14 Facts About Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is a nutritious and delicious way to start your day. This whole grain cereal has many health benefits backed by scientific research. Read on to uncover 14 fascinating facts about oatmeal you may not know.


Oats have been a dietary staple for humans for thousands of years. Today, oatmeal remains a popular breakfast food that provides essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to boost health. Modern science is discovering more about why oatmeal is so good for you.

Here are 14 facts that highlight the many benefits of adding oatmeal to your diet:

Facts About Oatmeal

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  1. Oats are naturally gluten-free. Oats do not naturally contain gluten. However, some oats become contaminated with gluten during growing or processing. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choose oats labeled “gluten-free” to avoid issues.
  2. Eating oatmeal can help you lose weight. The fiber in oatmeal absorbs water and slows digestion, helping you feel full longer after eating. This promotes weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake. According to studies, eating oats is associated with lower BMI and reduced obesity risk.
  3. The beta-glucan fiber in oatmeal lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber like beta-glucan binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids and removes them from your body. Multiple studies confirm that 3 grams per day of oat beta-glucan significantly reduces LDL and total cholesterol.
  4. It can decrease high blood pressure. The fiber in oats helps reduce blood pressure levels. Research indicates regularly eating whole grain oats leads to better blood pressure numbers.
  5. Oatmeal keeps blood sugar levels in check. The beta-glucan in oats regulates the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Eating oats seems to help the body use insulin more efficiently too, lowering diabetes risk.
  6. Eating oatmeal may reduce colorectal cancer risk. The fiber content of oats may protect against colorectal cancer. According to an analysis of 10 studies, each serving of whole grains like oats eaten daily lowers colon cancer risk by 5%.
  7. It relieves uncomfortable constipation. Dietary fiber helps add bulk to stool and soften it, allowing waste to pass through the intestines more easily. The insoluble fiber in oats acts as a natural laxative.
  8. Oatmeal baths soothe various skin conditions. Finely ground oatmeal contains compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. Colloidal oatmeal baths are an age-old remedy for skin irritations like eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, chicken pox, and insect bites.
  9. Eating oats may reduce heart disease risk by 20%. According to a Harvard study, eating at least one serving of whole grain oats daily is linked with a 20% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Oats contain plant chemicals that prevent plaque buildup in arteries.
  10. It contains more protein than most grains. A bowl of cooked oatmeal provides about 5 grams of protein compared to 3 grams from a slice of whole wheat toast. The protein in oats includes essential amino acids for building and repairing muscle tissue.
  11. Oatmeal offers B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium. A single serving of oats delivers a hefty dose of thiamin, niacin, folate and other B vitamins crucial for converting food into energy. It also provides minerals like zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium vital for immune function, thyroid health, and energy levels.
  12. Eating oats seems to boost good HDL cholesterol levels too. According to several studies, the beta-glucan in oats modestly raises beneficial HDL cholesterol concentrations. Higher HDL levels remove LDL cholesterol from blood vessel walls.
  13. It’s one of the least allergenic foods for kids and adults. Oat protein has low allergenicity compared to other grains. Introducing infants and young children to smooth oatmeal cereal helps prevent future food allergies. Most people with grain allergies can tolerate moderate oat intake.
  14. Oatmeal was first domesticated in Europe over 2,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks cultivated oats as horse feed. Romans spread oat farming to Northern Europe. By the Middle Ages, oats became a staple grain for peasants across Britain, Scotland and beyond – so much so it was used as currency.


As you can see, oatmeal brings an impressive résumé of science-backed health benefits to the breakfast table. It packs a nutritional punch of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s versatile to prepare and easy to add tasty mix-ins like fruit, nuts, and spices. For a nutritious morning meal that sticks with you, oatmeal is a smart choice.

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FAQ: Oatmeal

What is oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a dish made from oats that have been de-husked, steamed, and flattened, or from a coarse flour of hulled oat grains. It can be consumed in various forms such as porridge or used as an ingredient in baking.

How is oatmeal prepared industrially?

Industrially, oat grains are de-husked by impact and then heated and cooled to stabilize them. They may be milled to produce different textures or steamed and flattened to make rolled oats, which can vary in thickness.

What are the nutritional benefits of eating oatmeal?

Oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber and offers moderate amounts of protein and fat. It is also a good source of manganese and contains various other nutrients like phosphorus and zinc. It can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Are there different types of oatmeal?

Yes, there are several types of oatmeal including steel-cut (coarse oatmeal), rolled oats (which can be old-fashioned, quick-cooking, or instant), and ground oats (white oats). The cooking time and texture vary among these types.

Can oatmeal be used in any other dishes?

Oatmeal is versatile and can be used in many dishes. It’s a key ingredient in oatmeal cookies, granola bars, and is used as a thickener for soups, a stuffing for poultry, and it’s also a main component in traditional dishes like haggis.

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