Oats : nutrition, astonishing 4 medical uses & adverse effects

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See also Wheat cereals.

Oats Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: Moderate
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins
• Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium

How Many Nutrients in Oats Food

• What we call oats is actually oatmeal, oats that have been rolled (ground) into a meal, then steamed to break down some of their starches, formed into flakes, and dried. Steel-cut oats have been ground in a special steel machine; oat flour is finely ground oatmeal.

• Unlike cows and other ruminants, human beings cannot break through the cellulose and lignin covering on raw grain to reach the nutrients inside. Cooking unprocessed oats to the point where they are useful to human beings can take as long as 24 hours.

• The virtue of rolled oats is that they have been precooked and can be prepared in five minutes or less. Instant oatmeals, like other “instant” cereals, are treated with phosphates to allow them to absorb water more quickly.

• Oatmeal is a high-carbohydrate food, rich in starch and high in dietary fiber, with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the bran and soluble gums (such as the beta-glucans that gives cooked oatmeal its characteristic sticky texture) in the grain.

• The proteins in oats are limited in the essential amino acid lysine. Oats have up to five times as much fat as rye and wheat plus an enzyme that speeds the oxidation of fats. Rolling and steaming oats to make oatmeal inactivates the enzyme and retards rancidity.

• Oatmeal is a good source of nonheme iron, the form of iron found in plants. Plain uncooked oatmeal has no sodium, but water in which it is cooked may make the finished cereal a high-sodium food.

• One-half cup plain oatmeal has two grams dietary fiber, one gram fat (0.2 g saturated fat), and 0.79 mg iron (5.3 percent of the RDA for a woman of childbearing age).

How To Serve Nutritious Food

• With a low-fat source of high-quality protein, such as low-fat milk, low- or nonfat cheese.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

• Gluten-restricted, gliadin-free diet
• Low-carbohydrate diet
• Low-fiber, low-residue diet
• Low-sodium diet

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Tightly sealed boxes or canisters.


Bulk cereals; grains in open bins may be exposed to moisture, mold, and insect contamination.

How To Storing This Food

• Keep oats in air- and moistureproof containers to protect them from potentially toxic fungi that grow on damp grains. Properly stored and dry, rolled oats may keep for as long as a year. Whole grain oats (oats with the outer fatty covering) may oxidize and become rancid more quickly.

What Happens When You Cook This Food

• Starch consists of molecules of the complex carbohydrates amylose and amylopectin packed into a starch granule. As you heat oatmeal in liquid, its starch granules absorb water molecules, swell, and soften.

• When the temperature of the liquid reaches approximately 140°F, the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside the granules relax and unfold, breaking some of their internal bonds (bonds between atoms on the same molecule) and forming new bonds between atoms on different molecules.

• The result is a network that traps and holds water molecules, making the starch granules even more bulk and thickening the liquid. Eventually, the starch granules rupture, releasing the nutrients inside so that they can be absorbed more easily by the body.

• Oatmeal also contains hydrophilic (water-loving) gums and pectins, including beta-glucans, that attract and hold water molecules, immobilizing them so that the liquid thickens. The beta-glucans give oatmeal its characteristic sticky texture.

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 Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

• Ounce for ounce, cooked oatmeal has smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals than dry oatmeal simply because so much of its weight is now water. The single exception is sodium. Plain, uncooked oatmeal, with no additives, has no sodium; cooked oatmeal, made with water or milk, does.

Lower risk of some kinds of cancer.

In 1998, scientists at Wayne State University in Detroit conducted a meta-analysis of data from more than 30 well-designed animal studies measuring the anti-cancer effects of wheat bran, the part of grain with the highest amount of insoluble dietary fibers cellulose and lignin.

• They found a 32 percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer among animals fed wheat bran; now they plan to conduct a similar meta-analysis of human studies. Like wheat bran, whole oats are a good source of insoluble dietary fiber.

NOTE: The amount of fiber per serving listed on a food package label shows the total amount of fiber (insoluble and soluble). Early in 1999, however, new data from the long-running Nurses Health Study at
Brigham Women’s Hospital/Harvard University School of Public Health showed that women who ate a high-fiber diet had a risk of colon cancer similar to that of women who ate a low fiber diet.

• Because this study contradicts literally hundreds of others conducted over the past thirty years, researchers are awaiting confirming evidence before changing dietary recommendations.

• However, early the following year, new data from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, showed no difference in the risk of colon cancer between women who ate a high-fiber diet and those who did not.

• Nonetheless, many nutrition researchers remain wary of ruling out a protective effect for dietary fiber. They note that there are different kinds of dietary fiber that may have different effects, that most Americans do not consume a diet with the recommended amount of dietary fiber, and that gender, genetics, and various personal health issues may also affect the link between dietary fiber and the risk of colon cancer.

Note: The current recommendations for dietary fiber consumption are 25 grams per day for women younger than 50, and 21 grams per day for women older than 50; 38 grams per day for men younger than 50, and 30 grams per day for men older than 50.

To reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

Foods high in soluble gums and pectins appear to lower the amount of cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), the particles that carry cholesterol into your arteries, in your blood, a task beta-glucans performs more effectively than any other soluble fiber.

• There are currently two theories to explain how soluble fibers work. The first is that the pectins in the oats may form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats keep them from being absorbed by your body. The second is that bacteria in the gut may feed on the fiber in the oats and produce short-chain fatty acids that inhibit the production of cholesterol in your liver.

• A 1990 study at the University of Kentucky showed that adding 1/2 cup oat bran (measured when dry) to you daily diet can reduce levels of LDLs by as much as 25 percent.

• A second study, with 220 healthy people, at the Medical School of Northwestern University, showed that people with cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL could reduce total cholesterol an average of 9.3 percent by following a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet supplemented by two ounces of oats or oat bran.

• The oats were given credit for about one-third of the drop in cholesterol levels; the rest went to the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

• In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use on labels of health claims for oats such as: “Soluble fiber from foods such as oat bran, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

You can see also all nutritions in vegetable oil  click here

Calming effect.

Your mood is affected by naturally occurring chemicals called neurotransmitters that allow cells in your brain to transmit impulses from one to the other. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is the most important constituent of serotonin, a “calming” neurotransmitter. Foods such as oatmeal, which are high in complex carbohydrates, may help move tryptophan into your brain, increasing your ability to use serotonin.

As a source of carbohydrates for people with diabetes.

Cereal grains are digested very slowly, producing only a gradual rise in the level of sugar in the blood.

• As a result, the body needs less insulin to control blood sugar after eating plain, unadorned cereal grains than after eating some other high-carbohydrate foods (bread or potato). In studies at the University
of Kentucky, a whole-grain, bean, vegetable, and fruit-rich diet developed at the University of Toronto and recommended by the American Diabetes Association enabled patients with type 1 diabetes (who do not produce any insulin themselves), to cut their daily insulin intake by 38 percent.

• For patients with type 2 diabetes (who can produce some insulin), the bean diet reduced the need for injected insulin by 98 percent. This diet is in line with the nutritional guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, but people with diabetes should always check with their doctor and/or dietitian before altering their diet.

Adverse Effects Associated with Oats

Gliadin intolerance.

Celiac disease is an intestinal allergic disorder whose victims are sensitive to gluten and gliadin, proteins in wheat and rye. People with celiac disease cannot digest the nutrients in these grains; if they eat foods containing gluten, they may suffer anemia, weight loss, bone pain, swelling, and skin disorders. Oats contain small amounts of gliadin. Corn flour, potato flour, rice flour, and soy flour are all gluten- and gliadin-free.


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