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The benefits of oatmeal for diabetes and what you need to know

 The benefits of oatmeal for diabetes and what you need to know

 The benefits of oatmeal for diabetes and what you need to know

If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to make smart food choices. Eating a healthy breakfast is especially essential for people with diabetes because your body needs fuel after an overnight fast, and eating the wrong foods can cause your blood sugar to spike or drop.

Oatmeal is a delicious and nutritious breakfast option that is becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages. With a variety of oats to choose from, such as rolled oats , instant oatmeal, and microwavable oats on the market today, choosing organic is key to ensuring you get maximum nutritional benefits. It is important to note that heating food in the microwave can reduce the levels of nutrients, so it is best to avoid it as much as possible.

What kind of oatmeal is good for diabetes?

After being harvested and cleaned, each type of oatmeal starts with the same raw oats. The outer shell is removed to reveal the edible kernels.

1. Steel Cut Oats - Produced when this grain is sliced ​​using a metal blade, allowing it to cook in no time.

2. Old-fashioned oatmeal or rolled oats - made by steaming and rolling process reduces cooking time to less than five minutes.

3. Quick Oats - For faster meals, quick oats are developed from more steaming and rolling, shortening this time between 30-60 seconds.

When it comes to the texture of these oats, they vary greatly, so there is no clear winner. It all comes down to personal preference. While each bar has a comparable nutritional value, many varieties of instant oats contain added sugar, flavorings, and higher levels of sodium. As the oatmeal becomes more processed, digestion is speeded up due to its higher glycemic index -- a measure of how quickly blood sugar rises upon consumption.

How does oatmeal affect blood sugar levels?

When consumed, oatmeal is a source of carbohydrates that are converted into sugar during digestion and can raise blood sugar levels.

High-fiber carbohydrates can help reduce the spike in blood sugar after a meal. In comparison, processed carbohydrates are quickly digested and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, making it difficult to maintain blood sugar levels. Furthermore, when these types of nutrients are taken on their own, the effects become more pronounced.

Building meals and snacks around complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is key to providing our bodies with sustained energy. Not only are they packed with fiber and vital nutrients, but when combined with a source of protein or healthy fats, they make a complete nutritional dish. In addition, mixing proteins and fats with carbohydrates can help slow digestion to reduce blood sugar spikes.

What is the best way to eat oatmeal for diabetics?

Oatmeal is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates but is often lacking in the other two key nutrients: protein and fat. By combining all three in your diet - complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats - you can increase your satiety levels to reduce food cravings while providing your body's basic needs. Instead of using pre-sweetened or flavored oats, add ingredients like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts to provide an extra helping of protein. For even more protein, add cow's milk or soy milk for the perfect breakfast bowl.

Although almond and coconut milk are not packed with protein, they contain more carbohydrates than other sources. If you want to add flavor without the carbs, consider adding a few drops of almond or vanilla extract for sweetness. Plain Greek yogurt is also an excellent way to top it up while staying within healthy limits — plus it adds a dose of creaminess. And who forgets to sprinkle a little cinnamon? It's calorie-free but will instantly up the deliciousness factor in whatever you decide to make.

According to the National Nutrition Database, 1/2 cup of dry, unfortified oats contains:

  • 153 calories.
  • 5 grams of protein.
  • 27 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 0.4 grams of sugar.
  • 4 grams of fiber.

One package of Oatmeal with Raisins and Spices contains:

  • 15 grams of sugar.
  • 210 mg sodium (per serving).

Ready-made oatmeal can be a tempting and easy-to-cook treat. However, for diabetics, it should be avoided due to its high sugar content. But do not worry. Many healthy oatmeal recipes are available online for people who have to watch their sugar intake. If you need something sweeter than regular oats, try stevia — an organic sweetener that doesn't bring any chemicals into your body.