Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What are the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?

What are the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and what a better way to get your nutrients than through a heart healthy bowl of oatmeal. Just half a cup of oatmeal offers five grams of heart healthy fiber and only 130 calories. The fiber in this particular breakfast food can help us lower our cholesterol and maintain a healthy body weight.

As you can see from its texture, oatmeal is also great at curbing our appetite. What this means is that you will not be reaching for a snack shortly after breakfast. Oatmeal has this great way of keeping us feeling full hours longer than traditional breakfast. Atop of its appetite controlling properties, oatmeal (along with other grains such as: whole wheat, barley, rye, millet, brown rice and wild rice) can help reduce the risk of diabetes. And as many of us know, diabetes is a major factor for heart disease.

When choosing the best grains, you should make sure to purchase whole grains not refined grains. Refined or processed grains lose their nutrients and fiber in the midst of production. So be sure that whatever you purchase is in fact whole grain. Some other foods besides oatmeal which are rich in beneficial nutrients and fiber include whole grain breads and whole grain pastas. Now that you know all of the benefits found in oatmeal and other products alike, the next question to ask is how much should you be consuming daily? Well, in order to reap the full benefits of fiber, your intake of the compound should be between 21-38 grams daily (depending on your age). A great start to reaching that daily goal is to begin your day with a bowl of heart healthy oatmeal.

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