#5 Powerfood: Oatmeal

Eat your oatmeal unsweetened and unflavored. It boosts energy and sex drive, reduces cholesterol, and maintains blood-sugar levels (think Zone diet). Complex carbohydrates and fiber help fight against heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and obesity.

Sidekicks of oatmeal include high-fiber cereals like All-Bran and Fiber One. Avoid imposters like sugary cereals. I got into the habit a few years ago of slow-cooking McCann’s Irish Steel-Cut Oats, which I think is a perfect choice. Add some skim milk, blueberries or raspberries to spice it up.

Oatmeal is a perfect 10. But avoid the sweetened, or flavored oatmeal – they come loaded with sugar.

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber; it attracts fluid and stays in your stomach longer than insoluble fiber (like vegetables). Soluble fiber is thought to reduce blood cholesterol by binding with digestive acids made from cholesterol and sending them through the blood stream. A deficit of digestive acids in the stomach means the liver must pull cholesterol from your blood stream to make more, lowering the count of bad cholesterol.

Most doctors recommend you get from 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, but most of us probably get half that. Aim for 35 to 45 grams per day.

A Penn State study also showed that oatmeal sustains your blood sugar levels longer than many other food, keeping insulin levels stable. This helps control your appetite. Insulin is a storage hormone; spikes in this hormone slow down your metabolism and tell your body to store fat. Since oatmeal breaks down slowly in the stomach, it causes less of an insulin spike than other foods like bagels. Preliminary studies also indicate that oatmeal raises the levels of free testosterone in your body, enhancing the body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat.

Leave a Reply