Many wonder what nutritional values are actually contained in oatmeal, whether they are also healthy and what benefits they can bring. There is also a great demand for healthy alternatives to oatmeal with the same or similar nutritional values and health-promoting properties.
In this article you will find out the most important information about oat flakes and their nutritional values and against which health problems they are particularly effective. We also give you different suggestions on how you can prepare your oatmeal or integrate it into your meals and also show you some alternatives to bring more variety into your diet.
the essentials in brief
- Oatmeal is considered a valuable food due to its high protein, fiber, vitamin and mineral content. Their nutritional values also bring some health benefits.
- Many know oatmeal as porridge. For porridge, the oat flakes swell in water or milk for a few minutes and are then eaten as porridge. Actually, oatmeal can be used in many ways when preparing meals.
- There are some alternatives that can definitely match the nutritional values and health benefits of oatmeal. Alternatively, rice, millet or lupine flakes, quinoa, chia seeds or amaranth could be used.
Oatmeal nutritional values: what you should know
Oats were originally introduced to Central Europe from southwest Asia. Because of its high fat and lecithin content and a favorable composition of protein , it is still considered a valuable type of grain. In addition, oats contain high levels of soluble fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins. (2)
What nutritional values are in oatmeal?
Oatmeal is rich in nutritional values. They not only contain plenty of vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, E, H and K), minerals and trace elements (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium), but also fat ( saturated but also unsaturated fatty acids such as omega 6 and omega 9), protein, carbohydrates and fiber. (3)
The nutritional values of oatmeal definitely have many health benefits. Although oatmeal is generally considered gluten-free, commercially available products can still contain small amounts of gluten. (26) The recommended daily ration is approximately 40 g of oat flakes. (3)
How many nutritional values are in 100 g of oatmeal?
In order to give you a better overview of which and how many nutritional values can be contained in 100 g of oatmeal, we have created a few tables with the respective information for you.
|nutritional values||grams||Coverage of the daily requirement with 40g oat flakes|
|of which omega 6||2.46g||/|
|of which Omega 9||2.77g||/|
Oatmeal is also rich in various vitamins. You can see which and how many vitamins are contained in 100 g of oat flakes in the following table:
|vitamins||grams||Coverage of the daily requirement with 40 g oat flakes|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||0.59mg||21.5%|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.15mg||4.3%|
|Vitamin B9 (folate)||0.087mg||17.4%|
|Vitamin H (biotin)||0.02mg||16.0%|
Various minerals and trace elements are also contained in the oatmeal nutritional values. For example, they are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. With this table we want to give you a better overview of the minerals or trace elements in oatmeal:
|minerals / trace elements||grams||Coverage of the daily requirement with 40 g oat flakes|
In total, 100 g of oat flakes result in an energy value of about 368 kcal. However, because oats are a natural product, the amounts of the individual nutritional values can vary slightly depending on the harvest year and origin. (3)
How healthy is oatmeal?
Due to a high nutritional value, oatmeal brings various health benefits. For example, they work against increased cholesterol levels or contain anti-carcinogenic properties. Oatmeal is also said to be a suitable and nutritious food for people who suffer from gluten intolerance. (4)
Because of the high fiber content, oatmeal also keeps you full for a long time. In addition, the dietary fiber beta-glucan in particular lowers the blood sugar level and stimulates the proliferation of good intestinal bacteria. (11)
When should you eat the nutritious oatmeal?
With their nutritional values, oat flakes are a useful source of energy, especially early in the morning. Due to the protein, the unsaturated fatty acids and fiber, they have a satiating effect and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The contained minerals calcium, magnesium and iron as well as the vitamins E and B1 ensure concentration and mental fitness. (14)
Oatmeal is also a valuable food for diabetics (5,6,7"> and against constipation due to the beta-glucan fiber it contains. (13)
Oatmeal is great for breakfast because of its filling properties. (Image Source: Cgdsro / Pixabay)
How can you prepare oatmeal?
Oatmeal can be prepared in many ways. The valuable oat flakes in the form of so-called porridge are very popular. This is oatmeal. The oat flakes are heated either in milk or water with constant stirring. Then let the flakes swell for a few minutes over low heat, stirring several times. Fresh fruit such as apples, bananas or a wide variety of berries go very well with oatmeal as a garnish. Depending on your taste, nuts, sunflower seeds or cinnamon can also be added.
One option for a healthy snacking alternative is homemade oatmeal cookies. Butter, honey, eggs, flour, baking powder and rolled oats make delicious cookies in just a few minutes.
You can also easily integrate the nutritious oat flakes into your main courses. How about tasty fried vegetable patties? This could involve adding some rolled oats to your overall ingredient mix, which you then use a spoon to form into small patties and fry in oil or butter.
Homemade oatmeal cookies are a good and healthy snack alternative (Image source: Olia Nayda / unsplash)
Another way to absorb the nutritional value of the oatmeal is to prepare a refreshing drink with oranges, bananas, possibly fresh mint and milk. Here you can mix the ingredients including the nourishing oatmeal well and then enjoy it as a drink.
How long does oatmeal keep and how should it be stored?
Rolled oats can be kept and eaten beyond the expiration date. The prerequisite for this, however, is that they are stored in a cool and dry place. Moisture can encourage mold growth. Don't store your oatmeal in the fridge.
However, you can transfer the oatmeal to an airtight container to protect it from food moths or other small critters. Spoiled rolled oats may be slightly darker in color and taste rancid. (29)
Are oatmeal gluten free?
For people with celiac disease - i.e. people who suffer from gluten intolerance - oatmeal should be a suitable food. (4) However, commercially available products may still contain small amounts of gluten. (26)
Can the oatmeal nutritional values help you lose weight?
The nutritious oatmeal can actually help you lose weight. The beta-glucan contained in oatmeal slows down the emptying of the stomach. This in turn ensures a longer-lasting feeling of satiety, which means that less is eaten and fewer calories are consumed overall. (12)
How do the nutritional values in oatmeal affect diabetics?
Studies have looked at how soluble fiber, specifically beta-glucan, found in oatmeal nutritional values affects blood sugar control in people with type 1 diabetes. According to this, as little as 6 g of oat beta-glucan per day is said to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and variability in people with type 1 diabetes. (5)
Oatmeal lowers blood sugar levels.
The beta-glucan in oats also lowers blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. (6) Oatmeal can improve insulin sensitivity, the stomach empties more slowly, and less glucose enters the blood. (7)
Can Oatmeal Lower Cholesterol?
A meta-analysis of studies shows that the dietary fiber or beta-glucan in oats can lower both the LDL cholesterol value – i.e. the bad cholesterol value – and the total cholesterol level. (1) Beta-glucan causes more cholesterol-containing bile to be excreted, which in turn causes less cholesterol to circulate in the blood. In order to get a successful effect of the beta-glucan, however, about 3 g of this dietary fiber should be consumed per day. (8th)
Oatmeal can lower cholesterol levels. (Image source: unsplash / Jocelyn Morales)
However, the lowering of cholesterol levels by means of beta-glucan can also be due to the fact that this dietary fiber slows down the absorption of fat and cholesterol by binding the mass to be digested with water, creating a somewhat viscous solution in the body. (9)
In addition, the antioxidants in oatmeal in combination with vitamin C are said to be able to prevent LDL oxidation. LDL oxidation could lead to inflammation in arteries and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. (10)
How does oatmeal nutritional values work for constipation?
Not only, but especially older people can have problems with constipation. Laxatives are often used to help with this, which in turn can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. (13)
A study showed positive effects against constipation by consuming the roughage in oats. In some cases, laxatives could even be completely dispensed with. Body weight was also not affected by fiber intake, which meant that general physical well-being remained stable. (13)
Does oatmeal help with itching?
The oatmeal nutritional values include many different polyphenols, so-called avenanthramides, which have antioxidant properties. They have an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effect. (27.28)
What alternatives are there to oatmeal with the same nutritional values?
While oatmeal is rich in nutritional values, there are some good alternatives to add some variety to your diet every now and then. You can use the following alternatives with similar oatmeal nutritional values instead:
- Rice flakes: Rice flakes, as the name suggests, are made of rice. They are made from the same types of rice that are used for cooking rice.
- Millet Flakes : Millet is a grain of the grass family and contains no gluten. However, it is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Lupine flakes : The flakes are made from the lupine kernels of the sweet lupine and are mainly grown in central and southern Europe.
- Quinoa: Slightly nutty in taste, quinoa is a great alternative to the nourishing oatmeal. Quinoa is a species of plant in the foxtail family.
- Chia Seeds: These are the edible seeds of Salvia Hispanica, a plant in the mint family that is native primarily to central and southern Mexico.
- Amaranth: Amaranth also belongs to the foxtail family. Originally it was one of the staple foods of the Incas and the Aztecs.
In the following part, the individual alternatives will be discussed in more detail to give you a better overview of their nutritional values.
Alternative 1: The rice flakes
Rice flakes are high in carbohydrates (about 74.1 g for 100 g of rice flakes), protein (7.8 g) and fiber (2.2 g). (16) They also contain iron, calcium and phosphorus. (15) They are particularly well suited for the preparation of rice pudding.
Alternative 2: The millet flakes
Millet flakes are a good alternative to oatmeal.
Like oats, millet also contains a large amount of important nutritional values. B vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene and some minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc are also included. The silicon it contains ensures, for example, good growth of hair and fingernails. (17)
100 g millet flakes contain about 70 g carbohydrates, 11.2 g protein, 5.1 g fat and 3.8 g minerals. In addition, millet does not contain gluten. (17)
Alternative 3: The lupine flakes
Lupins belong to the legumes. Pulses are high in fiber and protein and may provide health benefits. For example, they can protect against heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation. (25)
Alternative 4: The quinoa
Quinoa is particularly rich in proteins and amino acids and contains important minerals, lipids, vitamins and omega 6. Quinoa is also gluten-free, which means that it can be safely consumed by people with celiac disease. (18.19)
Alternative 5: The chia seeds
Chia seeds contain the unsaturated fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are widely used to prevent non-infectious diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes. (20.21)
Here the chia seeds were soaked and then integrated into the muesli. (Image Source: Brenda Godinez / unsplash)
Chia seeds promote digestion and ensure a lasting feeling of satiety due to their swelling. However, it should be kept in mind that chia seeds may have blood thinning properties. So if you suffer from blood clotting disorders or take blood-thinning medication, you should check with your doctor whether and how many chia seeds you can eat. (21)
Alternative 6: The amaranth
Amaranth also contains no gluten and has a high content of proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, amaranth is said to have antihypertensive and anti-diabetic effects. (22,23,24)
With its multitude of healthy ingredients, oat flakes have a high nutritional value and are therefore a useful source of energy. Because of the high fiber content, oatmeal keeps you full for a long time. In addition, blood sugar and cholesterol levels can be reduced and the proliferation of good intestinal bacteria can be stimulated.
You don't have to eat oatmeal every day, though. Fortunately, there are also some alternatives that offer the same or similar nutritional and health benefits. Alternatively, you could choose between rice, millet and lupine flakes, quinoa, chia seeds and amaranth.
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