Benefits of Oats for Weight Loss

Are Oats good for Weight Loss?

Benefits of Oats

Oats is a species of cereal grain. It goes by the scientific name Avena Sativa. Oats have numerous uses in food. Commonly they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal or ground into fine flour. It is primarily consumed as porridge but is also used in a variety of delicious savouries like oatcakes, oatmeal cookies and oat bread.

They are gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

Benefits of oats:

  1. Highly nutritious:

The nutrition composition of oats is efficiently balanced. They are a rich source of carbs and fibre, including a very powerful fibre called beta-glucan. Moreover, they also contain protein and fats compared to any grains. Basically, oats are among the best nutrient-dense foods one can consume.

  1. Rich in antioxidants 

Whole oats are supposedly high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds which go by the name of polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides assist in lowering blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. Ferulic acid, yet another antioxidant is also found in large amounts in oats. 

  1. Lower cholesterol level

Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. One major risk factor is high blood cholesterol. Many studies have proved that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing cholesterol levels in the body. 

Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals, is another crucial step in the progression of heart disease. It produces inflammation in arteries, damages tissues and can raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Antioxidants in oats work together with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation.

  1. Improves blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, characterized by significantly elevated blood sugar levels in the body. It usually results from decreased sensitivity to the hormone called insulin. Oats may help in lowering blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes. It may also improve insulin sensitivity. These effects are mainly attributed to beta-glucan’s ability to form a thick gel that delays emptying of the stomach and absorption of glucose into the blood.

  1. Finely ground oats help in skincare 

It’s no coincidence that oats are found as a famous ingredient in numerous skincare products. Makers of these products often list finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal.” Colloidal oatmeal is approved as a skin-protective substance. But in fact, oats have a long history of use in the treatment of itch and irritation in various skin conditions. For example, oat-based skin products may improve uncomfortable symptoms of eczema. Note that skincare benefits pertain only to oats applied to the skin, not those that are eaten.

Oats for Weight Loss

Oat based foods are quite popular in many countries. We know oats are rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc and fibre, these nutrients assist in weight loss as well. Oats help people feel full, decrease sugar spikes and decrease insulin. These will further push the person to stop eating frequently. 

Here are some weight loss benefits of oatmeal:

  1. Feeling of fullness: Oatmeal keeps a person feeling full for a prolonged period of time and regulates bowel movements. Dietary fiber, particularly soluble fibre, softens stool, making it easier to pass. It also regulates hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. Oats have soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like formula that can leave people feeling full. 
  1. Controls insulin: As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, aka blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like oats, are digested more slowly which causes a more gradual rise in blood sugar. Because insulin allows cells to absorb blood sugar which the body converts to fat if there is too much of it, low insulin levels are associated with weight loss.  
  1. Boost the immune system: One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, is found in oats and helps activate your infection-fighting blood cells. Staying healthy means you can be active, keep a regular exercise schedule, and either lose or maintain weight.
  1. Keeps blood sugar from spiking: Another perk of eating oatmeal is that the rolled oats version qualifies as a  low glycemic index food. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods based on how much they raise blood sugar. Therefore, a low GI means that oatmeal keeps your blood sugar from spiking too high during and after meals, which may help fend off hunger longer. Spikes in blood sugar can also cause fatigue and headaches.

Take Away

Oats are an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition, they’re high in fibre and protein compared to other grains. Oats contain some unique components, in particular, the soluble fiber beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides.

Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation and reduced constipation. In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that should make them a weight loss-friendly food. At the end of the day, oats are among the healthiest foods you can eat.