The major health benefits of oatmeal include lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol without affecting the HDL or "good" cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease when combined with a low fat diet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a ruling that this health claim can be made on food labels containing soluble fiber from whole oats including oat bran, oat flour and rolled oats. But to qualify for this health claim, the food containing oats must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving.
The amount of calories in a packet of instant oatmeal depends on the ingredients and flavors added. A 35gram packet of Quaker instant oatmeal with blueberries and cream has 130 calories. A packet or 28 grams of instant Quaker oats oatmeal without any flavoring provides 427kJ energy. It contains 3.64g protein, 1.99g fat, 18.84g carbohydrates, 2.27g dietary fiber, 2.55g water, 0.35g fat and many types of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, sodium, calcium and iron. And there is zero cholesterol.
Other than the major benefits of reducing the risk of heart disease and regulating cholesterol levels, here are the health benefits of oatmeal, crushed oats and rolled oats.
The content of soluble fiber slows digestion. And oats contain the most soluble fiber compared to barley and other cereal grains. Taking oatmeal make you feel full longer and help you control your food intake and thus your weight.
The Glycemic Index or GI for Oatmeal is 58. GI measures how much your blood sugar level increases in a span of 2 to 3 hours after having food. Studies have shown that taking oatmeal produced small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin level. Food low in GI index may not only reduce the risk of diabetes 2 but also the risk of heart disease and in weight control. The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes to add oat in their diet.
Oatmeal contains dietary fiber. So another one of the dietary fiber in oatmeal is it helps regulate bowel movements. It increases the weight size of your stool and softens it or solidifies loose, watery stools. An oatmeal diet helps decrease your chances of getting constipation and from irritable bowel syndrome and reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids.