Oatmeal – healthy or not?

healthy, weight loss, slim birdy,

Aaaahhhhh! Oats and oatmeal are coming at me from everywhere – instagram recipe images, friends, daily health snippets and they are touting them as the healthiest breakfast to eat EVER.

From the nutrition facts I can see a bit of Iron and a bit of magnesium, some protein and fibre and a whopping lot of carbs. Apparently they help reduce cholesterol in the arteries, something to do with the fibre.

More claims are that they digest slowly, making you feel more full for longer.

Then why is my experience with oats completely the opposite? Tell me that?

They leave me starving in an hour

If I eat them I am hungrier much faster than if I had something like eggs or cheese. And it’s not a gentle, ease into….’well I think I am a little hungry I could eat something now’ type of hunger. It’s a completely ravenous, ‘OMG! where is the food, I’m starving type of hunger.’

Then worse still they make me bloated, crampy, uncomfortable and just not at ease at all. Have you seen the way that dried oatmeal sticks to the bowl? It’s like super glue – so what’s it doing to your insides? And it makes me constipated – no wonder!

A single serve packet I had said 19grams of carbs in a 34gram pack of oats.

When I was on Keto that fact alone would have put me off. These days I’m back on carbs following a Ray Peat style diet which is more macro balanced. So I’m more than happy to have this amount of carbs and more daily. However I’m still fussy as to what type of carbs they are. Fruit and fruit juice take preference as they are the least damaging to the body. Oatmeal has rough fibre and is high in starch, both of which damage the body in different ways.

And I have low cholesterol anyway, so that benefit is wasted on me.

So this is a lesson in don’t always believe what you read. Not all foods claimed to be healthy may actually be a match to you. Listen, learn, believe or don’t believe and try it if you want to, for an experiment. Then feel what happens and determine by how it feels for you whether it’s right or not.

For me oats are totally not a match for my hunger pangs, for my gut health or for my weight loss goals, so they get a big miss for me.

If I feel like a ‘cereal’ type taste then I start with bananas, fresh strawberries and blueberries, maybe add a 1/4 cup of puffed rice (which doesn’t damage your gut), add milk and honey. Satisfied for hours, no gut issues and right on track! Ya ya ya!

What other ‘healthy’ foods just don’t do it for you?

Kristy x

PS: 2017 update – I am no longer low carb but I still don’t eat oats. Just a personal choice.

Update 2021 – I am now 4 years into living a Ray Peat lifestyle which is fast metabolism, low stress and eating highly nutritious foods that don’t damage your body. This includes certain amounts of dairy, coffee and sugar all supported nutritionally. To learn more about this lifestyle grab a copy of my book based on these principles called The ZEN Beach Diet – available for immediate download worldwide and under AU$10.

Zen Beach Diet