Due to our hectic schedules, we are often looking for quick breakfast recipes. Oats are a type of grain that has emerged as a quick yet healthy breakfast option. But have you made it a habit to eat oats every day? According to a nutritionist, eating oats every day may not be a good idea.
Oats, a whole grain, are known for their various health benefits, but like all other foods, they also have potential side effects. Health Shots contacted Deepika Jayaswal, Consultant Dietitian and Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, to find out why eating oats every day is not a good idea.
Side effects of eating oats daily
Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t eat oats every day:
1. Gluten Sensitivity: Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed in facilities that process wheat, barley or rye, which can lead to cross-contamination, Jayaswal says. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and eat oats regularly, it is important to choose certified gluten-free oats to avoid side effects.
2. Flatulence: The fiber content in oats helps improve digestion. However, excessive consumption of oats can cause gas and bloating in some people, especially if they are not used to a high-fiber diet. Gradually increasing your fiber intake can help alleviate this problem.
3. Phytic Acid: Oats contain phytic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. Soaking or fermenting oats can help reduce phytic acid levels.
4. Caloric Content: Although oats are nutritious, they are also high in calories. When trying to control your calorie intake, be mindful of portion sizes and avoid eating them regularly.
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Also read: What type of oats are best: steel cut, rolled or instant?
5. Nutrient Balance: “Although oats contain many nutrients, it is essential to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to ensure you get all the nutrients the body needs every day,” says Jayaswal. So it’s a bad idea to rely on oats for breakfast every day.
Apart from these side effects of eating oats regularly, oats can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you experience itching, hives or digestive problems after consuming oats, consult a doctor and avoid eating oats.
Benefits of eating oats every day
While it may not be a good idea to eat oats for breakfast every day, eating oats in moderation can be very beneficial. Here are some key benefits of eating oats:
1. Packed with Essential Nutrients: Oats are a good source of essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, vitamins, especially B vitamins, minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are essential for your overall health.
2. Promote Heart Health: Oats are considered healthy for heart health as they help lower bad cholesterol levels. Jayaswal says, “It contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.”
3. Weight Management: Oats can aid weight loss because they are filling and can keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer, making them a useful addition to a weight management diet. Additionally, the high fiber content in oats regulates appetite, preventing overeating and unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
4. Controlling Blood Sugar Levels: The low glycemic index and soluble fiber in oats can help stabilize blood sugar levels, making them a good choice for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
5. Digestion: According to Jayaswal, oats are a good source of fiber, a particularly soluble fiber known as beta-glucans that aids digestion and can help prevent constipation.
Also read: 3 tasty ways to add oats to your diet
6. Antioxidants: Oats contain several antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. These properties can help protect cells from damage and improve overall health.
How to eat oats?
Oats can be a nutritious part of a healthy diet, and many people can benefit from including them in their meals. But moderation is a key word, says the expert. She adds, “Moderate amount and consuming oats 2-3 times a week in one meal per day is recommended.” Make sure your diet is rich in several other nutrients, too!