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Old-Fashioned Oats Aren't So Old Fashioned Anymore

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
October 18, 2023
March 22, 2024

When a person has high blood sugar or cholesterol, one of the first thing he/she think of changing is the breakfasts. A common change people make is to say goodbye to cereal, eggs, and bacon, and start eating oatmeal. Plain, boiled oats in water or milk. Every day. For the few that like it that way, great! That's less work for you. Sometimes we try to dress up our oats with fruit, honey or milk. This can be dangerous because all three will raise your blood sugars, and when combined with milk the glucose will increase very rapidly, especially since the meal becomes exclusively carbohydrate and a lot of it.

Watch out for a breakfast like this - cow and soy milk both raise blood glucose. Combined with fruits and the oat grains your glucose may spike very high.

For those of us who want more than just old-fashioned  old oats without spiking our blood sugars, cholesterol or blood pressure, I offer some reprieve. The main change I make to my own oatmeal at home is by changing the type I buy: most Dietitians opt for steel-cut oats over old-fashioned oats-- the oat grains are cut into chunks instead of sliced into oat flake shapes, making them higher in fiber and protein. Aside from adding the typical fruits and cinnamon, you can vary your oatmeal by adding a multitude of spices, extracts and other natural flavorings. Recently, I made a southeast-Asian style oatmeal with carrot halva flavor (cardamom, shredded carrots, and sliced almonds). In times past I've made an Italian-style oatmeal with figs, orange zest, and orange blossom water (purchased in most middle eastern, Italian, Persian and international markets).

Oatmeal with unsweetened shredded coconut, ground cardamom, rose essence (Rose water in mediterranean markets) unsalted pistachios and dried rose petals for garnish.

Regardless the flavor combinations, you can have some jaw-dropping gourmet breakfast oats fit for any foodie on a shoestring budget. The graph below gives you the tools to make something magical, fit for any cultural preference and any budget.

For a little teaser, use the flavor list below to vary the grain you use for a healthy alternative to oats, change the flavors using any or a combination of multiple flavors from different groups. To tailor recipes specifically to suit your needs, schedule an appointment.

Do you love lemon blueberry scones? Try lemon zest and blueberries in your oatmeal instead. Want something besides oatmeal or are you gluten intolerant?  Ask us on Unified Care app for more advice!

Some people's blood sugars are more sensitive to oats. From shakshuka to avocado toast, I can give you awesome breakfast recipes and ideas to keep you covered for any situation or lifestyle. For yet another twist, you can eaven try our savory oats recipe! Read some of our other posts for more meal ideas.

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