Nutrition specialists have various approaches about how we should plan our daily meals. Most of them recommend oatmeal as a perfect choice for breakfast. Oat is very rich in dietary fibers, which help our digestive system to process the food better, and generally, oat is considered a healthy food. Additional thing about oat is that it does not contain gluten, so people who are hypersensitive to gluten can also consume it. However, there are several drawbacks to regular intake of oatmeal. Let’s see what they are.
- We Said Oat Is Gluten-free, but…
Oat itself indeed does not contain gluten, but oat plants might be grown in the mixed environment with wheats which contain high amounts of gluten. Also, while harvesting, the same machines can be used, which put wheats and oats in the same containers, thus contaminating oats with gluten. The final step is, of course, processing and packaging in food factories. Many of them use the same lines for products with and without gluten, so that is another way of contamination. This is not a big deal for people who are not sensitive to gluten, but for those who are on a gluten-free diet, even small amounts of oat contaminated with gluten can cause rash, mental issues, and damage of the intestinal mucosa.
As oat is rich in fibers, and it helps the food to go through the digestive system more easily, the intestines are still trying to digest these fibers (even though they cannot). This can cause bloating and gas problems. Stubborn consumers say that these side effects do not last long, and that the organism can adapt to frequent ingestion of large amounts of dietary fibers, but those are some side effects that you are likely to experience.
- Getting Bored
All the recommendations coming from researchers about regular oatmeal are true. It is good for your cardiovascular system, for your digestive system, for your intestines, skin, and almost all other organs. However, oatmeal without additives and sweeteners is pretty tasteless. Many people who started replacing their breakfast with oatmeal, reported that they got bored and quit very quickly. In fact, after that experience, you will probably eat oatmeal less frequently than you usually would.
- Side Effects Coming from Additives
Commercial oatmeal products often contain many additives, sweeteners, and other substances which make them last longer or taste better. On the other hand, many of these substances can have a bad effect on your health, especially if you use the same product for a long time. If you really want to get benefit and avoid side effects from regular oatmeal as much as possible, try to avoid all the products without a valid certificate that prove they are organic. Consequently, these organic products are much more expensive than the others.
To sum up, dietary fibers from oat are very healthy, and regular oatmeal can contribute to your overall health and longevity, but you need to watch out for the above stated downsides as well and try to find the balance. Remember that, no matter how healthy something is considered to be, you should not take it for granted and over exaggerate the use of it. Water is probably the least harmful substance you can find in the universe, but you can still get water poisoning.
Decker EA, Rose DJ, Stewart D. Processing of oats and the impact of processing operations on nutrition and health benefits. Br J Nutr. 2014 Oct;112 Suppl 2:S58-64. doi: 10.1017/S000711451400227X.
Dr. Axe. (2017). Are Oats Gluten-Free? – Dr. Axe. [online] Available at: https://draxe.com/are-oats-gluten-free/ [Accessed 11 May 2017].
Superhumancoach.com. (2017). Pros and Cons of Regular Oats. [online] Available at: http://superhumancoach.com/pros-and-cons-of-regular-oats/ [Accessed 11 May 2017].
Wong RHX, Howe PRC, Bryan J, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Berry NM. Chronic Effects of a Wild Green Oat Extract Supplementation on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2012;4(5):331-342. doi:10.3390/nu4050331.