20 October 2008

Get your oats

Breakfast today was good old-fashioned porridge. Made with a mixture of skimmed milk and water, without adding salt, or sugar, or golden syrup, or cream, or butter (oh yes, I used to do that!) or anything else, my oats were warming and delicious. I think it may become my breakfast most days from here on.

So why am I making a song and dance out of a perfectly normal breakfast?

Well, porridge oats are 100% natural (no sneaky additives here, chaps) and are naturally low in calories (that's music to the ears of a fat lass). And they are rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol - this gets better and better.

What's more, because the carbohydrates in oats are absorbed by the body slowly (they have a nice low score on the glycemic index), they should keep me feeling full for longer after breakfast. This'll help me sustain my energy levels and maintain good concentration (tee hee). It'll also help stop me hunting for a mid-morning biccy on bad days - not that I've been doing that recently, but you never know.

And it's certainly a good idea to 'get my oats' each day as they contain essential fatty acids and are a great source of some very useful vitamins. These include vitamin E (an antioxidant which protects bodies from free radical attack, which can cause cancer), and vitamins B1 and B2. The B vitamins are interesting ones - they are thought to assist in the production of serotonin, which is linked with good mental health (helping battle depression or SAD) - just what's needed as the days shorten.

Oh yes, the final bonus - because of the fibre they also help reduce constipation! Right now, thanks to the painkillers, that's almost reason enough to live on porridge.

For porridge oats (made with just water), assuming an average portion size of cooked oats would be about 350g (12.4 oz), that is a mere 193 cals (55 cals per 100g). Add a few more cals for the skimmed milk (34 cals per 100ml) and that'll probably push it to 300 cals maybe?

And the skimmed milk is pretty good stuff too. In 100ml of skimmed milk there is 3.37g protein, but only 0.97g of fat. A little carbohydrate, but only 4.99g, and some (well, 5.20g) sugar, enough but not too much. A nice 119mg helping of calcium and 150mg of potassium can't hurt. Good and low in sodium at only 44mg too. Add in a sprinkling of selenium (3.3 ug) and a tad of iron (0.03mg) and zinc (0.42mg). Not a bad package.

So, a bowl of porridge in the morning is good and healthy and can help with weight-loss - a good thing if ever I heard one. And, who knows, if we make it with a little soya milk (at only 35 cals per 100ml) it might be be even healthier.


Anonymous said...

"And it's certainly a good idea to 'get my oats' each day"

I may be able to help you there...

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