January is National Oatmeal MonthJanuary is National Oatmeal Month This is the perfect month to focus on improving your overall health and increasing whole grains in your diet, giving you a good excuse to start the year off right. While January is national oatmeal month, all whole grains can have many great health benefits and can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.
Oats have a sweet flavor that makes them a favorite for breakfast cereals. Unique among the most widely-eaten grains, oats almost never have their bran and germ removed in processing.
In the U.S., most oats are steamed and flattened to produce rolled oats, sold as "old-fashioned" or regular oats, quick oats, and instant oats. The more oats are flattened and steamed, the quicker they cook – and the softer they become. If you prefer a chewier, nuttier texture, consider steel-cut oats, also sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats. Steel-cut oats consist of the entire oat kernel (similar in look to a grain of rice), sliced once or twice into smaller pieces to help water penetrate and cook the grain. Cooked for about 20-30 minutes, steel-cut oats create a breakfast porridge that delights many people who didn't realize they love oatmeal!
A number of studies have documented the many health benefits of oats.
· Eating oats helps lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
· Help reduce blood cholesterol levels
· Oats help you feel fuller longer, which helps control your weight.
· Oatmeal and oats may help lower blood pressure.
· Oats may help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, since their soluble fiber helps control blood sugar.
· Help manage your weight.
· Prevent certain cancers.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), grains are an important part of the five food groups. It is an important source of nutrients, like dietary fiber, several B vitamins, like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate and minerals, like iron, magnesium and selenium.
So go ahead, fix yourself a healthy bowl of oatmeal and celebrate national oatmeal month! Remember oatmeal is only for breakfast; it can be included in pies, savory dishes like meat balls, casseroles and desserts like apple and peach crisp or cookies.