Oatmeal right for diabetic?

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Oatmeal, also known as porridge, is a popular breakfast food made from oats.  All oatmeal starts with whole raw oats, which are harvested and cleaned. Oatmeal is primarily a source of carbohydrate which is converted to sugar when digested and increase sugar levels in the bloodstream. Carbohydrates that have fiber cause a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing the potential spike in blood sugar after a meal.

It is instructive to note that any diet that is high in processed carbohydrates, especially from sugar and packaged processed foods, increases the risk of blood sugar spikes after a meal because they are digested quickly. Foods that digest quickly can cause quick blood sugar spikes and make it difficult to manage blood sugar levels, especially when eaten alone, which often happens at breakfast. On the other hand, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that are full of fiber and nutrients that fuel the body and give sustained energy.

So what about Oatmeal?

Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrate with little protein or fat. The carbohydrates are useful for managing blood sugar levels . Healthy fats are a necessary part of the diet and help people feel full and satisfied. Protein helps to keep people fuller longer and will promote more stable blood sugar levels when paired with a complex carbohydrate.

By combining a complex carbohydrate, lean protein, and healthy fat, people can reduce hunger and cravings while providing all three of the body’s required macronutrients. First, start with one half cup of plain oats. Avoid pre-sweetened or flavored oats. Add a source of healthy fats like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or pecans. As a bonus, nuts and seeds also add a little bit of protein.

People can cook their oats in milk or add milk to the oats after they are cooked for more protein. Cow’s milk or soy milk are the best milks for an extra protein boost because almond milk and coconut milk are not good sources of protein. However, these also provide more carbohydrate.

Nutritional value of oatmeal

According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrition Database, one-half cup of non-fortified, dry, instant oats contains:

Half a cup of instant oats contains 27 grams of carbohydrate and 0.4 grams of sugar.

153 calories

3 grams of fat

27 grams of carbohydrate

0.4 grams of sugar

4 grams of fiber

5 grams of protein

One-half cup of uncooked instant oats also provides:

25 percent of daily thiamin needs

19 percent of iron

28 percent of magnesium

33 percent of phosphorus

20 percent of zinc

147 percent of manganese

33 percent of selenium

One packet of instant raisin and spice oatmeal has 15 grams of sugar and 210 milligrams of sodium per serving compared with the 0.4 grams of sugar and 0 grams of sodium in plain oats.

Healthy oatmeal recipes for people with diabetes

Chocolate-strawberry overnight oats

Pumpkin-spiced steel-cut oats

Microwave banana oatmeal

Wild blueberry oats with coconut, ginger, and hemp

Savory oatmeal with sautéed mushroom, arugula, and fried egg

Health tip

It is important for people with diabetes to avoid instant oatmeals with high sugar content. Oatmeal can be a healthy breakfast option, especially when a protein and a healthy fat source are added for balance.


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