Is Oatmeal Good or Bad for Diabetics? Its Benefits & Precautions

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following a well-devised meal plan are some of the best ways of dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes are therefore always conscious of what they should and what they should not include in their daily diet. In this article, we shall find out whether including oatmeal in a diabetic diet is good for the health of the diabetic patients and “can a diabetic eat oatmeal“?  So, come and join in for the article “Is Oatmeal Good or Bad for Diabetics?

Table of Contents

Some Facts About Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a food item that contains a high amount of nutrients such as zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, as well as phosphorous.The food item is also a rich source of several vitamins such as thiamine and pantothenic acid. Not only is oatmeal low in its total calories counts but has high amounts of soluble fiber too which makes it a healthy breakfast option.

However, the high carbohydrate content in oatmeal often makes patients wonder that whether or not oatmeal is a healthy food choice for the diabetes patients. We shall find the answer to the question “can a diabetic eat oatmeal?” in the following paragraphs.

What are the Advantages of Including Oatmeal in a Diabetic Diet?

Oatmeal for diabetes

Oatmeal can be a healthy breakfast choice for all the diabetes patients. The following are some of the benefits that eating oatmeal offers to a patient who is suffering from diabetes:

  • Oatmeal is low in calories. It is considered as a great food option if you trying to shed all those extra calories. Losing weight, as we know, hugely contributes to diabetes self-management.
  • Oatmeal helps to stabilize the blood glucose levels to a great extent. Beta-glucan, a variety of soluble fiber lends the oatmeal this advantage of stabilizing the blood glucose levels.

Soluble fiber tends to absorb water which is present in the gut and forms a paste instead. This entire process leads to a reduction in the rate in which the carbohydrates are absorbed by the body, thereby preventing the blood glucose levels in the body to rise.

  • Further, eating oatmeal as part of the overall diabetes meal plan can go a long way in helping to improve the sensitivity of the body towards the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the main reason of several complications which the diabetics face and improving insulin sensitivity will go a long way in helping to deal with diabetes in an effective manner.
  • Besides, this breakfast is considered healthy as it tends to lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. It does so by slowing down the absorption of cholesterol in your body. Secondly, it improves the lipid profile because the beta-glucans present therein prevents the body from reabsorbing the cholesterol with the result that these are passed out of the body in the form of stool. As a result, it leads to a reduction in various cardiovascular diseases which is so common in people suffering from diabetes.
  • Gut health can be an issue when you are someone who suffers from diabetes, particularly type 1. When you regularly eat oatmeal as part of your diabetic diet, the good bacteria which are responsible for the good health of the gut are produced.
  • Oatmeal also enables you to feel energetic for a longer time due to the high content of fiber.
  • Finally, the food is really good for digestion. Problems in the digestive tract of diabetes patients can lead to several complications and by promoting smooth digestion, oatmeal renders several health benefits.

Thus, as seen above, oatmeal could be a great choice for diabetes patients. However, the food item is not devoid of any disadvantages. The risks of eating oatmeal if you are diabetic are described in the following section.

What are the Disadvantages of Including Oatmeal in a Diabetic Diet?

The following are some of the cons of including oatmeal in your diabetic diet and you should be aware of the same:

  • Oatmeal contains a high amount of carbohydrates. As such, people eating oatmeal and not taking adequate amount of precautions can experience elevated levels of blood glucose in their bodies.
  • If you are someone who suffers from both diabetes as well as gastroparesis, then you might not want to include this food item in your daily diet. The high fiber content of oatmeal does not go well with patients of gastroparesis.
  • Bloating is another issue which people may face when they have diabetes and are including oatmeal in their regular meal plan.
  • Flatulence can also be a result of including oatmeal in your meal plan if you happen to suffer from diabetes. In order to avoid the same, you can keep on drinking some amount of water while eating oatmeal.
  • Oatmeal is usually flavored with add-ons which might contain a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners which are considered harmful for people who suffer from diabetes.

Considering the above risk factors, oatmeal is safe enough to be included in a diabetes diet provided adequate measures are taken while including the same as part of your regular meal plan.

Things to Remember When You Are Including Oatmeal in Your Diet and You Are Diabetic

Follow the below-mentioned easy guidelines if you want to enjoy oatmeal as part of your regular diet in spite of being a diabetes patient:

  • Avoid using an instant variety of oatmeal.The reason behind this is that the instant variety is the one which comprises a lot of salt and sugar which is not very healthy for diabetes
  • Avoid using the cream as an add-on. You can add nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, and other nuts for flavoring your oatmeal
  • Use dried fruit only to a limited amount because dried or candied fruits contain a lot of carbohydrates which can elevate the levels of blood glucose in your body
  • If you add too much of honey, or any other syrup with your oatmeal, the health benefits of the same shall be compromised to a great extent
  • While choosing oats, go for an Irish or a steel cut one because they have a higher quantity of soluble fiber that helps the diabetes patients
  • You can add berries to the oatmeal if you want a little sweetness. Berries offer great health benefits to the diabetes patients.
  • You can also add cinnamon for adding the extra flavor while making the dish healthier at the same time
  • Try to cook the oatmeal in a low-fat milk. Do not use full cream milk as that will combat the health benefits of oatmeal.

Hence, oatmeal can be a great option for those who suffer from diabetes. However, you need to be careful of the above-mentioned guidelines so that you can make the maximum out of it.

We hope that the above article has been helpful in answering some of the doubts and questions you had with regards to the inclusion of oatmeal in the regular diet of a diabetes patient. While there are both pros and cons of eating oatmeal and its various forms if you suffer from diabetes, you can certainly include the same in your diet plan if your medical expert so advises you and if you do take care of the above-mentioned guidelines!!

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