If you follow my daily nutrition log you will see that I start my day off the same always with a 1/2 cup of oatmeal and also have it a couple more times during the day. Read and lean the many health benefits that oatmeal has to offer.
First off, the oatmeal discussed here is not the instant kind that comes in the different flavors — these are full of sugar. The real stuff is the plain oat flakes from Quaker Oats or a similar brand.
The benefits of oatmeal are due to the fact that it's made from oats and oats are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
According to the American Cancer Society:
1. Insoluble fiber's cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity.
2. Soluble fiber may reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. LDL is bad; HDL is good.
3. Soluble fiber slows down the digestion of starch. This may be beneficial to diabetics because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level that usually occur following a meal.
4. It has been found that those who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease, a disease that is currently widespread in the United States.
5. The phytochemicals in oat may also have cancer-fighting properties.
6. Oats are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oats are also a good source of protein.
The difference between insoluble and soluble fiber, besides the foods that they come from, is what they do in your body.
Insoluble fiber's main role is that it makes stools heavier and speeds their passage through the gut, relieving constipation. Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel that traps some substances related to high cholesterol, thus reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.