Can type 2 diabetics eat oatmeal? Oatmeal is a hot cereal made from broken-down oat groats. People eat it mixed with hot water or milk to give it a smooth and pleasant consistency. Eating fiber-rich oats can have cardiovascular benefits and may help you control blood sugar. But when it comes to a diabetes diet, not all oats are created equal. In this blog, we also have an article about best foods to eat in a type 2 diabetes diet that you might want to read about it.
Oatmeal, the hearty, modest breakfast cereal, may be an excellent complement to a diabetic diet. Oats, a common whole grain, are high in fiber and vital minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. They’re also a good source of protein. And while oats aren’t calorie dense like some foods, they still contain about 100 calories per cup. That said, there are many different types of oats on the market today, so which one should you choose? In this article we break down what makes each kind unique, how to cook them, and whether they’re safe for people who need to watch their carbs.
What makes oatmeal different?
A number of things make oatmeal different than other grains. First off, oatmeal is an unprocessed whole food. It contains more fiber and nutrients than other grains because it’s grown without any chemicals or pesticides. Plus, oatmeal is gluten free! Second, oatmeal doesn’t require soaking prior to eating. You simply combine the dry grains with boiling water, wait a few minutes, then serve up your delicious bowl of goodness. Soaking activates the starches inside the grains, making them easier to digest. The downside to oatmeal: If you’ve got high cholesterol, try to avoid eat oatmeal that cooked before, due to higher levels of saturated fat.
Can Type 2 Diabetics Eat Oatmeal?
Indeed, it is! Although oatmeal is high in carbohydrates and should be avoided by those with type 2 diabetes when given raw, it is a food with a low to moderate glycemic index (GI). That is, it is more slowly digested and metabolized, resulting in a lower rise in blood sugar.
How Eating Oatmeal Can Assist You in Maintaining Blood Sugar Level
Increased Fiber Content May Assist You in Managing Blood Sugar
Fiber is necessary for all humans, but it is particularly necessary for diabetics. Not only does fiber enhance regularity, but beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber found in oats, prolongs the time required for digestion, so decreasing glucose release in the small intestine. According to the National Library of Medicine, those with type 2 diabetes who consumed oats and oat bran for six weeks experienced “significant” reductions in 24-hour blood sugar counts and total insulin levels.
Possibility of Decreased Inflammation
Another reason to use oats as a source of energy is their anti-inflammatory qualities. Inflammation is a natural defensive mechanism of the body. When you are injured or unwell, for example, your body produces inflammatory cells to aid in the healing process. However, excessive inflammation can arise as a result of disease (for example, type 2 diabetes) or as a result of long-term stress, poor nutrition, and a sedentary lifestyle. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ongoing (chronic) inflammation exerts undue stress on your organs, resulting in consequences such as heart and brain illnesses.
Oats include an anti-inflammatory chemical called avenanthramide, which may help prevent diabetes-related inflammation. Over an eight-week period, researchers discovered anti-inflammatory effects in 22 persons with type 2 diabetes who consumed oats. Some researcher investigated the effects of an oat-enriched diet on type 2 diabetic patients. They discovered that following the diet resulted in a reduction in microparticles present in blood platelets, which may lead to hyperglycemia and inflammation. These findings were applicable to patients with type 2 diabetes who had a reasonably balanced diet, exercised regularly, and maintained other healthy lifestyle practices.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and High Cholesterol
Additionally, the study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that persons with type 2 diabetes who ate oats had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, heart disease is a recognized consequence of type 2 diabetes because high blood glucose levels can harm the neurons and blood arteries that attach to the heart (NIDDK). While eat oatmeal alone will not prevent heart disease, fiber-rich, anti-inflammatory foods such as oats can help reduce your risk of heart disease over time.
Additionally, there is evidence that oats can help lower high cholesterol levels, which is another risk factor for heart disease. A review of studies, compared patients with type 2 diabetes who ate oatmeal for breakfast to those who ate non–oat–containing meals such as white bread. The researchers found that fiber from oats not only helped manage glucose levels, but also lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels in trial participants. Additionally, the investigators noted that individuals with type 2 diabetes who consumed oats had reduced total cholesterol levels.
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