Is Oatmeal Good For Diabetes?

August 9, 2022
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Is oatmeal good for diabetes? According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, oats are a widely available whole grain high in fiber and essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. Furthermore, oat consumption has been linked to improved cardiovascular conditions, including a lower risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, which is bad for health). So, how did oatmeal become the king of breakfast while also beneficial to people with diabetes? Let’s get started with Liftyolife (liftyolife.com).

1. What is oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a hot cereal made from oat groats that have been broken down. People eat it mixed with hot water or milk to make it smooth and tasty. Oatmeal is typically cooked with liquid and served warm, often with additional ingredients such as nuts, sweeteners, or fruit. It’s easy to make and reheat in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast.

Oatmeal has a low glycemic index (GI), and its soluble fiber and beneficial compounds may help people control diabetes markers. Steel-cut (or chopped), rolled, or “instant” oat groats are commonly used. The more processed the oats are, the faster the oats are digested and the blood sugar can potentially increase.

What is oatmeal?

What is oatmeal?

2. Pros of oatmeal for diabetes

If you or your loved ones are suffering from diabetes and are looking for alternative carbohydrates, the benefits of oatmeal will persuade you in an instant. Here are some typical examples:

  • The high fiber content and low GI can help regulate blood sugar.
  • Avenanthramide, an anti-inflammatory compound found in oats, may help reduce inflammation in diabetes, leading to disease progression (1).
  • When eaten to replace other carbohydrate-rich breakfast foods, it may reduce the need for insulin injections.
  • It is heart-healthy due to its high soluble fiber content and ability to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol.
  • It can be a quick and easy meal if prepared ahead of time.
  • It’s an excellent long-term energy source.
  • It can aid in digestion regulation.
  • It contains a moderate amount of fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer and aids in weight management.

3. Cons of oatmeal for diabetes

Every food has advantages and disadvantages, but for many people with diabetes, eating oatmeal has a few drawbacks. If you eat instant oatmeal with added sugar or overeat at once, you may experience a spike in blood sugar levels.

Oatmeal can be harmful to people who also have gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying. Oatmeal fiber can slow stomach emptying in people with diabetes and gastroparesis.

4. Do’s and don’ts of oatmeal and diabetes

The do’s for a diabetes-friendly bowl of oatmeal: 

  • Choose steel-cut or old-fashioned oats. These options have a higher concentration of soluble fiber, which aids in blood sugar regulation, and are minimally processed to slow digestion.
  • Serve with eggs, nut butter, or Greek yogurt as a protein or healthy fat. 1–2 tablespoons chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds can provide protein and healthy fat, which can help stabilize your blood sugar.
  • Use cinnamon. It has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It may also enhance insulin sensitivity and help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Low-fat milk, unsweetened soy milk, or water can be substituted. For those trying to cut calories and fat, water is preferable to cream or higher fat milk. However, remember that the amount of milk used must be factored into the total carb intake for your meal.
  • Mix in the berries. Berries are also high in antioxidants and nutrients, and they can be used as a natural sweetener.
  • Nuts like walnuts and almonds are suitable for type 2 diabetes because they provide fiber, protein, and healthy fats. However, keep your portions small because of the high calories and fat.

The don’ts for a diabetes-friendly bowl of oatmeal: 

  • Prepackaged or instant oatmeal with added sweeteners should be avoided. Instant and flavored oatmeal contains a lot of sugar and salt.
  • Don’t overdo caloric sweeteners. Oatmeal is commonly sweetened with honey, brown sugar, or syrup. These have the potential to raise blood glucose levels significantly. Sweeteners with no or low calories can be used safely.
  • Don’t overdo the dried fruit. A tablespoon of dried fruit can contain a significant amount of carbohydrates.
  • The cream should be used sparingly or not at all. Combine water, soy milk, or low-fat milk for a diabetes-friendly bowl to make oatmeal.

In summary, oatmeal is the best option for people living with diabetes. Therefore, it is a hearty, humble breakfast staple, and can be an excellent addition to a diabetes diet. Oats contain soluble fiber, which may aid in blood sugar control and weight maintenance. Eating more oatmeal is one of the simplest ways to incorporate more healthy oats into your diet.

Let’s look at how much oatmeal is good for diabetes. We guarantee that oatmeal is the best diabetic carbohydrate replacement right now. Properly prepared oats may take a little longer, but the potential benefits for type 2 diabetes are worth the extra time.

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