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5 Reasons and Ways to Eat Oatmeal-Guest Post By Maria Rainier

5 Reasons and Ways to Eat Oatmeal

Your kids scrunch their noses up at the mere mention of it.  Its stereotype makes it out to be bland, boring, and mushy.  Oatmeal is the kind of food that you know is good for you but you just can’t bring yourself to take out of the cabinet. 

 Here are reminders of why oatmeal should be a part of your daily diet, followed by five ways to make oatmeal a food you look forward to eating.

1.    According to the American Cancer Society, oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.  The latter helps fight cancer by attacking certain bile acids and reducing their toxicity.

2.    Soluble fiber may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol without lowering the HDL (“good”) variety. 

3.    To the benefit of diabetics, soluble fiber slows down starch digestion, avoiding sharp rises in blood sugar typically following a meal.

4.    Phytochemicals found in oats may aid in fighting cancer.

5.    Oats are dense in nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium.  For athletes and vegetarians, oatmeal is also a good source of protein.
As promised, here are 5 exciting ways to take the “meh” out of oatmeal.

1.    Pour a serving of rolled oats (they cook faster than steel-cut oats) and heat it up with milk or soy/almond milk for added calcium.  Top with blueberries, heart-healthy nuts like walnuts, and flax seed (oil or dry).  Mix and drizzle with honey for an exiting, easy, and healthy breakfast.

2.    If your sweet tooth needs satiating, add dried cherries, a pinch of sugar, some chocolate chunks, and dollop of whip cream to some cooked oatmeal.  This makes a great mid-afternoon snack or dessert.

3.    If you want a spicy breakfast, add some scallions, sesame oil, and soy sauce to some oatmeal and top it with a fried egg.

4.    Add oats to home-baked muffins.  Look for recipes that use whole wheat flour; this will give you a balanced intake of insoluble fiber (from the whole wheat) and the soluble variety (from the oats).  Stay away from instant oat varieties, though, since they can add excess sugar and corn-derived ingredients that will dock health points from your muffins.  Use quick or old fashioned oats, instead.  In fact, you can replace up to one-third of the flour requirement in most bread, pancake, and muffin recipes with oats or oat flour (which you can make by pulsing rolled oats in your food processor).

5.    Oats can substitute for cracker crumbs or bread as a filler in your meatloaf and meatballs.  Add steel-cut oats to fill your soup, too.

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she's been researching both the best paying jobs and the worst paying jobs on the market. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.