Oatmeal has so many crazy health benefits… but if you’ve ever been a student in the school of carb-cutting, oatmeal might seem like one of those foods you totally wish you could eat, except it would probably destroy your weight-loss goals. That’s not necessarily the case, says one dietitian who’s offering a healthy serving of tips to make your bowl of oatmeal actually “promote weight loss,” she explains. You don’t have to shy away—you can eat oatmeal and still get in shape!
Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT (via Healthline) says: “[…S]ome versions of oatmeal are healthier than others . . . No matter your weight goals, you can make small changes to your oatmeal to help you either gain or lose weight.”
If weight loss—while embracing oatmeal!—is one of your goals, here are Davidson’s tips. (Need more convincing about the health benefits of good carbs? Then One Major Effect of Eating Whole Grains, New Study Says is a must-read.)
If you’re trying to shed pounds, Davidson recommends opting for rolled or steel cut oats, which she says “are less processed, higher in fiber, and lower in sugar” than other kinds of oatmeal, like instant brands.
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Especially in the morning when your tummy might be roaring, it’s tempting to drop a heaping scoop of oats into that pot or bowl. However, remember that a standard serving size of oats is a half-cup dry.
Davidson says a half-cup of rolled oats will deliver 150 calories (minus your liquid, if you’re cooking with any kind of milk), 5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
Yes, the flavored packet of maple and brown sugar or peaches and cream oatmeal might transport you blissfully back to childhood… but even if you buy what some brands market as “better-for-you” flavored oatmeal with added protein or lower sugar, it’s super important to keep an eye on the sugar content if you’re trying to drop pounds. That’s partly because, as Davidson explains, added sugar can impact your blood sugar and cause hunger and low energy not long after you eat.
RELATED: One Major Side Effect of Eating Too Much Added Sugar, Says New Study
If you’re craving some flavor in your oatmeal (who can blame you?), Davidson says you could get creative with pantry staples, such as a sprinkle of cinnamon or a small drop of vanilla. And, to add more nutrition, consider adding fresh or frozen fruit (yeah, bananas, mangoes, and berries!) or a scoop of good protein powder (here’s how to find the right one).
Also, consider trying a great plant-based milk with no added sugars. We’re currently loving Táche pistachio milk, Mooala organic banana milk, and Malibu Mylk’s unsweetened vanilla organic flax milk, among others!
Ready to give your slimmed-down oatmeal game a go? Keep reading: