Benefits of Oats in Winter
As it is approaching winter and the weather is certainly getting colder, it is the perfect time to start experimenting with oats! I hear many people say that they can only eat oats in winter but don’t forget that they can be eaten cold as well in the form of bircher muesli.
Oats have many health benefits and make for an ideal breakfast when accompanied with ingredients from the other food groups.
Let’s take a quick look at why oats are such a great option to start the day with:
- They are low GI – this means that they will provide us with a form of energy that is released at a steady rate and that lasts longer than the energy from high GI foods. In other words, they will help to get us started in the morning and keep us going until the next meal.
- Low GI also means your blood sugar levels won’t spike really high and drop off really quickly – leaving you feeling flat. Oats have been shown to assist in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Fibre. Oats are a source of fibre which will help to keep our digestive system regular. Due to the versatility of how porridge can be made, it’s really easy to boost the fibre content even further! Examples include the addition of fruit, nuts, seeds or psyllium husks.
- Oats will keep you fuller for longer. This also has to do with the GI and oats being digested slower than some other foods and cereals.
- Oats are good for cholesterol levels. If eaten regularly and in conjunction with a healthy diet, oats can actually assist in lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL.
- Versatility. As previously mentioned, oats can be extremely versatile! This can prevent you from getting bored. It also means that they can be paired with many other nutritious ingredients that will maximise the nutrition you are receiving from one meal. For example, fruit, nuts, milk, yoghurt, cinnamon. It is a good idea to try incorporating some dairy in your breakfast as many people find it difficult to get enough throughout the rest of the day.
- It’s quick to prepare and can even be done the night before if you are rushed in the morning.
- It tastes great and will warm you up in winter!
Some inspiration for oats
2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup skim milk
- ½ cup apple juice
- ¾ cup low fat natural yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup chopped nuts
- ½ cup raspberries
- Place oats, blueberries and coconut in a large bowl. Add skim milk and apple juice. Stir yoghurt and honey in to oat mix and sprinkle with nuts.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Serve with raspberries
Recipe sourced from healthyfoodguide.com.au
Savoury oats and soft egg
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats made with water or skim milk
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons shredded fat reduced cheddar
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion greens
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add oats and pinch of salt; stir, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Oats can also be done in the microwave.
- Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick pan over medium. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Add egg and cook until white is set and yolk is still runny, about 3 minutes. Season egg to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve oatmeal in a bowl topped with cheese, egg, and scallion greens.
Recipe and image sourced from: Savory Oatmeal and Soft Cooked Egg
Simple rolled oats
- ¼ cup rolled oats or quick oats
- ¼ cup skim milk or water
- Nut and seed mix
- Berries – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (can be frozen)
- Banana, passion fruit, apple
- Chia seeds
- Fat reduced yoghurt
- Cook oats using either water or milk. This can be done in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds or on the stove top until the desired consistency is reached (the quantity of oats and liquid will likely need to be increased if using stove-top method). Add more milk or water if desired.
- Accompany with the optional ingredients of choice.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have any questions about nutrition related issues, make an appointment. We’ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!
The link below will direct you to more information on oats, including journal articles about the health benefits.