weight loss

Are Oats Good For Weight Loss?

Oats are a hot topic when it comes to the health and wellness world. Whether they are touted as an excellent fiber source to lower cholesterol or demonized as bad carb that will make your blood sugars spike, everyone seems to have something to say about oats.

So, are oats a good food to include for weight loss or not? Let’s take a deeper look.

What are Oats?

Oats (Avena sativa L), are a type of whole grain cereal crop that is commonly enjoyed in many breakfast dishes including oatmeal and overnight oats. Whole oats take a long time to cook therefore many choose to purchase rolled oats/old fashioned oats, or steel cut oats for a quick cooking option in the morning [1].

Oats are incredibly versatile and offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. They can easily be incorporated into baked goods, granolas and granola bars, and cereals, as well as enjoyed on their own. Oats contain a rich source of soluble fiber as well as high-quality protein and overall have a very balanced nutrition profile compared to other grains.

Nutrition Facts for Oats

Nutrition Facts for Oats

Oats contain a good source of many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including thiamine, vitamin B5, folate, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.

A ½ cup serving of rolled oats contains:

Calories: 140

Protein 5 grams

Fats: 2.5 grams

Carbs: 27 grams

Fiber: 4 grams

Are Oats Considered a High Protein Food?

Oats are considered a carbohydrate source. This is because the majority of calories in oats comes from carbohydrates. However, oats do contain some protein, about 5 grams per ½ cup serving.

Oats are not considered a high-protein food, despite containing some protein. Because of this, it is encouraged to add protein source to your oatmeal if you are enjoying it as a meal.

Are Oats High in Fiber?

Oats are a high-fiber grain, offering about 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. Oats contain a balanced mixture between soluble and insoluble fiber and are often recommended as a healthy addition for those struggling to get adequate fiber in their diet.

It’s recommended that adults get between 25-38 grams of fiber per day depending on your gender, or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Fiber helps to boost satiety during meals, balance blood sugar levels, improve cholesterol levels, and supports healthy digestion [2].

Are Oats Good for Muscle Growth?

Oats Good for Muscle Growth

Because oats are a carbohydrate source, they aren’t a major consideration for those looking to build lean body mass. While carbs are important for providing fuel for our exercise and recovery, protein is an essential nutrient for building muscle.

For this reason, protein should be prioritized in higher amounts but that doesn’t mean oats should be avoided by those trying to build muscle. Instead, it means that those choosing oatmeal for their meal or snack should also be sure to include a high-quality protein source along with it.

For example, instead of plain oatmeal, try overnight oats with added protein powder or greek yogurt to boost the protein content.

Are Oats Good for Weight Loss?

Oats are a rich source of fiber making them a great option to incorporate into your meals for weight loss. Oats are very filling and can potentially help reduce your total calorie intake throughout the day leading to a reduction in weight [3].

The fiber in oats, which is made up mainly of the soluble fiber beta glucan, absorbs water and slows down transit time in your gut. This means it takes your stomach longer to empty and your body longer to digest foods that contain this type of fiber.

This helps you feel more satisfied after a meal and can keep you feeling full for longer. Beta glucan also helps to release satiety hormones in response to eating which can help with appetite control [4].

However, oats alone will not directly result in weight loss but rather are a good option to include in your diet if you are looking to lose weight along with other high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods.

are oats good for weight loss

How to Increase Protein in Oats

If you enjoy oatmeal and wish to make it a balanced meal, it’s important to include a protein source. One of the easiest ways to do this is to mix a high-quality protein powder into your oatmeal.

For an even more convenient option, you can look for high-protein oatmeals, such as Naked Nutrition’s apple cinnamon protein oats which contains 20 grams of whey protein and a whopping 9 grams of fiber per serving with zero added sugars.

In addition to protein powders you can incorporate a high-quality protein source along with your oatmeal such as greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, or cottage cheese. You can also further boost the protein content of your oats by adding in nuts, nut butter, or seeds.

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