Oats: The Superfood that Deserves More Attention

  • 4 min reading time

The utilisation of the term "superfood" has become widespread in recent times, with various foods ranging from quinoa to kale to avocado being referred to as such. However, there exists no scientific definition for the title "superfood," leading to its indiscriminate usage. A reasonable definition of the term "superfood" could be a food that boasts a high nutritional value and has substantiated scientific evidence supporting its health benefits.

One food that stands out in regards to its superfood status is oats. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of oats consumption. A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, aimed to examine the correlation between whole grain consumption and cholesterol levels in healthy adults through the analysis of 24 randomised controlled trials. The findings revealed that whole grain consumption does indeed lead to a reduction in both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol compared to a non-whole grain diet. Of all the whole grain foods evaluated, oats proved to be the most effective in reducing cholesterol levels.

The Composition of Oats

In considering the composition of oats, it is important to understand that oats are a cereal grain, derived from the seed of a grass species. They possess a substantial carbohydrate content, yet not all carbohydrate-rich foods exhibit equal nutritional value. Oats have been classified as "smart carbs" due to their exceptional qualities.

The fibre content of oats is noteworthy, with a specific type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan present in substantial quantities. Beta-glucan has been shown to reduce cholesterol reabsorption in the gut and improve cholesterol profiles, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks.

Approximately 20% of the total energy content of oats is derived from fat, with the majority of this fat being healthy, unsaturated fat. The presence of unsaturated fat in oats is significant, as it carries fat-soluble vitamin E, which serves as a key component of antioxidant defense mechanisms.

Oats have a low to moderate glycemic index (GI) depending on their form, contributing to stable glucose levels and satiety. This is due to their slow digestion and absorption rate.

Approximately 12% of the energy from oats is derived from protein, making them a valuable source of protein for vegetarians. Additionally, oats provide a diverse range of micronutrients, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and zinc.

Types of Oats

Oats are a type of cereal grain and consist of three distinct components: the endosperm, germ, and bran. When selecting oats for consumption, it is important to consider the various forms available and their nutritional content.

Rolled Oats - Rolled oats are produced by steaming and pressing the grain into flat flakes. This form of oats retains the nutritious outer husk and is a popular choice for use in muesli, baking, and porridge.

Steel Cut Oats - Steel cut oats are created by coarsely chopping the whole grain (groats). They undergo minimal processing and are a rich source of fibre and nutrients. Although they take longer to cook, they offer a creamier and richer texture compared to rolled oats. Soaking the oats overnight can reduce cooking time for breakfast porridge.

Oat Bran - Oat bran is separated from the rest of the grain during milling and is high in fibre. It is used as a fibre supplement in the production of breads, biscuits, and breakfast cereals but is not considered a whole grain.

Quick Oats - Quick oats, also known as instant oats, are thinner and quicker to cook than rolled oats. However, their finer texture raises the glycemic index (GI) and alters the texture compared to traditional rolled oats. It is recommended to choose traditional or steel cut oats for optimal nutrition.

Consumption of Oats

Incorporating oats into your daily diet can yield numerous health benefits. Oats are low in negative qualities and are a valuable source of carbohydrates, fibre, healthy unsaturated fat, protein, and micronutrients such as potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and zinc. To maximise the nutritional value of oats, it is important to use them in a manner that minimises added sugar. This can be achieved by using oats in healthy recipes, such as adding rolled oats to muffins, or by incorporating them into soups and casseroles as a thickener.

Eating oats for breakfast is the most convenient way to incorporate them into your diet. Porridge and rolled oats-based muesli are popular breakfast options. When purchasing pre-made muesli, it is best to choose an untoasted variety as these often have a lower sugar and oil content. Toasted mueslis are a good alternative if desired, but it is best to make it at home using ingredients such as fruit, nuts, seeds, and yogurt, sweetened with apple juice concentrate instead of added sugar. All in all, oats are a valuable addition to a well-rounded, healthy diet and should be included regularly.

Blog Posts

  • A Guide to Source and Buy Natural Herbs Online

    An increasing number of individuals are turning to holistic health practices and natural therapies in today's fast-paced society. Natural herbs have become quite popular because...

    Read more 

  • Learn The Benefits before you buy Natural Herbs

    Natural herbs have been utilized for ages for their therapeutic benefits, delectable culinary uses, and symbolic meaning. As people look for alternatives to man-made items...

    Read more 

  • Buy Organic Dried Fruits for a Healthier Lifestyle: The Sweet Path to Wellness

    Dietary decisions are crucial if we want to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. While the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits are widely known,...

    Read more 

  • Exploring the Organic Wholefoods NZ Market: Trends and Insights

    The organic wholefoods NZ industry in New Zealand is growing significantly as customers become more ecologically and health-conscious. This is a sign of a larger...

    Read more 


  • Delicious Cacao Nib Bark Recipe

    Indulge your sweet tooth with our delicious and easy-to-make cacao nib bark recipe! This bark is the perfect combination of rich, dark chocolate and crunchy,...

    Read more 

  • Fig and Pecan Stuffed Chicken Recipe

    This Fig and Pecan Stuffed Chicken is an impressive dish that is sure to delight your taste buds. It's a combination of flavours and textures...

    Read more 

  • Tasty Almond Butter Noodles Recipe

    If you're a fan of noodles, you know that they're a versatile and delicious option that can be customised in endless ways. From simple spaghetti...

    Read more 

  • Pumpkin Seed Veggie Burgers Recipe

    Tired of the same old burger options and looking for a healthier and more nutritious alternative? Look no further than this smoky and nutty Pumpkin...

    Read more 


Forgot your password?

Don't have an account yet?
Create account