Calories in Oatmeal
Oatmeal is naturally low in calories with only about 140 calories per cup.
Oatmeal usually doesn’t contain too many calories. Oatmeal has a small variation in the amount of calories depending on its type — whether it’s regular oatmeal, steel-cut or quick-cooking oatmeal.
Steel cut oats will have about five more calories per serving than the others. Oats vary in their serving sizes depending on which type of oats they are, but the standard serving for most types of oats is 40 grams dry.
Oats are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is the reason why you feel full and satisfied for longer after eating oatmeal. Fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol level and keep your digestive system healthy.
Healthy Calories, but…
If you don’t pay attention, this seemingly healthy breakfast could end up turning into a sugar-filled, belly-stuffing disaster.
The problem lies in the fact that oatmeal contains a lot of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn into glucose when digested by our bodies, which causes an increase in blood sugar levels. This can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.
So how do we avoid this? Part of it comes down to portion control. If you eat just one bowl of oatmeal, then you’re not going to get enough carbs to cause any problems. But if you eat two bowls, you could be getting way too much. Another part is what I call the seven common oatmeal mistakes. By avoiding these mistakes, you can get all the health benefits while minimizing the drawbacks.
Don’t Fall into These Seven Common Oatmeal Mistakes
If you want to enjoy a delicious, filling breakfast without worrying about overdoing it on carbs, try these tips:
Oatmeal Mistake #1: Adding Too Much Sugar
If your oatmeal is sweetened with brown sugar or maple syrup, it’s probably too much. While some people like their oats sweeter than others, adding more than 1 tablespoon of sugar per serving can make the dish taste like dessert. Try using honey instead and add just a touch of cinnamon for an extra kick.
If you’re craving that extra boost of sweetness, add some fresh fruit. Add a few blueberries or chopped apples for a bit of natural sweetness and some essential filling fiber to help keep you satisfied until lunch time.
Oatmeal Misstep #2: Not Adding Enough Milk
If you’re looking for a creamy texture, then you need to add at least 2 tablespoons of milk to each cup of cooked oatmeal. The best way to do that? Add milk when cooking the oatmeal. You’ll get a thicker consistency without having to add any additional liquid later on.
Oatmeal Error #3: Skipping the Fiber
Fiber is one of those things that most people know they should be eating more of, but few actually do. That’s why it’s important to include fiber in your diet. It helps keep you feeling full longer and keeps you regular. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, so if you want to boost its nutritional value, try adding a handful of nuts or seeds to your bowl.
Oatmeal Blunder #4: Forgetting To Cook It
Cooking oatmeal properly means boiling it until all of the water has been absorbed. This will ensure that you have a soft, chewy, and delicious breakfast every time. If you skip this step, you may find yourself with a mushy, gummy mess.
Oatmeal Bungle #5: Overcooking It
Overcooked oatmeal turns into gluey goo. When you cook oatmeal, you want to boil it until the water has completely evaporated. Once the water is gone, the starch molecules are left behind, which gives the food its chewiness. If you overcook it, however, the starch molecules break down and turn into a sticky substance.
Oatmeal Blunder #6: Adding Too Many Ingredients
Adding too many ingredients to your oatmeal can ruin the whole thing. For example, if you add raisins, chocolate chips, or other sugary treats, you might as well eat them separately because they’ll likely make your oatmeal taste even worse. Stick to plain old oats and enjoy!
Oatmeal Blunder #7: Not Adding Protein
Protein is another nutrient that you need to consume regularly. Eating protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, fish, beans, and dairy products can help build muscle mass and improve your overall health.
Oats themselves contain protein, but only about five grams a serving. Compared to its 29 gram carb count, you’ll want to match it up with enough proteins. It’s especially important in the morning because it helps you feel satisfied and if you’re low on sugar, it stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
There are simple ways to do this. You could stir in a spoonful of nut butter, or add a scoop of protein powder, mix in some egg whites while it’s hot (which cooks the egg whites) or have a couple of slices of lean bacon with your oatmeal.
There are plenty of reasons to love oatmeal. It’s easy to prepare, versatile, inexpensive, and filling. Oatmeal can enhance your health and blood pressure. However, like anything else, it does come with a few blunders that you can avoid. These mistakes can lead to an unappetizing meal, so make sure you pay attention to these tips before you start preparing your next bowl of oatmeal.