Oatmeal for Diabetes: Why They Can Be Useful

Oat grains are small powerhouses: They contain more valuable ingredients than almost any other grain. This makes oat flakes, which by the way always consist of whole oat kernels, a useful nutritional component not only for diabetes: healthy people also benefit!

In this article you will learn:

  • which ingredients make oatmeal so healthy,
  • why oatmeal is also recommended for diabetes,
  • what you should pay attention to as a diabetic when consuming oatmeal and
  • how to best prepare oatmeal.

Why should you eat oatmeal if you have diabetes?

If you wanted to choose the healthiest grain among the cereals , oats would probably be on the podium. Oat flakes hardly lose any of their valuable ingredients, as they consist of whole oat grains that have only been squeezed. Oat flakes are always whole grains because the outer layers and the germ are largely preserved during processing.

With 350 kilocalories per 100 grams , oat flakes provide valuable energy : They contain around twice as much fat as wheat, and they are mainly unsaturated fatty acids , which are particularly beneficial for our health. Oat flakes consist of up to a fifth of protein , which the body can use very well.

The higher the biological value of proteins, the better they can be converted into the body’s own protein . Animal proteins are usually more usable. But some plant-based foods – such as oats – also excel in this regard.

Oat flakes score points in comparison with other types of grain with an above-average amount of B vitamins . Vitamin E and the minerals iron, calcium, zinc and manganese are also contained in larger quantities. Oats also boast bioactive substances such as polyphenols and phytosterols. These secondary plant substances are also said to have a positive effect on health and, for example, have a beneficial effect on the cholesterol level.

Benefits of oatmeal for diabetes

It is true that oatmeal is rich in minerals . However, these have an opponent: phytic acid reduces its availability in the body. That sounds like a disadvantage at first, but phytic acid compensates for it in a different way, especially for diabetics. It is said to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels (and thus also on the release of insulin ) and blood lipid levels.

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Paying attention to the latter is of great importance for diabetics because cardiovascular diseases are a common secondary disease in diabetes. In particular, high levels of LDL cholesterol can build up build-up on the walls of blood vessels, making them narrower. The blood can then no longer flow unhindered, which promotes heart attacks and strokes .

Initially, cholesterol is not a bad thing, on the contrary: This fat is essential because our body tissues are made up of it and it is involved in the formation of important substances such as hormones and vitamin D. The lipoproteins LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) bring cholesterol to the organs.

The ratio of the two protein building blocks is important for a healthy cholesterol level in the blood : If there is an excess of LDL, it is deposited on the vessel walls, whereas HDL frees the blood from excess cholesterol. It is therefore particularly important to keep LDL in check. For healthy people without risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, a value below 115 mg / dl is desirable, for diabetics and other high-risk patients for cardiovascular disease, on the other hand, values ​​below 70 mg / dl.

Another benefit of oatmeal for diabetes – as well as for healthy people – is its fiber content . These make the blood sugar rise more slowly and should also lower the cholesterol level. This is mainly due to the action of the so-called beta-glucans . The mucilage swells particularly well in connection with water and then forms a viscous mass from which the sugar is only dissolved very gradually. This slows the rise in blood sugar levels and the body has to release less insulin .

Those who eat a lot of fiber are also doing a lot of good for themselves in other ways: Studies have shown that the fiber from whole grains in particular can protect against colon cancer . In general, fiber plays an important role in digestion and the microorganisms that live in the intestines . In this article you will find out what influence the intestinal flora has on your health and how you can strengthen it .

Oatmeal has tons of benefits that can be beneficial for health.

Can oatmeal be detrimental to diabetes?

As a rule, oatmeal does not have any disadvantages in diabetes. The prerequisite is that they are not eaten in conjunction with sugar (for example in ready-made muesli from the supermarket). The only downer when processing oats may be that they are not as suitable for baking as other types of grain. The reason is the lack of gluten .

This fact makes oats interesting for people with gluten intolerance (celiac disease) and sensitivity. Affected people can only tolerate oats if they are not contaminated with other types of grain, which can certainly occur in conventional cultivation and processing.

Gluten is one of the food ingredients that are often associated with intolerance . There are also other substances to which many people develop intolerance and which react with digestive problems such as flatulence, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea or diarrhea, among other things. We have summarized for you in a separate article which foods are particularly likely to cause intolerance and how you can deal with food intolerance .

What should I watch out for when preparing oatmeal if I have diabetes?

Diabetics have learned to treat carbohydrates with caution, as they have a direct impact on blood sugar. However, oatmeal has a low to medium glycemic index and, unlike products made from refined sugar or highly processed carbohydrates, only gradually increases blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, you should always clarify your diet with your doctor with diabetes, also with regard to the optimal consumption of carbohydrates.

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast – on the contrary, as oatmeal is an extremely healthy breakfast alternative even for people with diabetes . Ready-made muesli mixes from the supermarket, on the other hand, often contain not only additives, but a lot of sugar , and are therefore not recommended for diabetics or generally as part of a healthy diet .

Ideally, you choose pure oat flakes – whether coarse (also known as pithy or large-leaved oat flakes ) or fine (also known as tender or small-leaved oat flakes ) is a matter of taste. There are also instant oat flakes that dissolve – for example in juice. They are more processed and therefore sometimes have a lower proportion of healthy ingredients.

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Oatmeal can also be prepared as a delicious porridge with fruits and nuts.

This is how oatmeal can be prepared

Oatmeal is therefore ideal for replacing less healthy breakfast alternatives. A simple recipe:

Ingredients :

  • a serving of oatmeal (about 50 g)
  • 1-2 tbsp crushed nuts (such as almonds or walnuts). They contain healthy fatty acids and a lot of vegetable protein .
  • ½ cup of fruit, cut into small pieces (kiwi, berries, apple, pear also have a low glycemic index)
  • 125 ml low-fat milk
  • some cinnamon (which studies have shown can also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels)

Preparation :

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. It is best for diabetics to choose low-fat milk, water or unsweetened milk substitutes such as soy or oat milk . Whether you prefer hot or cold oatmeal is up to you. On the other hand, you should avoid preparing oatmeal with sugar, honey or syrup or with lots of dried fruits (which can also contain a lot of sugar) if you have diabetes .

You can’t just eat oatmeal for breakfast. Also hearty meals can be cook with them by looking oatmeal, for example, with vegetables such as carrots, corn, peas and kale to a porridge verarbeitest (for seasoning add some vegetable stock). In very rare cases, oats can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, gas, cramps and nausea . Such symptoms could be due to an intolerance or allergy . What you can do if you cannot tolerate oats or oat products such as oat milk, you will find out in this article on the subject .

Oatmeal for Diabetes: Why They Can Be Useful

Oatmeal is not only allowed in diabetes, it is recommended all round: They contain healthy fatty acids and easily usable proteins . They are also full of fiber, which prevents a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and, in addition to bioactive substances, can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels – an important advantage for diabetics, who are at particular risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The many valuable ingredients make oatmeal an excellent nutritional component not only for diabetes, but also for everyone who strives for a healthy lifestyle . The power packs are ideal for breakfast , but they can also be used to cook hearty dishes. Whether you choose fine or coarse oat flakes and enjoy them cold or warm is a matter of taste.

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