Oats to most means porridge. And porridge is very nice too. But few stop to think about the benefits to eating oats compared to other breakfast cereals. Historically oats have been revered for their health promoting properties. Modern science has analysed oats and found them to contain a number of substances that can explain their benefits. In particular oats are high in soluble fibre containing beta glucans. The fibre content may be why oats cause weight loss.
Beta glucans are a soluble fibre found in the bran of cereal grains. Oats are a good sources of beta glucans. If oats cause weight loss, beta glucans are a likely reason for this effects. Beta glucans are long chains of glucose molecules similar to starch. Many different beta glucans are known. Beta glucans are bioactive compounds, which means they are known to affect human physiology. Eating oats can supply high concentrations of beta glucans.
Weight Loss And Oats
Eating oats is associated with weight loss. This effects may result from the high concentrations of soluble fibre, including beta glucans. Soluble fibre can cause weight loss because it forms a viscous gel in the gut. This forms a physical barrier to nutrient absorption, slowing the absorption of glucose. The result of this is a slow trickle of glucose into the blood, which prevents the liver becoming overloaded with nutrients.
Other Health Effects of Oats
Oats cause weight loss, but they have other health effects as well. In particular, oats can lower cholesterol concentrations. In the gut, beta glucans bind to bile acids and prevent their reabsorption. Because bile acids contain cholesterol, this causes a net excretion of cholesterol, lowering plasma levels. Beta glucans are absorbed from the gut to the lymph and here they enter circulation. In the blood, beta glucans interact with immune cells and stimulate immunity.
Breakfast Cereals Promote Weight Gain
Breakfast cereal and milk is popular only in a handful of countries. This is because 70 to 100 % of the World’s population is lactose intolerant and cannot drink milk. Most commercial breakfast cereals contain lots of sugar which promotes weight gain. The same countries that eat sugary breakfast cereals also have problems with obesity. Oats cause weight loss, are tasty and can improve your health. Swapping to porridge seems like a simple decision to me.