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Breakfast is one of the most crucial meals of the day. It has been advised by experts to start your day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. But the major concern now is that ranging from the varied options available nowadays like oats, cereals, poha, paranthas,etc. which one should be consumed so as to reap maximum benefits.
Two of the most talked about breakfast options nowadays are cereals and oatmeal. Each one of these have their own advantages over other therefore, it is necessary to compare them so that we can get a holistic view.
Oatmeal is a whole grain whereas cereals fall under the category of refined grains. Whole grains consist of 3 parts, i.e. the outer layer called bran, the main part called endosperm and the germ. The endosperm is mainly starch whereas bran is rich in fiber, dietary minerals, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. Cereals, on the other hand, are refined, therefore, the bran and germ are generally lost, leaving behind only the endosperm. As a result, various important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber are lost. Moreover, refined cereals have high levels of added fats and sugar as compared to their whole grain counterparts.
Whole grains have the following properties which make them a better option than cereals :
Now let us go through these benefits in detail.
Oatmeal and Heart Disease
According to studies, a high intake of whole grains is associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 21%. Moreover, regular consumption of fiber-rich cereals significantly reduces the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Oatmeal and Diabetes
Whole Grain consumption has been proved to show improvements in people with diabetes, particularly improvements in insulin sensitivity.
Oatmeal and Weight Management
High fiber foods like oatmeal, can be a part of any weight management program as they take longer to digest and create a feeling of fullness thereby, providing more satiety and discouraging overeating.
Oatmeal and Bowel Health
High fiber foods lead to increased stool bulk, softer and larger stools and more frequent bowel action which causes a decrease in the level of destructive bacteria and building up of carcinogenic compounds.
Oatmeal and Cancer
Consumption of up to 3 servings of whole grains in a day is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in adults. Studies have indicated that consumption of about 90gms of whole grains reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 20%.
It is, therefore, concluded that oatmeal should be preferred over cereals as a breakfast alternative. Quaker oats besides being more satiating provide better health benefits and protection against many.