The Benefits of Oatmeal for Diabetes
Why is oatmeal good for diabetics? It helps to regulate blood sugar levels because of its low glycemic index and high content of fiber. Oatmeal also improves insulin sensitivity and may help to prevent diabetes. But in addition it provides more benefits than just for diabetes. We will discuss all the benefits of oatmeal. This is one powerful super food!
First off, why is it so good for you for breakfast? It’s because it is low in calories which will help you with losing weight which is a main contributor toward type 2 diabetes. It also contains a fiber known as beta-glucan which is a soluble fiber that helps the oatmeal in stabilizing your blood glucose levels. This is important.
Once you make it part of your daily meal plan, it can be crucial in the long run for aiding in the improvement of your body’s sensitivity toward insulin. This is huge for diabetics because being insulin resistant is the biggest cause of many complications that you can experience with diabetes. So you want to improve insulin sensitivity that will address the diabetes effectively and oatmeal will help to accomplish this!
With diabetes it’s about controlling your carbohydrate intake each day. Carbs affect your blood sugar so you want to be aware of that when you eat because it make a huge difference with your blood sugar numbers. Since the American Diabetes Foundation recommends 45-60 grams for each meal, it’s wise to choose carbs that are nutrient dense over the carbs that are processed with added sugars and refined carbs.
Consuming foods that are high in nutrients and fiber but are also low in sugar and unhealthy fat such as oatmeal will help with your blood sugar levels. You want to control your portion size of course and have a cup of cooked oatmeal which contains 30 grams of carbs. It may give you a reduction for the need for insulin injections. It also is an excellent source for long term energy and aids in regulating digestion.
What You Should and Should Not Add to Oatmeal
You can add nuts, berries, and cinnamon to your oatmeal. It’s better to choose either Irish or steel cut oats because they contain higher amounts of soluble fiber and that results in lowering blood sugar levels. Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties, is packed with antioxidants and can help you lower your risk of heart disease and improve insulin sensitivity. That works for me!
I like to add berries, especially blueberries because that have nutrients that are healthy and beneficial along with antioxidants as well. They also add that sweet taste in a natural way without all the unnecessary sugars.
Here’s another way to eat your oatmeal: Have it while eating a healthy fat or protein such as nuts, eggs, or Greek yogurt. I love adding walnuts, almonds, or other nuts to my oatmeal. This is one healthy breakfast that can add healthy fat and protein to get my day started and also stabilizing my blood sugar. It’s better to use low fat milk or water.
So as there are good choices to add to oatmeal that will help your blood sugars, there are also bad choices. Do not add sweeteners, excess dried fruits, cream, and instant oatmeal. These prepackaged oatmeals have added salts and sugars which are not good for a diabetic diet. In addition, they contain much less soluble fiber. Dried fruit is okay, but too much contains carbohydrates so watch the portion size.
The Many Health Benefits of Oatmeal
* Nutrient contents of oats: Recommended Daily Allowance (1/2 cup -78 grams)
- Copper- 24%
- Folate- 11%
- Iron- 20%
- Manganese- 191%
- Magnesium– 34%
- Phosphorous- 41%
- Vitamin B1- 39%
- Vitamin B5- 10%
- Zinc- 20%
The Awesome Benefits That Oatmeal Offers
* Immune system- The better that you build up your immune system, the stronger your body’s defense is against disease and foreign invaders. Most of your immune cells contain receptors that actually absorb beta-glucan which is the soluble fiber that stabilizes your blood sugar and also energizes the white blood cells in protecting against disease.
* Energy- Oats are rich in carbohydrates which are your body’s main source of energy. Because of this oats can boost your energy levels. They get absorbed much slower into your body and will provide you with a boost that lasts longer and will not spike your sugar levels.
* Weight loss- Losing weight is the biggest thing you can do if you have diabetes. Oats and oatmeal can provide benefits for weight loss and especially if you have plain that do not contain flavorings. The packaged oatmeal has a lot of sugar inside it. You don’t want these.
Since oats contain fiber, they help to control your appetite and you won’t have a feeling of going on binges! You want something that’s going to keep you feeling full and oats do exactly that.
* Intensify sleep quality- Melatonin is the chemical that helps with inducing sleep. Oats have nutrients and amino acids that produce melatonin. Oats that are whole grain also encourage the production of insulin which aids the neural pathways to receive tryptophan which is that amino acid that is wonderful for your brain because it relaxes and acts as a sedative, as does serotonin which is a hormone that makes you feel relaxed too and calms you by reducing stress. This can lead to a good night’s sleep!
* Heart disease- As I mentioned previously, beta-glucan is a powerful fiber that has many benefits including lowering your cholesterol levels. It decreases your LDL bad cholesterol, but does not affect your HDL good cholesterol. What’s also good is that heart disease can be prevented by the combination working together of vitamin C and the antioxidants. Studies done showed that out of all the whole grains, it’s the oat fiber that is the most effective in lowering your cholesterol levels. It’s important to keep those numbers under control.
* Constipation- Oats help to relieve constipation because they are so rich in fiber. They also take part in helping to protect you against colon cancer. Rolled oats and steel cut oatmeal are good for your gut because of its insoluble fiber which also treats constipation. Too much soluble fiber in oats can cause excessive gas so don’t overdo it. Finding a nice balance works well because you don’t want constipation or gas.
* Bone health- There are many minerals in oats that are essential for the health of your bones. Steel cut oats are the best choice and try and avoid instant oatmeal. One important mineral that oats contains is silicon. Silicon plays a huge role in your bones forming and the maintenance as well. Postmenopausal osteoporosis can be treated by it too. There was a study done however, that revealed that oats could possibly hinder your absorption of calcium so it would be wise to consult with your physician first before consuming oats for this particular purpose.
* Itchy skin- Oatmeal is VERY good for dry and itchy skin. The reason for this is its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. You can also do an oatmeal “bath” by adding uncooked oatmeal and baking soda to your bath water. 15 minutes should do. Then apply moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp.
* Blood pressure- Having oats as part of your daily diet can do wonders for your blood pressure if it is high. They can decrease your top, or systolic blood pressure number by 7 points and decrease your lower or diastolic blood pressure number by 5 points. So oatmeal can lower your numbers but lower your risk of heart disease by more than 20%! This could possibly reduce your need for medications.
* Combat cancer- The fiber in oats helps to prevent colon and rectal cancers. The oats also contain the antioxidants that fight cancer as well. Research was performed in a series of studies than involved over 750,000 people and it was concluded that having a large bowl of oatmeal daily can reduce the risk of death from cancer by almost 20%!
* Moisturize your skin- Oats act as a natural moisturizer by removing dead skin cells. Again, the fiber beta glucan forms a film on your skin that is fine and provides essential moisture by penetrating deep into the skin. What you can do is to mix 1 tablespoon of honey with one cup of milk, and two cups of oats. Then gently apply it to your skin and let it set for approximately fifteen minutes. At this point you can then rinse it off with cool water.
* Formation of hemoglobin- Having oatmeal is essential for the formation of hemoglobin which is a protein found in red blood cells and this comes from the ample amounts of iron in it. This is important because oxygen gets transported around your body and returns carbon dioxide from your tissues to your lungs.
* Protein- Protein is absolutely essential for your body to be healthy. For the most part the daily recommended allowance is 45-55 grams of protein. It aids in producing enzymes and hormones, which helping in repairing tissues.It all works with every cell in your body. There are 12 grams of protein in every cup of dry oatmeal. Great way to add it to your diet!
* Your mood- Studies have always shown that depression can be caused by eating junk food. Because of the healthy carbohydrates in oatmeal, which help to stimulate serotonin and it can improve your mood and help to fight depression. It sure pays to be in a good mood rather than head for the road to depression.
* Better vision- How important is Vitamin A for your eyes? VERY! It is made up of antioxidant compounds that are vital for your immune system bone formation, and good vision. Oatmeal contains vitamin A which helps protect the cornea and creates protective barriers against bacteria and viruses which can be responsible for infections of your eyes and aids in lowering your risk of macular degeneration. My eyes are the most important thing to me and I hope for you too!
As you now know, oatmeal provides powerful benefits for diabetes and your overall health. So the answer to the question: “Is oatmeal good for diabetics?” The answer is an obvious yes! Oatmeal is a great way to start your day off right and help to lower your blood glucose and control your diabetes. There are many ways to lower your blood sugar and to get healthy and treat diabetes without medications.
It’s been my pleasure to try and help you with yet another way to get your blood glucose under control. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below and please forward this article on to others who may need help with their blood sugars! I would appreciate it. Thank you so much for reading and stay healthy!
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