10 Health Benefits of Oats

1 – Do Oats Have Gluten?

Oats are naturally gluten free and are not related to gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye and barley. Oats are however sometimes contaminated with wheat when grown or processed.

Oats can be part of a gluten free diet if they originate from sources that guarantee uncontaminated oats. Several brands offer pure, uncontaminated oats.

Research has shown adding gluten free oats to a gluten free diet can help to provide the recommended daily fiber intake for individuals with celiac disease. The addition of oats to a gluten free diet can also increase antioxidant levels and enhance nutritional values.

2 – Oats for Weight Loss

Studies have revealed that starting the day with a nutritious, fiber rich meal such as oats can help with maintaining a healthy weight. Oats has been found as having the highest satiety value of all breakfast meals, giving a feeling of fullness for longer.

Researchers have also found a significant dose response between higher oat beta glucan levels and higher levels of a hormone associated with appetite control.

3 – Oats and Cholesterol

Researchers have identified a substance in oats called beta-glucan which significantly reduces LDL cholesterol. In people with high cholesterol levels, the intake of the equivalent of three grams of oat fiber daily generally reduces total cholesterol by 8 to 23 percent. Three grams of oat fiber can be had by eating about 1 bowl of oats. There are over forty studies which confirm the ability of oats to reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

overnight oats

4 – Oats for Insulin Sensitivity

Participants in a double-blind, controlled clinical who consumed foods which contained oat beta-glucan showed improvements in insulin sensitivity.

5 – Oats for Diabetes

A number of studies demonstrate that individuals with high whole grain consumption had from 28 – 61% less risk of type 2 diabetes in comparison to people with the lowest whole grain consumption. One study of individuals with type 2 diabetes that ate foods high in oat fiber had a much lesser rise in blood sugar compared to other individuals who ate bread or rice.

Great Grains Infographic

6 – Oats for Asthma

Research has revealed that children introduced to oats at an early age were less likely to develop persistent asthma.

7 – Oats for Colorectal Cancer

A review and meta-analysis of 25 studies on the incidence of colorectal cancer and the consumption of dietary fiber and whole grains such as oats revealed a 10% reduced risk of colorectal cancer for every additional 10g of fiber.

Oats Infographic

8 – Oats for Blood Pressure

Individuals who had high blood pressure and oats added to their diet had a significant reduction in blood pressure as well as the need for antihypertensive medicine.

9 – Oats for Coronary Artery Disease

Higher intakes of dietary fiber and whole-grains such as oats have been associated with reduced progression of coronary atherosclerosis in individuals with established coronary artery disease

10 – Oats for the Immune System

Researchers have found that beta glucans found in oats boost the immune system against viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi.

Nutrients in Oats

Oats are a great source of phosphorus, selenium and manganese. They’re a good source of soluble dietary fiber, iron and magnesium, vitamin B1.

Nutritional value of oats per 100g (cooked):

  • How many calories in oats – 71
  • How much protein in oats – 2.5g
  • How many carbs in oats – 12g
  • What is the fat content of oats – 1.5g

History of Oats

Oats was one of the first cereals to be cultivated although the ancient Romans and Greeks saw oats as a kind of weed appropriate only for barbarians and horses. Cultivated oats arrived in America in the early 1600s with the first British immigrants. The biggest cultivators of oats are the U.S., Poland, Germany and Russia.

The Health Benefits of Oats

Infographics by: Greatist, Vegan MOFO: Great Grains, Quaker Oats
References for The Health Benefits of Oats: PMID: 22893781, PMID: 15585760, PMID: 18254091, PMID: 15531671, PMID: 16084154, PMID: 19571787, PMID: 17151592, PMID: 19674492, PMID: 19917449, DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d6617, DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.113