Oatmeal has a long-standing reputation as a healthy breakfast food. And, if you’re trying to lose weight, it only makes sense to turn to healthy foods like oatmeal to help you achieve your goals.
But despite all these health benefits, is oatmeal good for weight loss? Nutrition experts say there are many factors that can influence the topic. “It really depends,” says Jessica Cortin, MD, author of “The Little Game-Changing Book.” “Oatmeal can be a very healthy food, but there are a few things to consider.”
Interested in using oatmeal to help you reach your weight loss goals? Here’s what you need to know.
Nutritional Information for Oatmeal
Oatmeal has a healthy reputation, and for good reason, it’s healthy. Here’s a nutritional breakdown of what you can expect when you eat half a cup of oatmeal.
Fat: 2.5 grams
Protein: 5.48 grams
carbohydrate. 27.3 grams
Fiber: 3.76 grams
Sodium: 1.2 mg
Is oatmeal good for weight loss?
it can. “Fiber is one of the things that helps you feel full after a meal, and the amount of fiber in oatmeal is okay,” Kitley says. “But it’s still a grain with a lot of energy in a small package. That means it’s very easy to overeat, and many people need to add honey, sugar or some sweeteners to make it palatable, which has a great impact on nutritional status. no help.”
There’s also a difference between eating regular oatmeal, such as old-fashioned oats or quick oats, and something with a ready-to-eat flavor, says Beth Warren, Ph.D., founder of Nutrition and author of “The Jewish Girl’s Secret.” “Be careful with oatmeal in flavored packets, as many brands of oatmeal can contain a lot of sugar,” she said. “Ideally, choose to make plain oatmeal with your added flavor and ingredient sources, such as fruit with a teaspoon of peanut butter.”
The ability of oatmeal to help with weight loss really depends on what you eat it with, Cotin said. “You want to make sure you add some protein and fat,” she said. That could mean making it with milk, adding a scoop of seed or nut butter, or eating it with eggs, she said. You can also add a handful of berries or shredded zucchini to it for extra nutrients.
What are the benefits of eating oatmeal?
There are many. “Oatmeal, a 100 percent whole grain rich in soluble fiber, may help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and maintain blood sugar levels,” said Carey, MD, author of “Small Changes to Your Diet” – Gans said.
Oatmeal is also “extremely available” and can be made quickly, notes R.D. Scott-Ketley of Kitley Medical Nutrition Therapy. That raises the odds that you’ll actually eat it while it’s there, rather than living permanently in your cupboard, he says. “There’s also some vitamin E in it, which is good for hair, skin and nails, and a key player in the immune system,” Keatley said.
The soluble fiber in oatmeal can also help fill you up, Codin says. “It interacts with fluids in the digestive tract, taking up space in the stomach, which can help create a feeling of fullness,” she said. “If you’re someone who finds you feel hungry shortly after eating, this helps.”
Are there any downsides to eating oatmeal regularly?
Oatmeal isn’t a complete meal, Kitley says, “but many people treat it as a complete meal.” That’s why it’s so important to add protein and fat to round out the nutrition you’re getting from one bowl, he says.
Gans also recommends being mindful of your portion sizes. “One should stick to a 1/2 cup serving before cooking,” she said.
Overall, though, if you minimize sweeteners and add some protein and fat to your oatmeal, Codin says it can be a healthy food that can help you reach your weight loss goals.