As carbohydrates play a very major role in affecting your blood sugar levels, it is really important to keep a tab on your carbs consumption while managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
It is also very crucial to specifically include nutrient rich and high fiber carbohydrates and avoid processed and high sugar carbohydrates. You can easily set a target of carbohydrate consumption on a daily basis by consulting with your healthcare practitioner to keep your blood glucose levels in check.
Whatever a diabetic patient consumes, is a matter of a great deal as they have to consume only those items that help in managing blood glucose levels. Consuming foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients but low in unhealthy fats and sugar helps to reduce blood sugar levels naturally and also keeps check on your overall health.
Oatmeal contains a lot of health benefits and is extremely easy to cook and consume for diabetes patients. The only thing you should ensure is that you are consuming protein in controlled quantities. Every cup of cooked oatmeal consists of about 30 grams of carbohydrates, which is a very healthy amount for people suffering from diabetes.
Being one of the most common breakfast foods, oatmeal is made up of oats. There are three types of oats that include steel-cut, rolled, or instant oat groats. Instant oats are the most processed oats. The faster the oats get cooked, the faster the blood sugar can rise potentially.
Usually, oatmeal is cooked in a liquid form and is served warm. You can also add some nuts, sweeteners, and fruits to make it more delicious. You can also reheat the oatmeal for a quick and easy breakfast. Because oatmeal is ranked very low on the glycemic index (GI), it is a better alternative to other choices for breakfast. It is a good replacement for cold cereal with added sugar, bread with added jelly, and pancakes with syrup.
It is also to be mentioned that patients suffering from diabetes can self test their blood glucose levels after they have different types of food in their breakfast to understand how their blood sugar responds to those food items.
Oatmeal are also very helpful in keeping your heart healthy, which is a very common complication of diabetes. Moreover, it also promotes immunity of the patient helping them to keep other types of complications at bay.
Consuming oatmeal in your diabetic diet helps in managing diabetes. Some of the benefits of oats are:
- It helps in regulating blood sugar levels because it contains moderate to high fiber content and low GI
- Oatmeal are heart-healthy due to their soluble fiber content and the fact is that it also lowers cholesterol
- It reduces the need for insulin injections when consumed in a place of other carbs-rich breakfast foods
- It is also very easy to cook
- Owing to its high fiber content, oatmeal makes you feel full for a longer period of time, eventually promoting weight loss
- Oatmeal also help the consumer with long lasting energy throughout the day
- It helps in regulating digestion
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DO’s And DON’Ts
Oatmeal is a great addition to diet and helps in the management of diabetes. It is also a very intelligent idea to replace the other high carb and high sugar breakfast choices with it to enjoy better results.
If you are adding oatmeal to your diabetes plan, there are many things you must keep these things in mind:
- You can include berries, cinnamon and nuts to make it even healthier
- You should focus on having old-fashioned or steel-cut oats
- Prepare oatmeal with skimmed or low-fat milk or water
- You can also consider including a tablespoon of nut butter to make it more protein rich and delicious
- You can also consider preparing it with Greek yogurt to increase the nutrient, calcium and vitamin D content in your breakfast
Also see: The worst carbs to eat after 50.
There are many things you can add to the oatmeal preparation list which will boost the health benefits of oatmeal. You are advised to consider the following things when you are taking oatmeal in your breakfast:
- Eat oatmeal with protein and healthy fat (such as eggs, nut butter, yogurt)
- You can make a dish with oatmeal by adding 1-2 tablespoons of chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds as it will help in stabilizing blood sugar levels
- Choose old-fashioned or steel-cut oats and these contain a higher amount of soluble fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar and are minimally processed to slow digestion.
- Use cinnamon as it is rich in antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties
- It reduces the risk of heart disease and improves sensitivity to insulin and lowers blood sugar levels.
- You must add berries to oatmeal as they are also rich in antioxidants and nutrients. It also acts as a natural sweetener.
- For making oatmeal with milk, you must make oatmeal with low-fat milk, soy milk or water.
- Making oatmeal with low-fat milk increases nutrients without adding excess fat to the meal.
- For people who are trying to reduce calories and fat content, it is advised to make oatmeal with water instead of high-fat milk or cream.
- Eight ounces of milk contains approximately 12 grams of carbs.
- Do not use pre packaged or sweetened instant oatmeal
- Do not add too much dried fruits or sweetener
- Do not use cream
It is advised that you must not do the below-mentioned things when you are consuming oatmeal:
- It is advised to not use prepacked or instant oatmeal with added sweeteners.
- Instant flavored oatmeal contain added sugar and salt and have soluble fiber.
- It is suggested to choose a healthy variety of oatmeal.
- Do not add too much dried fruits in oatmeal as they have a rich amount of carbs.
- Be mindful of your portions of oatmeal.
- Do not add too many caloric sweeteners such as sugar, brown sugar, honey, or syrup.
- These can also increase blood sugar levels, therefore, it is advised to say no to low-calorie sweeteners.
- Limit or avoid using cream. Instead, use water, soy milk, or low-fat milk to make oatmeal.
Not only oatmeal helps in balancing blood sugar levels and heart health benefits, but it also helps with:
- lowering cholesterol
- weight management
- skin protection
- reducing the chances of colon cancer
It is to be noted that unprocessed and unsweetened oatmeal is slow to digest, which means it keeps you full for a longer time. This helps in weight loss and weight management goals. Oatmeal also maintain skin pH balance which helps in reducing inflammation and itching.
If you prepare oatmeal in a proper way, it has many advantages that can benefit your health. You are advised to replace high refined and sweetened breakfast cereals with oatmeal.
You must start your day with a meal that helps in regulating blood sugar levels and provides energy for a long time. And for this, you do not have any good option for oatmeal. It also helps in preventing heart disease, therefore, a diabetic patient must eat oatmeal at least four times a week. All you need to do is to choose the right add-ins and oatmeal can be a healthy and hearty breakfast if you are a diabetic patient.
The patient must always keep a check on blood sugar levels to see how oatmeal affects the body.
Every person suffering from diabetes faces different types of complications. Hence, you are advised to consult with your doctor before making any kind of changes to your diet. You can also see a registered dietitian who would be able to help you with a meal plan as per your needs and health requirements.