamon for a crumbly topping on warmed fruit. They’re also great for energy balls, pancakes, and various baked goods like cookies, bars, banana bread, and muffins.


The benefits of eating oats everyday are endless. Adding oatmeal into your meals is a smart and healthy choice. It’s full of good stuff like nutrients and antioxidants, which are great for your overall health. This versatile and tasty ingredient offers various benefits, from providing essential nutrients to supporting your well-being. There are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy oats, making it easy to add this good-for-you carb to your balanced and nutritious meal plan.

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