There’s no guaranteed way to make sure you never develop blood sugar problems, but research suggests that eating oatmeal for breakfast can help to reduce your risk of diabetes. Studies have shown that people who consume 25 grams of cereal fibers daily were 61% less likely to develop diabetes.
In this instance, cereal fiber doesn’t refer to what you get from eating a big bowl of sugary cereal. Even instant oatmeal didn’t pass muster because it’s still highly processed and artificially sweetened. Steel cut oats, which are less processed, were the most beneficial. Rolled oats are second best. Both are widely available in grocery stores.
Oatmeal made with steel-cut oats or rolled oats makes a great breakfast choice because it’s low calorie but high in fiber, helping you to feel full. It also takes a relatively long time to digest, which means that it doesn’t cause the sudden spike in blood sugar that more processed grains do – or the plunge in blood sugar levels that often happens after a spike.
Oatmeal is also higher in protein than other grains, contains calcium, and is dense in B Vitamins. And if that’s not enough to get you to eat your oats, they’re also rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin K, fatty acids, and antioxidants. What does all of that mean? It means that in addition to reducing your diabetes risk, you’re also lowering your cholesterol, protecting yourself from heart disease, and reducing your risk of colon cancer.
If the thought of eating plain oatmeal sounds unappetizing, try adding some fresh fruit to add sweetness and flavor. A little bit of honey or some cinnamon are also great choices. In any case, just make sure that whatever you add to your oatmeal doesn’t cancel out its health benefits – loading it up with sugar or chocolate chips will cause blood sugar spikes and add empty calories.