Oats (Avena sativa) come from a grain in the Poaceae family. The grain is the seed from the oat plant. This classic breakfast staple has many health benefits. It’s a great source of fiber, thiamine, magnesium and zinc.
Oats are a great addition to a well-balanced diet. Promoting heart health, weight loss and digestive health if used properly, it’s a great food.
However, not all is always well with oats. This cereal grain does have some side effects. Some are simply uncomfortable, while others can be quite serious.
Below, we will explore these side effects. We will suggest alternatives and discuss other important issues about oats.
Oats Side Effects
1. Bloating And Gas
Bloating and gas are uncomfortable, painful, and can be embarrassing. Sometimes the fiber in oats can cause these digestive difficulties.
The fiber in oats cannot be digested when it gets to the body’s lower intestine. It gets broken down by naturally occurring bacteria in that area. As this happens, hydrogen and carbon dioxide form. Methane will also be produced.
These gasses will build up and can cause bloating and pain. When expelled, it will have a bad odor from the methane.
2. Weight Gain
Eating a lot of oats or oatmeal may cause weight gain. But the problem is not the oats themselves. The issue comes from the extra mixtures and toppings people often add. Items like:
- White sugar
- Chocolate chips
- Whipped cream
- Dried fruit (has a lot of sugar)
- Brown sugar
- Carb heavy fresh fruit (like bananas)
We think we’re being healthy by choosing oatmeal. But, attention needs to be paid to what we add. Oatmeal does have a significant amount of carbs.
So, for example, if a banana, brown sugar, and some chocolate chips are added, you’ve now made your healthy breakfast into a carb-loaded, sugary caloric disaster.
All of these yummy toppings add up calorie wise. If eaten every day, it will add up on the scale as well.
Jazzing up oatmeal can be tasty and healthy by choosing healthy alternatives like:
– Cinnamon, nutmeg
• Fresh Fruit
– Some low carb choices include coconut, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and pears.
3. Decrease In Nutrition/Malnutrition
In some cases, too much oatmeal can lead to the body not getting all the nutrients it needs. In severe cases, this will lead to malnutrition.
Malnutrition can occur not only when people don’t eat, but when they don’t eat enough of the right foods. Oatmeal is quite filling.
It’s easy to forget your next meal after having had a bowl. If the belly is full, it won’t signal your brain that it’s time for the next meal.
In addition, oatmeal does not have all of the nutrients the body needs. So, if you only eat oatmeal every day, you deprive your body of other needed vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Over time, this practice can cause the body to lose muscle mass, affect cognitive abilities, and organ function.
Allergies are one of the major side effects of oats. Often, people are allergic to the protein avenin that’s contained in wheat. While others may have a reaction to the gluten protein that’s in wheat.
Although oats do not contain gluten, they are usually grown and processed in areas that handle wheat. If a gluten allergy is present, it’s important to check labels. Make sure that all oat products purchased are labeled as gluten free.
Symptoms of an oat allergy include:
- Blotchy/itchy skin
- Scratchy throat
- Runny or clogged nose
- Itchy eyes
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty breathing
Things to avoid if you have an oat allergy include:
- Oatmeal baths
- Oatmeal lotion
- Oat milk
- Horse feed (such as hay)
What Can Be Substituted For Oats?
Whether you are allergic, intolerant , or just plain, don’t care for oats. There are plenty of delicious, healthy alternatives out there.
- This rice is full of fiber, protein, magnesium, and selenium. For a great breakfast bowl, take some cooked brown rice and combine it with some milk, honey, fruit, and cinnamon.
- Quinoa is high in protein, iron, and folate. A quinoa breakfast bowl can include some cooked quinoa ( simmer it in almond milk for a great flavor), drizzle with some honey, and add some fruit or nuts.
- This high protein, earthy grain is great for breakfast. Combine the buckwheat, milk of your choice, and some fruit.
- These tasty seeds are good if you’re on a low carb diet. Top them off with some shredded coconut.
- Naturally gluten free and filled with vitamins, millet tastes great too. You can quickly simmer it with some milk. Then add nuts or any other healthy topping.
- This ancient grain is delightfully sweet and rich in iron. It can be whipped up in a sauce pan with some milk.
- Full of B vitamins, flaxseed makes a great porridge. Combine the grain, coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon for a tasty treat.
- Wheat berry is not a berry, but a whole grain. They have some crunch to them, like granola. Full of fiber and protein, they make a great substitute for oats.
Nuts And Seeds
- Great if you’re on the go. Just make a snack bag out of these yummy, natural foods. You’ll get many of the same benefits as oatmeal.
What Are The Different Types Of Oats?
There are several different types of oats. Decide what’s best for you based on time and dietary needs.
1. Whole Oat Groats
Oat groats are when the oat grain is in its most organic or intact form. The hull was removed but the bran, germ, and endosperm are still there. This oat takes the longest to cook, at about 40 to 45 minutes. The texture is that of barley or rice.
2. Steel Cut Oats
Also known as Irish Oats. As the name suggests, these oats are produced by cutting the oat groats with a steel blade. This gives them a chewier consistency than the whole oats. Steel cut oats take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook.
3. Scottish Oats
These delightful oats are made by stone grinding the oat groats. This makes them great for porridge. Cook in about 10 minutes.
4. Rolled Oats
One of the most popular oat forms. They’re made by steaming the oat groats. Then, roll them flat with steel rollers. It takes about 5-10 minutes to cook.
5. Quick Oats
These oats are similar to rolled oats, but they are steamed and rolled thinner. Sometimes they are chopped into smaller pieces. So they have a quicker cooking time of 1-3 minutes.
6. Instant Oats
These are the most processed of all the oats. After rolling and steaming, they are pre-cooked, chopped, and dried. These oats cook the fastest , needing only a quick blanching or zap in the microwave.
7. Oat Bran
Oat bran is a by-product of oat manufacturing. It’s actually the outer layer of the oat groat.
8. Oat Flour
Oat flour is simply finely ground oats. It’s often used in baking products and as a thickening agent.
What Are The Nutritional Facts Of Oats?
One-half cup of dry, uncooked oats has the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 153
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 27 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
Benefits Of Oats
Despite occasional oat side effects, they are some of the healthiest grains around. Oats are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Research has found that oats have several health benefits.
1. Oats Are A Good Source Of Nutrition
Oats have a wealth of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.
- Manganese: 63% of the recommended daily value
- Copper: 17% daily value
- Iron: 9% daily value
- Folate: 3.2% daily value
- Vitamin B1: 15% daily value
- Vitamin B2: 9% daily value
2. Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants can help lower blood pressure, widen blood vessels, help prevent cancer, and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
3. Contain Soluble Fiber
Fiber helps reduce overall cholesterol levels. It also reduces blood sugar and increases fullness.
4. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
If cholesterol is reduced, so is the progression of heart disease.
5. Oats Help In Controlling Blood Sugar
These grains can help lower blood sugar. This is especially useful for people with diabetes or weight issues.
6. Weight Loss
Oatmeal is filling and low in calories, so it can help aid weight loss. Just be careful to vary your diet as it can cause the oats side effects spoken of earlier.
7. Helps With The Skin
Oats are found in many skin care products. The finely ground oats used are called “colloidal” oats. This can help with itching, rashes, poison ivy/oak, and eczema.
8. May Relieve Constipation
Studies have shown that regular consumption of oat bran can keep your digestive system in check.
How Should Oats Be Stored?
Oats should be kept in a cool, dry place. Typically, they will stay fresh for 18-24 months. Once opened, put the oats in an air-tight container or in the freezer.
Oats will still be safe to eat after the expiration date. The date is just a fresh suggestion. But make sure they don’t smell or have bugs.
What Are Some Mistakes People Make With Oats?
If you don’t perform certain tasks correctly when it comes to oatmeal preparation, they may not be enjoyable or even edible. Some mistakes people make are:
Making It With Water Instead Of Milk.
- We may think it’s healthier, but usually we just succeed in making it bland and soupy. You want a creamy consistency for your oats. If you don’t want cow’s milk, almond milk is a nice alternative.
Using A Small Pot Or Bowl
- Remember that oats tend to expand. So what fits in before cooking may spill over and cause a mess later.
Adding The Oats At The Wrong Time
- Waiting until the water simmers is your best bet. Adding the oats too early can cause them to be sticky or even soggy.
Not Adding Salt
- Adding just a pinch of salt will make the oats like glue.
Forgetting To Stir
- Stirring breaks up the bubbles that build up. Bubbles can cause a messy explosion and loss of your breakfast.
Not Cooking The Oats Long Enough
- Be sure to follow the cooking guidelines. Undercooked oats are hard, chewy, and not enjoyable.
What Are Some Other Uses For Oats?
- The starch in oatmeal is used as glue in many industries.
- Oat straw is used as bedding for cattle and horses because it’s so soft.
- Oats can be used as a replacement for breadcrumbs. Especially in meatloaf, meatball, and as a coating for chicken and veal.
- Do a facial scrub. Use 1 teaspoon each of oat, honey, and yogurt for an all-natural, soothing face cleanser.
- For aches and pains, make a homemade heating pad. Simply sew together two pieces of soft cloth, leave a small area open to drop in the oats, sew shut, and microwave for a minute or so.
- Use oats to treat acne. Cook it up and let it cool. Apply it to the affected area and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse.
- Oats absorb odors. Like baking soda, if you place an open container in your fridge it will help neutralize any smells. Some people use the flakes in ashtrays as well.
- Turn it into clay. Old oatmeal can be turned into safe clay. Combine one cup of oats with flour and some water. It’s only good for about 12-16 hours, then it hardens.
- This grain is garden friendly. Sprinkle some flakes around your garden to give your plants some extra iron.
- Clean up oil spills in the kitchen. Just sprinkle some dry oats on the spill and let it sit. The oats will soak up the oil, making cleaning up much easier.
3 Nutritious Oat Dishes To Love
Oats are an essential ingredient served at most breakfast tables because of the fiber and nutrition we get from them. But having the same things every day can become tiresome.
So here we will see some innovative ways of adding oats to our diet differently. You do not have to go only for instant oats. Instead, you can make dishes from old-fashioned oats.
Let us look at some delicious recipes.
Best Oats Recipes
|How to Make the Best Oatmeal
|140 (per serving)
|Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
|109 (per serving)
|150 (per serving)
Here is a simple old-fashioned oats recipe that you will love.
For this recipe, you need butter, cinnamon, coconut oil, old-fashioned oats, milk, and salt.
Take a saucepan and add what you like, either butter or coconut oil, to it. Then, add the oats and cook until you get their wonderful aroma. These oats will take a little longer to cook and will not get mushy.
Now, add milk and water. Cinnamon here will give great flavor, and you can add salt according to taste.
Turn the stove off and let the mixture rest for seven minutes. After waiting, they will be ready for you to enjoy.
Old-fashioned oats are good because they have a lot of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They can also help to reduce blood sugar levels and maintain cholesterol.
Calories Per Serving: 140 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 18 Minutes
You must have had oatmeal cookies before, but the highlight of these cookies is the crunchy and crisp texture they have.
It is a great recipe because it is an old-fashioned one.
You need whole wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, and unrefined cane sugar. Raisins taste fantastic in these cookies because of their sweet, tangy taste.
If you want your cookies to be a little soft, add baking powder to them. You will have to use an oven for these cookies.
The kids will love them, and you can store them in an air-tight jar.
Calories Per Serving: 109 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
We will peek at a recipe with regular oats in them, the one you use; because of the time constraint, we usually go for instant oats.
It is one recipe that you can make with instant oats.
You need salt, instant oats, honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Boil water in a saucepan to add oats in them and cook them. After a minute of boiling, let them settle for a couple of minutes.
Now put them in a microwave with water and salt. Microwave for 2 minutes, and they are ready to eat. Add toppings to it, like strawberries, nuts, cinnamon, etc.
Calories Per Serving: 150 (per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
When Were Oats First Cultivated?
Oats were first grown on purpose around 1500 BC in Northern Europe. Farmers found it grew better than wheat in cold climates.
What Are The Most Common Uses For Oats?
Most oats are used for livestock feed. Other uses include baking, cold cereals, and the production of oat milk.
Does Oatmeal Have A Holiday?
Strangely yes! October 29th of each year is National Oatmeal Day. Where we take a moment to appreciate this loyal breakfast food.
When Did Oatmeal Become Popular In The United States?
In America, oats were not really grown for human consumption until the late 19th century. In 1877, the Quaker Oats Company was formed. Oats began being sold in boxes.
What Is The Healthiest Type Of Oats?
Steel cut and rolled oats are the most healthy of the oat family.
How Much Does Oatmeal Cost Per Serving?
Oatmeal costs about 4.3 cents per serving.
What Countries Eat The Most Oatmeal?
EU 27, Russia, Canada, United States, and Brazil consume the most oatmeal.
How Much Oat Does The United States Produce?
The United States produced 64.4 million bushels in 2020. Each bushel is equal to 8 gallons. South Dakota and Minnesota are responsible for 1/3 of America’s oat production.
Who Should Not Eat Oats?
People with celiac disease should take caution before consuming any oat product. Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten. Oats don’t have it but they often come in contact with other grains that do.
How Much Do Oats Cost Per Serving?
Oats cost 4.3 cents per average serving.
What Tools Do I Need For Cooking Oats?
Depending on how you plan to cook your oats, you will need:
- Slow cooker
- Large pot
- Large plastic bowl
- Wooden or metal spoons
- Measuring cups
Can I Feed My Dog Oatmeal?
According to the American Kennel Club, yes you can! The reason oats are good for humans are the same reasons they are good for dogs.
But beware, oats side effects apply to dogs as well. Keep the portions at 1 tablespoon for every 20 pounds. Also, no milk or toppings.
What Are The Most Popular Oatmeal Toppings?
Milk, sugar, raisins, and bananas are the most popular toppings.
How Many Oats Are In A Package?
There are 26,000 rolled oats in an 18 ounce package of oats.
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