Is Oatmeal Healthy?

In my diet if a food item comes from a plant or the ground it is considered healthy. I believe eating food in its most natural state is the cleanest way to eat and it has worked well for me personally. Looking at oats from this simple viewpoint would then classify them as healthy. So the issue isn’t really whether oats are healthy, because they are in their simplest state, but the type of oats and what you add to them that makes them unhealthy.

purely elizabeth oatmeal_haute healthy

{Purely Elizabeth Oatmeal with berries + honey}

Instant oats are rolled, steamed and precooked. These often have added sugar and are the least healthy option. Many of them that claim to have fruit in them are made up of little more than high fructose corn syrup, sugars and chemicals – there is no fruit in the ingredients! Instant oatmeal has been processed to cook very quickly, which means they are broken down and digested more quickly in the body which then raises your blood sugar level faster. Basically, if they can be made in two minutes and are “flavored” then skip this option. Also, instant oats typically have a multitude of ingredients (some you can’t pronounce) which is a major red flag. If you want oats, the only ingredient should be oats.

Regular oats (Rolled or Steel Cut with no flavors) are a good source of fiber, contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are a source of protein and complex carbohydrates. Plain oats are great, it is what you add to them that can make them unhealthy. Here are some ideas on how to make your plain oats healthier:

– Add some almond milk or protein powder
– Add nuts or flaxseed
– Sweeten with honey and/or cinnamon
– Add your favorite fruit
– Natural peanut butter

Steel cut oats contain more of their original nutrients so if you want to choose the oats in their most natural state – these are the way to go. Starbucks offers steel cut oats on the go and provides the toppings on the side, which are honey and fresh blueberries. This is the healthiest on the go oats option I have found to date. Do not be fooled by other fast food restaurants offering oats on the menu – some of them have so many hidden ingredients you might as well eat donuts for breakfast. Take the five minutes to cook your own oats (or even make them overnight), add some healthy toppings and enjoy fueling your body! If you are looking for some healthy oats to buy, one of my favorite oatmeals is the Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal: it contains chia, hemp, quinoa and amaranth with no sugar.  They are also gluten free, vegan, organic and non-GMO. Doesn’t get much cleaner than that!

Tell me how you take your oats in the comments below!

xx, Beth

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5 thoughts on “Is Oatmeal Healthy?

  1. Lately, I’ve taken to making a simple overnight oats with 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/.5 tbsp chia seeds, and 3/4 cup almond or coconut milk, and then throwing the whole thing into a smoothie with spinach, strawberries, more almond milk, 1/2 a frozen banana, and almond butter! It gives the smoothie a nice doughy taste reminiscent of pie! And, the added thickness is so satisfying! Plus, this literally lasts me a good 5 hours. =)

  2. Pingback: this time baby I’ll be bullet proof | The Pomegranate Bandit

  3. I’ve been soaking oats over night in almond milk, with some blueberries and raspberries adding some chia seeds, walnuts and dates – Heavenly!

    I think oats can be a really healthy food you just have to get the right variety like you said. Good post! I really like your blog!

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