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Do Oats Help You Lose Weight?

3 mins read
Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Ievgeniia Dobrynina is the Head of Nutrition and a fact checker at Unimeal.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.
Isobel Krüger
Written by Isobel Krüger
Isobel Krüger

Written by Isobel Krüger

Isobel is a health and fitness writer, and also a health and fitness fanatic in real life. She loves researching the latest health and fitness topics and trends that can make life healthier, happier, and easier.

on November 05, 2022

Oatmeal is a versatile grain that contains loads of essential nutrients. So, since oats are so nutritious, can this nifty grain help you lose weight? Here’s everything you need to know about oats, including caloric value and how to incorporate it into a weight-loss diet.

Table of content

Calories in Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a high-energy food with a reasonably low caloric value. A standard serving, ½ cup or 78 grams of uncooked oats, has about 101 calories. Because oatmeal is a filling and nutrient-rich food, it's an excellent option for an eating plan to achieve calorie deficit or even if you want to maintain weight. 

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The only things you need to keep in mind are how and how much oatmeal you incorporate into your diet to ensure you take a balanced approach. 

Why oatmeal is good for weight loss

Oatmeal is a top option for weight loss because it contains a balanced ratio of essential nutrients. Oatmeal is a fantastic addition to your diet if you want to maintain a healthy digestive system and stable energy levels, as it contains beta-glucan, which helps keep your insulin levels in check and curb cravings.

Although oatmeal is considered a carb, it contains a decent amount of protein and essential amino acids. Thus, adding oats to a high-protein weight-loss diet can provide your body with healthy carbs while also helping to nail your protein goals. 

Oats are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Half a cup or 78 grams of uncooked oats contains the following nutrients:

*DV=Daily Value

  • Vitamin B1: 15.5% DV
  • Vitamin B5: 9.07% DV
  • Folate: 3.24% DV
  • Iron: 9.4% DV
  • Zinc: 13.4% DV
  • Magnesium: 13.3% DV
  • Phosphorus: 13.3% DV
  • Copper: 17.6% DV
  • Manganese: 63.91% DV

You also benefit from small amounts of vitamin B3 and B6, as well as potassium and calcium. Eating nutrient-dense foods is essential for healthy weight loss, and, considering its nutrient profile, oats are a smart addition.

How much oatmeal should you eat to lose weight?

Though oatmeal is mainly eaten as a porridge for breakfast, it's also used in other recipes, ranging from energy bars to cookies. Some of these foods will have more calories than others, so even if foods contain oatmeal, you need to look at the food's overall nutritional and caloric values. 

For example, oatmeal cookies and energy bars may contain ingredients like sugar that spike your insulin levels and prevents you from getting the blood sugar-balancing effect from the beta-glucan. 

Incorporating whole oatmeal into your diet while using the recommended portion size of ½ cup is the optimal way to consume this healthy grain if you want to lose weight. ½ cup of oatmeal may not look like much, but once you cook it, the grains swell, becoming a filling meal.

Add fruit, chia seeds, and a bit of honey to create a delicious, nutrient-rich, and balanced breakfast.   

The Most Common Mistakes With Oats When Trying to Lose Weight

Weight loss and a calorie deficit go hand-in-hand. While oatmeal is nutritious, not all products containing oats are created equal. Here are some common mistakes you need to avoid when incorporating oatmeal into your eating plan:

  • Cooking oats in full-cream milk and adding sugar and butter
  • Regularly snacking on high-fat oatmeal or granola bars
  • Not exercising portion control
  • Adding too many fats like peanut or almond butter to your oatmeal
  • Adding dried fruit instead of fresh fruit

These are all examples of combining oats with too much fat or sugar, which makes the caloric value skyrocket. You must practice how you incorporate oats into your weight loss plan mindfully to be as effective. 

Which oat products are good for weight loss?

Unprocessed oats are your best option for weight loss. Avoid flavored oats, sugar-heavy granola, and high-calorie foods that contain oats. Here are options you can cook and use in low-calorie recipes as a substitute for processed wheat flour:

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Rolled oats
  • Oat bran
  • Oat flour

In Summary:

Adding healthy and portion-controlled oatmeal options are great for weight loss

Oats can be a game-changer when incorporated into a calorie-controlled, balanced eating plan. Just make sure to avoid sugar-heavy oats, processed foods that contain oats, and oat recipes with a high-fat level. 

Oatmeal is great for sustained energy and contains loads of fiber and nutrients to help you get the fuel you need on your weight loss journey. Follow these guidelines, and you're good to go!

How do you feel about my article?

Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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1.
Alminger, M., & Eklund-Jonsson, C. 2008 Whole-grain cereal products based on a high-fibre barley or oat genotype lower post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy humans. European Journal of Nutrition DOI:10.1007/s00394-008-0724-9
2.
US Department of Agriculture April, 2018 FoodData Central: oatmeal Fdc.nal.usda.gov Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173904/nutrients