Oatmeal: A Healthy Nostalgia

Explore the health benefits and that childhood nostalgic charm of oatmeal. Discover its nutrition and why it's a wellness staple.


Nella D


A wooden bowl of oats with oat sheafs next to it
A wooden bowl of oats with oat sheafs next to it

Many of us are taken back to our childhoods when we sit at the kitchen table and watch steam rise from a bowl of oatmeal. If like me, you had it sweetened with a spoonful of sugar, you savoured every mouthful of the watery syrup that languished on the surface, until it combined with the porridge. The perfect topping for a child’s sweet tooth.

Things have changed and as an adult doing my best to eliminate sugar and follow a whole food plant-based diet, the sugar is replaced with fresh fruit and flax meal.

The first person who showed us how to cook the oats and water into a hearty meal, may have been a parent or someone who nurtured us. Someone who had a vested interest in ensuring we were nourished well.

They may have made it with dairy milk to make it creamier and held the belief that it was better for our bones.

As competitive siblings, we’d argue over who bagged the cream from the top of the milk bottle first, to enhance its richness.

As you observed the gentle steam drifting from your bowl of porridge, you may have been reminded of a television commercial in which children were eating oatmeal for breakfast, and then strolled to school with a glowing, orange aura! Do you also remember that advert for Ready Brek? If not, imagine eight year olds, in duffle coats walking through the fog with their bodies glowing orange light.

Not only does this humble dish have sentimental value, but it's also a starting point for learning about the profound effects that our dietary choices have on our health. It's often our first breakfast cooking lesson, with an adult.

Oatmeal represents both our history and our future health, whether we are eating the simpler instant oatmeal packets or the more complex options now available in supermarkets.

We should explore the varieties, health advantages, and reasons why oatmeal is still considered a nutrient-dense breakfast choice.

let's take a closer look at this food and learn how to bridge the gap between nostalgic recollections and responsible eating practices.

There are many different types of oatmeal, from steel-cut oats to instant varieties, and each one goes through a different processing stage.

· The least processed oats are steel-cut, which keeps their chewy texture and requires longer cooking times.

· While instant oats are pre-cooked and dried for convenience.

· Old-fashioned oats, also known as rolled or porridge oats, are steamed and rolled flat for a shorter cook time.

Notwithstanding these variations, all oats start out as whole oat groats and have a similar nutritional profile—rich in carbs, fats, and protein—that is modified for serving size.

The most notable ingredient in oats is beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that lowers LDL cholesterol and is essential to good health.

Beyond processing variations, oatmeal's ability to lower cholesterol illustrates its inherent health benefits. However, it also emphasizes the need to make thoughtful decisions regarding added sugars in ready-made flavour-enhanced varieties. Better to make your own healthy additions methinks.

Oatmeal varieties are as diverse and abundant as their health benefits. Oatmeal has a comprehensive effect on general health, than just lowering cholesterol.

In addition to lowering harmful cholesterol, beta-glucan fibre helps with weight management and dietary satisfaction by promoting a feeling of fullness. A stable digestive system, a healthy heart, and stable blood sugar levels are associated with regular oatmeal consumption, because of its low glycaemic index.

Because of its many advantages, oatmeal has risen above its modest origins to become a staple of a healthy diet, earning it the title of superfood.

Impact on blood sugar levels and satiety is one of oatmeal's most notable health benefits. Slowing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates is one of the notable effects of the soluble fibre beta-glucan on the glycaemic response.

By controlling blood sugar spikes, this action contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Because oatmeal contains fibre, which makes you feel fuller for longer. It's a great choice for people trying to control their weight or cut back on calories.

When compared to ready-to-eat cereals, oatmeal has a greater capacity to stifle hunger, which highlights its importance in a nutritious diet that maintains energy levels and discourages overindulging.

Selecting the "best" oatmeal can be difficult given the many varieties available. All unflavoured oatmeal provides comparable benefits in terms of nutrients, glycaemic response, and satiety, according to nutritional analysis, excluding the flavoring and added sugars of instant varieties. Because they are less processed and have a lower glycaemic index, steel-cut oats are a slightly healthier option—especially for people who are controlling their blood sugar levels.

That being said, not everyone's schedule will be accommodated by the longer cooking times. Both traditional and instant oatmeal present themselves as nutrient-dense, time-saving options that can be included in a balanced, healthy diet when selected in their unflavored varieties and topped with wholesome toppings like fruits, nuts, and seeds.

To maximize oatmeal's nutritional value, it's important to be aware of any added sugars and to embrace its adaptability.

Oatmeal has shown itself to be much more than just a basic comfort food on its journey from childhood memories, to an adult staple health food.

Its health benefits, which range from regulating blood sugar and cholesterol to promoting fullness and weight loss, establish it as a nutrient-dense mainstay in our diets.

Recalling mornings spent with our loved ones, we may recall mornings propelled by well-informed decisions that combine nostalgia with dietary knowledge.

Oatmeal serves as a link between nostalgic experiences and a future of wholesome eating, demonstrating the idea that sometimes the most basic foods have the greatest benefits.

Try our delicious oatmeal recipe HERE

Subscribe to our newsletter

silver spoon on black ceramic bowl with vegetables
silver spoon on black ceramic bowl with vegetables