Sunday, February 24, 2008

Women's Health Part 2 and Food of the Week: Oatmeal

It might just snow...

The only thing that gets me out of bed is the thought of my breakfast awaiting me in the kitchen....

Oatmeal is a great way to wake up on a chilly winter morning. The soluble fiber in oats keeps energy levels high and hunger pangs at bay by moderating blood sugar. This is true of all soluble fiber, but oats have something special….

A specific fiber called beta-glucan can significantly lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, three grams a day can knock off up to 23%! A recent study by Archive Internal Medicine found that eating a big bowl of steamy oatmeal every morning lowered the risk of heart failure in men by almost 30%. Although we don’t all fit the 50-year old –male-smoker model, the lesson applies to everyone.

Attention College Women: Fiber from Whole Grains is especially important in the fight against breast cancer. Pre-menopausal women who ate 30 or more grams of this type of fiber a day reduced their risk for the disease by more than fifty percent!

Finally, oats kick-start your immune system, making them attack bacterial infections much more quickly.

Break out the Quaker this weekend, because an entire bowl has less than 150 calories, tons of iron, fiber, and a smattering of other nutrients. Toss some almonds on top for added protein, iron and skin saving omega-3 oils. Try some cranberries for color and vitamin c and antioxidants or sliced bananas to strengthen eyesight and build strong bones.....the possibilities are endless!

Here are few different ideas to get oats into your diet throughout the day….
Oatmeal Cookies
Chicken with Whole Oat Stuffing
Saturday Night Turkey Burgers
Blue Berry Crisp with Oatmeal and Almond Topping

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