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Oats

Background

Oats are a versatile grain that recently had an increasing awareness towards their health promoting characteristics. The edible portion of oats is the grain (or seed) that grows from a grass stalk. Oats are available in a variety of forms; such as: whole oat groats, steel cut oats, rolled oats, and quick oats. The variety of oats differ in their degree of processing that changes the structural properties of the grain. 

 

Benefits

Good source of dietary fiber: which helps to maintain the health and integrity of the GI tract. High levels of soluble fiber in oatmeal have been shown to help to lower LDL and cholesterol in the blood. The soluble fiber in oats takes longer for your body to digest and can help slow the rise of blood sugars after a meal; this makes oats a low-glycemic food. 

  • Beta-glucan: research has supported the ability of this soluble fiber to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. 
  • Avenanthamides are an antioxidant unique to oats and there’s some evidence that avenanthamines have hearth health characteristics. Some research has shown the ability of avenanthamines to help reduce particular metabolic factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis! 
  • There is some evidence that oats may prevent colon cancer in animal studies. 

 

Nutritional Value of 1/4 cup (27 g) Uncooked Large Flake Oats

  • 105 calories
  • 18 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fibre
  • 4 g protein
  • 2 g fat
  • ~25% recommended daily intake of iron

 

Did You Know

While oats themselves are gluten free; most oats have a high risk of being contaminated by gluten through processing. As a result, people who have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant must avoid oats and oat products unless the product is specified gluten free on the label. 

 

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