We often look for quick breakfast recipes due to our hectic schedules. Oats is one type of cereal grain that has emerged as a quick but healthy breakfast food option. But have you made a habit of eating oats every day? Eating oats daily may not be a good idea, according to a nutritionist.
Oats, a whole grain cereal, is well-known for their various health benefits, but like any other foods, they also have potential side effects. Health Shots reached out to Deepika Jayaswal, Consultant Dietitian and Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, to learn why eating oats every day is not a good idea.
Side effects of eating oats every day
Here are 5 reasons why you should not eat oats every day:
1. Gluten sensitivity: While oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed in facilities that handle wheat, barley, or rye, which can lead to cross-contamination, says Jayaswal. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and you eat oats on a regular basis, it is important to choose certified gluten-free oats to avoid adverse reactions.
2. Flatulence: The fibre content in oats helps improve digestion. However, excessive consumption of oats may cause gas and bloating in some individuals, especially if they are not used to a high-fibre diet. Gradually increasing your fibre intake can help alleviate this issue.
3. Phytic acid: Oats contain phytic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. Soaking or fermenting oats can help reduce their phytic acid content.
4. Caloric content: While oats are nutritious, they are also calorie-dense. When trying to manage your calorie intake, be mindful of portion sizes and avoid eating them regularly.
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Also read: Which type of oats is best: Steel-cut, rolled or instant?
5. Nutrient balance: “While oats provide many nutrients, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to ensure you get all the nutrients the body needs every day,” says Jayaswal. So, relying on oats daily for breakfast is a bad idea.
Apart from these side effects of eating oats regularly, oats can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you experience itching, hives, or digestive discomfort after consuming oats, consult a doctor and avoid eating oats.
Benefits of eating oats every day
While eating oats every day for breakfast may not be a good idea, eating oats in moderation can be really beneficial. Here are some major benefits of eating oats:
1. Packed with essential nutrients: Oats are a good source of essential nutrients like fibre, iron, vitamins, especially B vitamins, minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, and antioxidants. All these nutrients are essential for your overall health.
2. Promote heart health: Oats are considered healthy for heart health because they help reduce bad cholesterol levels. Jayaswal says, “It contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.”
3. Weight management: Oats can help with weight loss because they are filling and can keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, making them a useful addition to a weight management diet. Additionally, the high fibre content in oats controls appetite, preventing overeating and unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
4. Blood sugar control: The low glycemic index and soluble fibre 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. Digestive health: According to Jayaswal, “Oats are a good source of fibre, a particularly soluble fibre known as beta-glucans which aids in digestion and can help prevent constipation.”
Also read: 3 yummy ways to add oats to your diet
6. Antioxidants: Oats contain various 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 incorporating them into their meals. But moderation is a key, says the expert. She adds, “Moderate quantity 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 as well!