Oatmeal has long been treated as a healthy breakfast option worldwide. It’s known for being high in fiber and keeping you full throughout the day.
But does oatmeal make you gain weight weight gain? Well, a lot of it generally depends on how it’s prepared. Having long been treated as a healthy breakfast option, it’s known for being high in fiber and keeping you full throughout the day. It can also serve as an excellent supplement for weight gain when consumed appropriately.
In this article, we’ll explore what oatmeal is and its role in helping you gain weight, while also suggesting a few ways to incorporate it into your diet.
What is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a type of porridge made out of ground or rolled oats. It is a nutrient-dense food that’s extremely rich in fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients.
It is also a great source of complex carbohydrates that are essential for providing sustained energy to the body.
Main Nutrients in Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a versatile food that contains a variety of essential nutrients. For every 100g of uncooked oats, you get 379 calories and around 16g of protein. It is also a great source of complex carbs and soluble fiber.
It is a versatile food that can play a beneficial role in weight management and may also help with weight gain.
Can Oatmeal Help in Weight Gain?
Oatmeal alone is not typically considered a food that promotes weight gain. In fact, oatmeal is often recommended as a food that can aid in weight loss due to its high fiber content and ability to promote feelings of fullness.
However, if you are looking to gain weight, you need to remember to create a calorie surplus in your diet. Ideally, this should be done by consuming nutrient and calorie-dense foods that are not ultra-processed and give you a ton of micro and macronutrients.
It is also crucial to make sure you need your protein goals daily as it will help you gain muscle and not just fat.
Oatmeal can be a healthy addition to your diet when paired with other nutrient and calorie-dense foods. One way to increase the calorie content of oatmeal is to add healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, or nut butter, which can help increase the overall calorie and nutrient content of the meal.
Role of Fiber in Weight Management
Oats have a high amount of beta-glucan – a natural fiber that promotes fullness while being light in calories. Beta-glucan fiber triggers the release of peptide YY in the small intestine, which reduces overeating.
While fiber doesn’t directly contribute to weight gain, consuming high-fiber foods can help you manage your weight gain effectively.
Fibre adds bulk to your diet without extra calories, making you feel fuller. Additionally, fiber-rich foods like oatmeal have a low glycemic index, which helps regulate spikes in blood sugar levels, significantly reducing cravings.
All this helps you gain a ‘healthy weight’ from nutritious foods, rather than the unwanted extra fat.
Tips for Eating Oatmeal for Weight Gain
1. Choosing the Right Type
From steel-cut to instant oats, there are a ton of options available in the markets. You need to choose the one which is suitable for your consumption and up to your liking.
2. Add healthy Toppings & Ingredients
To ensure healthy weight gain, make sure to add healthy, protein-rich ingredients to your meal. These add-ons help you get surplus calories that enable weight gain.
Make easy replacements like shifting from water to milk for extra calories and protein, followed by a nutritious, calorie-dense topping such as almonds.
3. Track Portion Sizes to Ensure You are Meeting the Calorie Goals
You need to keep an eye on the portion size of your meal. Consuming a larger portion means you’re getting more calories which could help you gain weight faster.
4 Avoid Packaged Oatmeal Products
You should avoid packaged oatmeal products because they often contain added sugars and preservatives, which are detrimental to your health.
These ingredients increase the calorie content of the oatmeal and contribute to weight gain. However, this weight gain isn’t ideal as it will lead to you putting on fat and not muscle.
Additionally, many packaged oatmeal products contain high amounts of sodium, which can increase blood pressure and contribute to heart disease risk.
For easy and healthy weight gain, you can include the the best weight gainers for women in your diet.
Ways to Include Oats in Your Diet
Adding oats to your diet is an excellent source of fiber and protein and can help in weight gain. Below are a few oats dishes that you can enjoy regularly.
- Overnight oats: Mix oats, milk or yogurt, and your favorite toppings (like fruit or nuts) in a jar. Refrigerate it overnight, and enjoy it in the morning.
- Oatmeal: Cook oats in milk and top with your favorite fruits, nuts, or sweeteners. Many people use water here, but milk can be a good addition if you are looking for weight gain.
- Granola: Mix oats, nuts, seeds, and honey or maple syrup, and bake in the oven to make a crunchy topping. This goes really well with smoothie bowls or can be eaten by itself as a munchie.
- Fruit Smoothies with oats: Blend in your favorite fruits with milk and a scoop of oats. You can add nuts and seeds to make it more filling and calorie-dense.
- Oat flour: Grind oats in a food processor to make oat flour. This can be used in baking recipes like cookies, pancakes, and muffins.
- Energy balls: Mix oats, nut butter, honey, and other ingredients of your choice (like chocolate chips) to make energy balls. These are a quick and nutritious snack. A great option to stack in your office.
- Oatmeal cookies: Replace regular flour with oats to bake your favorite cookie.
Honestly, these are just a few ideas to get you started. With a bit of creativity, you can easily add oats to many dishes to increase the nutrient content of your diet.
What Are the Benefits of Consuming Oatmeal?
As discussed, oats is a super healthy ingredient to include in your diet. Here are some common benefits:
1. Improves Heart Health by Managing Cholesterol Levels
Oatmeal contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which helps control cholesterol levels.
When consumed, beta-glucan forms a gel-like substance in the small intestine, which binds with the bile acids.
The viscous gel structure (along with the bile) is eliminated from the body as it can’t be reabsorbed in the bloodstream. Since a major component of bile is cholesterol, eating high-fiber food like oats can lower blood cholesterol levels.
Multiple studies have shown that oatmeal can help reduce your LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol.
2. Controls Blood Sugar
Adding oatmeal to your diet can regulate blood sugar levels and helps improve insulin sensitivity. This is thanks to the moderate to high amount of fiber and the low glycemic index of oats.
3. Relieves Constipation
Being rich in fiber (both soluble and insoluble), oatmeal is often considered to be effective against constipation and promotes bowel regularity.
The beta-glucan present in oats dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance in the gut, thereby softening the stool and making it easy for it to pass. Moreover, it also helps avoid constipation.
4. Reduces Risk of Childhood Asthma
Oatmeal consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of childhood asthma, likely due to its high content of beta-glucan fiber.
Beta-glucan has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can reduce airway inflammation associated with asthma. According to a study published by Cambridge University, early introduction of oats in your diet is often associated with a decreased risk of asthma.
5 May Reduce the Risk of Certain Diseases
The antioxidants in oats have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Rich in Nutrients
Oats are a good source of important nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
7. Easy to Prepare
Oats are easy to prepare and can be eaten in a variety of ways, making them a super convenient addition to your diet. These are a great option for young working professionals as well as busy parents as it makes a nutritious meal without too much hassle.
In general, weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than your body burns. Adding oatmeal to your diet can provide a healthy source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients that can help support overall health while contributing to weight gain when paired with other calorie-dense foods.
However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to ensure that you meet your nutritional needs and gain weight healthily.
We hope these tips add value and will help you get started on a sustainable weight gain journey easily.
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Khushali Shah is a certified nutritionist and a fitness enthusiast. Having struggled with weight loss for a long time, she studied nutrition and lost 25kgs through workouts and healthy diet. Her goal is to share science-based tips and hacks to help you move forward on your fitness journey.