Oats are considered one of the healthiest breakfast options across the globe. They are rich in soluble fibres that manifest many health benefits.
These soluble fibres help increase intestinal transit time and reduce glucose absorption. Oats also contain beta glucan which is a lipid-lowering agent.
You can spruce your oats with fruits and crunchy nuts to make it more nutritious.
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Be it a quick fix for hunger pangs, light and hearty evening snack or the much-needed energy to carry you through your hectic morning, oats are the one superfoods that can easily fit itself to suit your needs.
Protein-packed, full of fibre and low on fat, oats are designed to boost your energy levels and help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
They are not only good for the stomach but are interestingly super filling, satisfying and versatile.
Oats contain a wide range of nutrients like fibre, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, etc. which make them top the healthy food charts.
Types of Oats
1. Oat Groats
Groats are the hulled kernels of cereal grains: in this case, oats.
Groats are whole: they include the cereal germ, the bran, and the endosperm of the grain.
They are very nutritious, but often require soaking prior to cooking, and remain somewhat chewy. They are best used in porridges and stews.
2. Oat Bran
Think oat groat but without the germ, or the endosperm. It can be prepared very similarly to oatmeal but will cook much faster (in about 3 minutes).
Additionally, while it is nutritious, it is not a whole grain.
3. Instant Oats
One of the most well known, instant oats is the most processed of the three.
These are pre-cooked, dried, rolled, and then pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats that aren’t labelled quick cooking.
They cook faster than the others and have a more soft and mushy texture.
They are super simple to prepare and dress up with spices and toppings, but beware it’s also very easy to overcook them.
However, have no fear, because there are so many ways you can cook them, that you won’t have to worry about overcooking. There is even a recipe using these oats to make food items like a smoothie and scrumptious vegetable oats upma.
Seriously Oatmeal Upma! I know, shocking, but I assure you they are surprisingly delectable.
Nutritional value: 1/2 cup uncooked oats= 170 calories, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams protein.
4. Rolled Oats
These oats are steamed as whole grains to soften and then pressed with steel rollers. Because they are rolled thinner, it cuts down cook time and gives them a more supple yet substantial texture.
Unlike instant oats, they are able to hold their shape fairly well which prevents them from ending up a beige dish of mush. They are also the most commonly used in other exciting eats such as in cookies, muffins, bread, and more.
There are a few types of rolled oats including old-fashioned oats and whole oats. (Old fashioned oats are rolled a tad thinner than whole oats.)
Nutritional Value: 1/2 cup rolled oats = 190 calories, 5 grams fibre, 7 grams protein
5. Steel Cut Oats
These oats are processed by chopping the whole grain up (or groat) into smaller pieces, not rolled.
The shape and size of it make for a longer cook time (about 15-20 Minutes), and in the end, have a completely different taste and texture.
They remain somewhat chewy and have a coarse and chunky consistency, making the eating experience much different than a bowl of rolled oats.
Because of their composition, steel cut oats are often used in soups and stews to give texture, creaminess, and thickness. A few varieties of these oats are Irish or Scottish Oats.
Nutritional Value: 1/4 cup uncooked steel cut oats = 170 calories, 5 grams fibre, 7 grams protein
Oats are famous fibre rich food readily available in the market.
We also know that there are different varieties of oats that are consumed by all of us and one of them is ready to eat oats.
But are they as healthy as compared to the other varieties?
We all know that natural food is always healthier than processed foods and therefore, one should opt for natural form only.
Let’s consider the hazards of processed foods
1. They are loaded with added sugar, sodium, and fat
Too much sugar, sodium, and fat in your diet can lead to serious health issues, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even, cancer.
Processed foods even contain additives that disrupt normal metabolism. As per the study published in the Frontiers of Immunology, it was seen that the additives can even affect the immune cells and cause immune-mediated metabolic dysregulation .
Unfortunately, processed foods are often packed with these ingredients.
2. Processed foods are designed to make you overeat and become addicted to them
Studies show that the “reward system” in our brain can sometimes allow us to consume more of our favourite foods than our bodies actually need.
Processed food manufacturers, according to Medical News Today, know this lucrative fact, so they purposely include ingredients most commonly sugar, salt, and fat that make their products highly rewarding to us.
These ingredients lead us to overeat and then buy some more.
3. They contain lots of artificial ingredients
If you’re looking at the label on a box of your favourite junk food, there’s probably a bunch of ingredients that you can barely pronounce.
If that’s the case, your cookies are packed with artificial preservatives, colourants, and flavourings that could be negatively affecting your health, even if it’s been deemed as safe by the FDA or FSSAI.
Some of these ingredients have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and obesity.
4. Processed foods are high in carbs and low in nutrients and fibre
Not all carbs are bad, but processed foods are often packed with refined carbs, which can cause your blood sugar to spike too quickly, thus leading to a drop a few hours later making you even more hungry.
And on top of that, processed foods often lose their nutrients during processing, so synthetic nutrients are added in, which aren’t as effective.
The fibre is often stripped away as well, which your body needs to properly digest food.
5. Processed foods may raise your cancer risk
Studies suggest that foods that are ultra-processed, foods that contain artificial colours and flavours, additives, and emulsifiers are linked to an increased risk of cancer.
According to the study published in the British Medical Journal, it was seen that ultra-processed foods contain the neoformed contaminants along with other compounds present in contact with food.
These compounds can cause cancers of the breast, prostate as well as other cancers .
So, when you now know that artificial food or food with artificial additives can cause harm to your body, it is always wise to stick to the simple and most natural form of edibles. It ensures your health and well-being.
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