A Critical Overview of The Oatmeal Diet
by Brian Louden
I’m sure you must have heard the buzz surrounding the oatmeal diet by now. Oatmeal diet has gained widespread public attention in recent times, thanks to an oatmeal diet released by Dr Siegel. But before we jump into the intricacies and advantages of the oatmeal diet, it is important to understand as to how exactly oats work.
Oat is basically an excellent source of fiber and protein, the former of which is completely soluble. By “soluble”, I mean soluble in the body and hence it has the ability to fulfill the appetite of your stomach. Hence, you will not feel hungry or unfilled after having an oatmeal diet unlike diets that focus on eating low carb foods or protein only.
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An oatmeal diet offers several advantages such as lowering of cholesterol levels, loss of body weight and stabilization of blood sugar. Extensive research in the area of heart attack diagnosis has proved beyond all doubts that an oatmeal diet lowers LDL cholesterol levels without lowering your good cholesterol. Although, the exact way in which this happens is still debatable, one thing that experts do agree upon is the final lowering of cholesterol levels.
One theory behind this, claims that the cholesterol becomes gooey once it enters the intestine and it is here that it comes in contact with fiber supplied by the oatmeal diet. As a result of this the cholesterol is simply dumped out of the body as waste and hence it is prevented from entering the system and clogging the vital arteries connected to the heart.
As if this was not sufficient good news, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 gave an even more favorable conclusion related to an oatmeal diet. This study was conducted on 34 adults with high cholesterol levels and the contest was between cholesterol lowering foods and cholesterol lowering drugs. The results of this study confirmed that cholesterol lowering foods lowered cholesterol just as well as the cholesterol lowering drugs did. Hence, the medical community, had to accept the fact that it could be safer to lower cholesterol levels by following a natural oatmeal diet rather than depending upon prescription drugs. Needless to say, this prevents major health risk such as heart attack and other heart related problems.
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Oatmeal diet is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels. To comprehend this, first we need to understand as to what exactly happens when a large amount of sugar is released into our body. On consumption of junk food or any other beverages, which has high sugar content, a large amount of energy is released into the body. This happens because sugar contains glucose which is a predominant source of energy. This surge of energy is however short lived because the body also starts to vigorously burn the glucose in an attempt to bring back the sugar level (In the blood) to normal.
Now when you consume an oatmeal diet, the oat is not converted into glucose immediately to provide a “surge of energy”. This is because the fiber contained in oatmeal will take some time to get digested and slower to release glucose. Hence, oatmeal produces a kind of sugar balancing effect in the blood by not releasing glucose into it. Moreover, due to the fullness effect produced by eating oatmeal, you will not experience any temptation or cravings as you might in case of dieting on low carb foods.
Another advantage of an oatmeal diet is the lowering of body weight. This is due to the fact that oatmeal increases the fat burning rate of the body so as to supply energy for the necessary bodily functions. Due to this increase in the rate of fat dissolution, the body weight starts to decrease gradually if an oatmeal diet is followed rigidly for extended periods of time.