In the bodybuilding and fitness industry as a whole, food is the most important tool in any athlete’s arsenal. No matter how hard you work out, it is extremely important to have the proper nutrition to help keep your body fueled for endurance and exercise. Although we have many options when it comes to food sources, one of my all time favorite foods, and not to mention one of the healthiest, is oatmeal. Although oatmeal, which is a grain, is considered to be mostly a breakfast food, it is very common for oats to be included in many popular recipes, such as muffins, bread, and even cookies, to help increase the health benefits of such foods due to the healthy benefits of oatmeal.
Different Types of Oatmeal
Choosing which oats are for you can be a little tricky since there are various types. When it comes down to it, try to select the large tubs of plain rolled oats or steel-cut oats. You want to avoid the small packets of instant oatmeal, due to the nature of these ready to serve packets being loaded with sugar and sodium. You can also find tubs of ‘gluten free oats’ if you are on a gluten free diet as well. One should note that oats do not contain gluten, however, the packaging facilities in which they are processed may package other products on the same line that do contain gluten.
The benefits of oats are what make this the best breakfast super food available. Oats have shown evidence of lowering LDL cholesterol, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. Oatmeal is also very high in antioxidants that help prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oatmeal has also be shown to stabilize blood sugar which helps to provide our body with adequate energy without causing our body to crash and become tired during the day, as it would by consuming carbohydrates in the morning from sources high in sugar. Oatmeal is also a great way to get an adequate amount of magnesium into our body. Magnesium is important because it helps the body regulate insulin and glucose levels, which in turn can help prevent the risk of someone getting diabetes.
Oatmeal is also one of the top foods for weight loss. Oatmeal is extremely calorie dense and helps keep our body healthy. Since oats are often mixed with water or milk to be cooked, by consuming oats we are avoiding eating other breakfast foods, such as cereals, that contain high amounts of sugars and sodium. Oatmeal is also high in fiber. Fiber is important for the body because fiber rich foods will help keep your body feeling full for longer periods of time. When we consume fiber, we slow down the process of which our stomach can process food, which in turn, results in our stomach feeling full or bloated for an extended period of time compared to other foods. By feeling full for longer, we stray from snacking later during the day and avoid eating unhealthy foods that may contain high amounts of salt or sugar.
In order to get the most benefits out of eating oatmeal, I strongly recommend having 1-2 servings daily. I also recommend buying the large unflavored tubs and avoid purchasing the small instant oat packets that are flavored as these are loaded with high amount of sodium and sugar. By consuming sugar with oatmeal you are essentially removing the benefits oats have to offer. If you wish to add flavor to your oatmeal in the morning, try adding cinnamon, apples, berries or the Myprotein flavor drops for even greater flavor and health benefits as well.