When I was 10 years old, my grade 5 schoolteacher told me that the secret to a healthy, long life is oatmeal and what was her evidence? Well, her mom, who was 101 and still healthy and strong ate oatmeal every morning! Almost 20 years later and I still remember this story but now that I’m studying nutrition it’s time to explore this phenomenon – is oatmeal really the secret to becoming a centenarian? Oatmeal is a great way to start your day. Homemade quick rolled oats with melted brown sugar and a tad of cream just makes the most delicious bowel of oatmeal; however, you might find yourself hungry again in no time! How can this be? Doesn’t oatmeal have a ton of fibre?
Oatmeal does have fibre but probably not as much as you think. Reflecting back on a post from April 2012 I recommended that your breakfast cereal contain at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. But oatmeal (quick rolled oats) only contain 3 grams of fibre per serving; which is equivalent to one piece of whole wheat bread…no wonder you are hungry again. So, how can we make oatmeal more filling?
- Try adding nuts such as almonds, fresh fruit such as frozen berries or even flax seeds to your warm delicious oatmeal.
- Or make the switch to steel cut oats, which contain 5 grams of fibre and 7 grams of protein per serving.
Steel cut oats are the least processed; they are simply toasted and chopped. While rolled oats are toasted then run through rollers, turning the groats (oat cereal) into flakes and making them easier to digest (& quicker to cook). Unfortunately, steel cut oats do take a bit longer to cook.
Going back to our first question regarding the link between oatmeal and becoming a centenarian - I’m not sure there’s any scientific evidence behind that claim. However, the common theme amongst centenarians is that they all have good coping mechanisms and a purpose. So, what are you passionate about?
Image courtesy of Daniella Segura