January is National Oatmeal Month

Start the New Year by focusing on improving your overall health by increasing whole grains in your diet.

Whole grains are an important parts of the major five food groups. They contain a high content of dietary fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and other minerals. Oats are a great way to get in more whole grains in your diet!

Benefits of Eating Oats

Lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reduces risk of heart disease

Helps control weight by keeping you full longer

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

Controls blood pressure

Supports a healthy immune system

Reduces constipation

May increase appetite-control hormones

Different Types of Oats

Nutritional values are the same between the following types of oats. They all contain carbohydrates, protein, calcium, fiber, and iron.  Preparation and cooking times vary as follows:

Instant oats: cut into small pieces before steamed and rolled into thinner flakes. Takes approximately 5 minutes to cook.

Rolled oats: steamed and flattened with huge rollers. Requires at least 15 minutes of cooking

Steel-cut oats: least processed. They are cut into pieces instead of rolled out. Requires the most cooking time.

Ways to Eat Oats

Oats in homemade bread, cookies, or muffins with oats

Thicken smoothies with a spoonful of oats

Make an oatmeal with a variety of berries

Bread meats with oats

Combine oats and dried fruits in a granola bar

Recipes

Lazy Morning Muesli

Coconut Almond Granola Bars

For more information, visit www.wholegrainscouncil.org

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