Oatmeal is a food that is known for its healthful properties. Its benefits have been known for thousands of years. However, if you have diabetes, you may wonder if oatmeal is perfect for you.
The answer is yes; oatmeal is suitable for people with diabetes. However, it is not about eating oatmeal at all hours. One serving is enough. In addition, people with diabetes are recommended to distribute the amount of oatmeal for the day. This amount depends on the rest of the diet, physical activity, and the state of health of a person.
This article describes how much oatmeal to eat for diabetics. Is it helpful to eat oatmeal to lose weight?
Oatmeal for diabetics Yes or no?
Research has confirmed that one of the benefits of eating a moderate amount of oatmeal is losing weight and regulating blood sugar levels, which is essential for people with diabetes. (1,2)
Oatmeal can be eaten in oatmeal pancakes, puddings, or simply in the form of porridge. The latter is the best way to cook oatmeal for people with diabetes.
One of the extra benefits of oatmeal for diabetics is its content of a unique type of fiber: beta-glucans. A complex polysaccharide with the ability to improve digestive processes and with antioxidant properties. It is the presence of beta-glucan that gives oats their characteristic slimy structure.
Eating oats allows you to regulate the hormones related to hunger ( leptin, ghrelin ). Its high fiber content will enable you to mechanically fill the stomach, an excellent benefit for losing weight and for people with insulin resistance. Oats are suitable for people with diabetes because of:
- It has a low, medium glycemic index
- Moderate calorie intake
- Reduces the feeling of hunger
- Normalizes blood sugar levels.
- It helps lower bad LDL cholesterol
Oatmeal – nutrients and calories
Oat flakes are similar in calories and nutrient composition to other cereals. The caloric intake of 100 g of dry cereal is 370-390 kcal per 100 g.
The total carbohydrate content is 66-70 g (approximately 10-11 g is fiber), 17-19 g of protein, and 6-7 g of healthy fats. The nutrients and calories in oatmeal are:
- Calories – 370-390 kcal
- Proteins – 17-19 g.
- Fat – 6-7 g
- Carbohydrates – 66-70 g
- Fibra – 10-11 g
If you want more details, you can check the Table of the nutritional value of oats.
People with diabetes – How much oatmeal should you eat per day?
Oatmeal is a food with a low glycemic index; it delivers its energy slowly and gradually. One of the direct benefits for people with diabetes is that it does not get blood glucose levels out of control.
In terms of quantity, for people with diabetes, oats are a source of carbohydrates. Although it would not be correct to establish a fixed amount of grams of oatmeal for diabetics (see glycemic load and net carbohydrates ), it can be said that one serving of oats per day is sufficient.
In other words, 60 grams of oatmeal per day is adequate for a person with diabetes.
People with diabetes are advised to eat oatmeal for breakfast without added sugar. If you repeat the portion, it is recommended that you always distribute your amount throughout the day. An excess in the amount eaten per day will not bring additional benefits.
As for the benefits of beta-glucan, they are manifested only if they eat an amount of 3 g per day, corresponding to 30-40 g of dry cereal³.
Amount of oatmeal to lose weight
Oatmeal is not considered a low-calorie food. However, eating an amount of 40-60g is ideal for weight loss.
It is important to emphasize that a negative calorie balance must be maintained to lose weight. In other words, more calories must be spent than are consumed.
For oatmeal to positively affect weight loss, an amount of no more than 100 g per day is recommended; in fact, 60–70 g per day is sufficient for most people.
Oatmeal for breakfast. Is it good for weight loss?
Studies claim that eating oatmeal for breakfast can normalize blood sugar and help reduce bad cholesterol, which is extremely important for people with diabetes. (1.3)
The amount of nutrients in oatmeal is higher than other breakfast options such as granola and toast with jam.
In addition, oatmeal acts as a prebiotic, a food beneficial for modifying the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
How does oatmeal cook to maintain its nutrients?
To cook oatmeal and maintain its nutrients, it should not be overcooked. The simplest way is to make porridge. Three parts of water are needed for one piece of cereal, depending on the desired density and the grinding.
A standard amount of rolled oats (50 g) usually takes 200-250 ml of water or milk. The water is brought to a boil; then, the flakes are poured. The fire is reduced to a minimum and cooks for 7 – 12 minutes.
An ideal breakfast option for people with diabetes is to accompany oatmeal with red berries and a finely chopped banana with a pinch of cinnamon. Sweeteners like stevia should replace white sugar.
SUMMARY – Oatmeal for diabetics
The recommended oatmeal for diabetics is 50–60 grams per day.
Including oatmeal in breakfast is an ideal method to lose weight and regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
An excess of oats can be counterproductive for people with diabetes. However, in moderate amounts, cereal is one of the best foods for people with diabetes.