Porridge for breakfast is sensible

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food in the West. In Sri Lanka, it is traditional to eat white bread, string-hoppers, hoppers and so on. These foods are made from white processed wheat and rice flour and cause harm than good, except supplying energy to start work for the day.

Oats that are available in the supermarkets are the rolled oats or old fashioned oatmeal made by steaming and rolling the groats into flakes. This cuts cooking time down to 3-5 minutes. Easy to make- add milk and cook in the microwave oven for a minute gives you a nourishing quick breakfast.

Instant oats or “quick oats are made by further steaming and rolling the oats, bringing the cook time down to as little as 30-60 seconds.

Oatmeal is mainly a source of complex carbohydrates and the sugar is released slowly and does not cause sugar spikes in your blood. Oatmeal has little proteins or fat. Healthy fats are necessary part of the diet and you feel full and satisfied. Proteins help keep people fuller longer.

By combing a complex carb with lean protein and healthy fat is sensible as you can reduce hunger and cravings whilst providing all three major macronutrients required for the body.

One-half cup of uncooked instant oats have 25% of daily thiamine, 19% of iron, 28 % of magnesium, 33% of phosphorus, 20% of zinc, 147 % of manganese, 33 % of selenium

Our traditional breakfast foods mentioned earlier do not provide so much of micronutrients. Further oats is high fibre and restricts absorption of cholesterol in the gut from other foods.

Diabetics must eat oats and not foods cooked with rice and wheat flour to keep your blood sugar level low in the morning. Spice up your oatmeal with raisins, bananas and others to make it more enjoyable.

Good breakfast advice from Dr Harold

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