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Q.

Is oatmeal good for diabetes?

Related Topics: Diabetes, Oatmeal
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Nutrition
Tufts Medical Center
44 Answers
2,971 Helpful Votes
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A.

I personally have never liked the taste or texture of oatmeal. This is unexpected because I like the taste of almost all foods I have ever tried. Oatmeal tastes OK to me only if it is loaded with brown sugar and cinnamon, etc.

I LOVE the taste of cold cereal, and I would eat if every day for breakfast if I could justify it. But I can't because of the carbohydrate load.

The very high-fiber cereals seem more reasonable to me, but I'd rather eat other things personally.

Professionally, I generally try to steer my patients AWAY from oatmeal and high-fiber cereals during the period of time that they are trying to lose weight and reduce their A1c.

I do steer them toward other breakfast options such as low-fat cottage cheese, fruit, Greek yogurt, light yogurt, lean breakfast meats (Canadian bacon, turkey ham, etc.) soy sausages, eggs (especially egg whites), and homemade protein shakes (100 calories of protein powder plus 100 calories from milk, almond milk, or fruit).

We bring back the oatmeal and high-fiber cereals once they are in maintenance mode.

I believe I am in the minority when it comes to my views on oatmeal and high-fiber cereal, however my concern is the high carbohydrate load. I am suspicious of whole grains and believe they interfere with weight loss and A1c reduction unless the dietary fat intake is very low, in which case I encourge eating these foods.

The instant oatmeal is pretty highly processed in order to get it to cook so quickly. I believe the research supporting oatmeal consumption is suspect. There are clearly much worse foods one could eat, but there are better ones, too.

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Answers from Contributors (31)

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A.
I am a type 2 diabetic myself and love oats. however, the doctor is right about highly processed cereals. Their are far better grains to eat. If you like oatmeal try cooking steel cut oats. They are almost totally unprocessed and the GI is lower
Another thing, you do not have to load your oatmeal with sugars or sweeteners to enhance the taste!  Simply add stevia and if you like brown sugar, add 1/2 tsp unsulphered molasses with the stevia. 
The most important thing to keep oats from spiking your blood sugars is to eat a good fat or protein with it such as almond butter or even whey powder.  This stops the spike cold.
Also, do not eat a fruit at the same time as the startchy carbs. This accelorates the spike. Instead, eat a fruit as soon as you get up and the carbs (oats) at least 1/2 to1 hr later. If you don't have this time, skip the fruit till snack time between breakfast and lunch!
This works for me very well.  Eating this way raises my blood sugar around 20_35 points total on my post meal check! Without the protein or fat and fruit at the same time the sugars would be 75_150 higher!

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I enjoy otameal periodically, but because of the carb content, it's not an everyday thing.   I use 1/3 cup of oatmeal with 2/3 cup of skim milk or plain soy milk depending on what's available and my mood.  Avoid sweetened versions of soy milk at all cost ... they're all LOADED with sugar which defeats the whole purpose.  I've learned that I can sweeten it with a couple packets of Splenda in lieu of brown sugar, add some pieces of pecans and a small amount of margarine (I personally like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter") for taste.   Although oatmeal has some carbs, it also is high in fiber which helps manage carbohydrate and cholesterol issues and it makes a nice breakfast while providing a little variety in the diet.

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