Adapted from the Nutrition and You! blog on Boston.com.
If the drop in temperature outside causes you to switch from a cold breakfast cereal to a hot one, you may end up a little thinner for the change.
In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers at Louisiana State University fed 46 adults either oatmeal or a ready-to-eat, sweetened oat cereal that contained the same amount of calories. They then switched their breakfasts on another day.
The hot oatmeal breakfast, which was higher in fiber and lower in sugar than the cereal, was shown to significantly increase the feeling of fullness among the adults compared with when they consumed the cold breakfast. The results also showed that when the individuals ate the hot oatmeal there was a greater reduction in both their hunger and desire to eat hours later as compared with when they ate the cold cereal. In other words, the oatmeal had better staying power, which could potentially help minimize mid-morning hunger and snacking and/or overeating at lunch.
According to Dr. Frank L. Greenway, one of the authors of the study, both the form of the fiber and how it was prepared may play a role in the increased feeling of fullness, also known as satiety, that was observed among the individuals when they consumed the hot oatmeal.
Oats are rich in a bulky, viscous type of soluble fiber, called Beta-Glucan. When heated, this type of soluble fiber dissolves more readily in fluid, increasing its bulking properties and viscosity. The bulking causes the stomach to distend or enlarge and its increased viscosity slows down both the fiber’s departure from the stomach and movement through the gastrointestinal tract. All of these factors can help you feel fuller longer.
Also, the ready-to-eat cereal has been processed so the size of the Beta-Glucan is smaller, which reduces its viscosity compared with the oatmeal, according to Dr. Greenway.
While more studies are currently being done at LSU to confirm these results, oatmeal in the morning is a healthy, affordable, and warm way to start your day.
Here are three ways to enjoy oatmeal in the morning:
Cook your oats in the microwave and top with nonfat Greek yogurt for a high fiber, calcium-rich, protein-packed breakfast for less than 250 calories.
Add a chopped apple and cinnamon to the oats for a hot cereal that tastes like apple crisp on a brisk morning.
Add a dash of vanilla extract, nutmeg, and raisins, and enjoy rising and dining with vanilla spice oatmeal.
Read more of this blog at http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/blog/nutrition.