Oatmeal for Winter 2016 – 2017 Annual Update

 

Dr. Nadelberg and I frequently speak of mixing and matching foods to make balanced dishes. Consuming hearty foods is superior to counting calories or trying to stay on restrictive diets. Hearty foods diminish hunger; diets increase hunger. Below is an example of a good winter breakfast that balances carbohydrates and proteins, has beneficial fiber, and can be modified from day to day to keep your taste buds amused.

 

Preparation:

  1. You want rolled oats, otherwise known as old-fashioned oats. They have been flattened, steamed, and toasted, and take about five minutes to cook. If you have some skill with seasonings, you are all set. However, if shuffling around the kitchen in the dark of morning, you are just as likely to grab for the cayenne (yuck) as the cinnamon, try this: instant oatmeal comes in highly seasoned packets. While they are more processed than rolled oats, they are still good for you.
  2. The rolled oatmeal (takes 5 minutes to cook) is higher in fiber, helps digestion, and lowers cholesterol. The instant oatmeal (2 minutes to cook) has similar, but less pronounced, benefits, but comes in flavors such as Maple, Cinnamon, and Apple. Mix the two together and cook for five minutes.
  3. Instant oatmeal pre-measured packets are convenient for those normally skipping breakfast at home. Skipping breakfast is bad for your health. All you need is a microwave at the office. The other condiments (nuts, fruits) mentioned below are also portable, allowing one to have that all-important weight and metabolism controlling breakfast.

Balancing Nutrients:

  1. Adding a handful of nuts will bring this dish close to a balanced serving.  A serving of uncut oatmeal contains about 70% carbohydrate/30% protein/fiber. Instant oatmeal is 80% carbohydrate/20% protein/fiber.  Add 1/4 cup of cashews, pecans, or walnuts. They are softer than almonds and contain better fats than peanuts.
  2. You can sweeten this delicious breakfast with dried fruit, brown sugar, regular sugar, honey, berries, bananas, or fruit preserves while still maintaining a low glycemic nutritious breakfast.
  3. You can also add milled flaxseed to increase fiber and make it more filing.
This simple oatmeal breakfast lowers cholesterol and heart disease risk, improves digestion, and you can vary the flavors all winter long to suit your tastes.

James Katz MD

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