Today I’m going to talk about oats and oatmeal. You’ll discover:
- Some important health benefits
- What’s the best form of oats
- Why you should NOT eat them for breakfast and the best time to eat them
- The surprising negatives
- Health warnings of toxicity
And I bring up this topic because a subscriber asked the following:
“Hello Dr. Sam – I wanted to know if you eat oatmeal. I eat a big bowl every morning and I wanted to know if this is good or bad? I heard it’s full of vitamins, fiber, and good for lowering my cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight loss. It’s also good for energy. Thus, like a perfect food. Do you agree? Thanks boss!”
This is correct, improvements in cholesterol, blood sugar, weight loss, and energy levels are the primary reasons people eat oatmeal – other than the obvious reason that they like how it tastes.
The Benefits of Oats/Oatmeal
To begin with, oats are grains and have lots of vitamins and minerals, so they are very nutritious. Especially when compared to other grains.
They also contain a good amount of soluble fiber and beta-glucan, which helps with cholesterol levels.
Now, it doesn’t lower blood sugar, but it has a decent glycemic load and thus, doesn’t raise blood sugar levels that much. Certainly not like your typical breakfast cereals.
In fact, the “steel cut” oats are the healthiest because they are minimally processed, which means higher fiber and the lowest effects on blood sugar.
Even though oats are naturally gluten-free, make sure you purchase one that says it on the label. This is because, during the manufacturing process, the machines can touch other foods that do have gluten and will cross-contaminate.
Negatives Of Oats/Oatmeal
Now, there are some things to keep in mind.
Most people do have oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. I don’t do this and warn against it.
This is because oatmeal is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin… a chemical that can cause a calming and relaxing effect. If fact, you take tryptophan at night to put you to sleep.
Speaking of sleep, oats also contain melatonin, the sleep hormone.
So the point is, the last thing you want to do is eat food for breakfast that causes a calming, relaxing, sleeping effect. Instead of eating it in the morning, eat it in the evening to help give you a restful and deeper sleep.
In the morning, have proteins, fats, vegetables, and maybe some fruit. Whole pasture-raised eggs, veggies, and some blueberries for example.
Great for your body and brain.
Oats Can Be Toxic With Pesticides
Lastly, I want to mention something very important about oats, toxicity, and pesticides.
A big study showed that 100% of all the popular brands of oats, tested positive for glyphosate, which is a herbicide. They use this to kill plants, such as weeds.
Unfortunately, glyphosate is toxic to humans as well. In fact, it’s a carcinogen.
The studies showed that oats contained on average, 360 ppb (parts per billion). That’s twice the “allowed” benchmark of health, which is 160 ppb. Sadly, some of the popular samples contained up to 1000 ppb, and some had as high as 2800 ppb.
So for this reason alone, I suggest you limit your intake of oats. Even when they say “organic”.
So in summary:
- Oats are fairly healthy grains, which contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- The “steel cut” oats are the healthiest and make sure you see “gluten-free” on the label.
- If you’re going to have oats, better to have it in the evening instead of the morning because it contains tryptophan and melatonin, both of which cause you to relax and sleep.
- Lastly, because oats tend to have glyphosates, carcinogenic, and toxic herbicides, I would limit their intake.
And if you’d like more information about supporting healthy cholesterol, blood sugar, or increasing your energy levels, click on this special link. It will help you achieve your health goals, with the least amount of effort, time, and money.
- Chasing Away Insomnia with a Bowl of Oatmeal https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/201411/chasing-away-insomnia-bowl-oatmeal
- Chronic Insomnia and Stress System https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2128619/
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b1-thiamine
- Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/4/367