Yes, oatmeal can be good for weight loss — here’s how to eat it as part of a healthy diet
This article was medically reviewed by Kailey Proctor, MPH, RDN, CSO, a board-certified oncology dietitian at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at Providence St. Joseph Hospital.
- Oatmeal can help with weight loss because it contains soluble fiber, which can keep you feeling full.
- Steel-cut or rolled oats are the most nutritious and filling form of oatmeal to add to your diet.
- Avoid processed or instant oatmeal and don’t add too much sugar to your oats for the most health benefits.
Oat-based meals are a popular breakfast food in many countries around the world, including the US, Switzerland, and Finland, which are touted as beneficial for weight loss due to a healthy mix of fiber, complex carbs, and protein. Oatmeal is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and lead to better gut health.
“Oats help people feel full, decrease sugar spikes, and decrease insulin. Those are the properties that make you feel full so you stop eating,” says Chaim Ross, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone at Great Neck Medical.
However, not all oatmeals are equal. The difference is in the oats used to make the oatmeal.
There are several types of oatmeal, including steel-cut or Irish oats, Scottish oats, rolled or old-fashioned oats, and quick or instant oats. However, if you’re looking for the least processed forms then steel-cut and rolled oats are your ticket and also deemed healthiest.
Here are the advantages of eating oatmeal in relation to weight maintenance, along with some potential drawbacks.
Weight loss benefits of oatmeal
Oatmeal contains a healthy mixture of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based protein that makes it beneficial for weight loss. A half-cup of dry Old Fashioned Quaker Oats contains 150 calories, three grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, five grams of protein, and one gram of naturally occurring sugar. It contains four grams of dietary fiber with two grams of soluble fiber.
Here are some health and weight loss-related benefits of this nutritious meal:
Oatmeal keeps you feeling full and helps regulate bowel movements: Dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, softens stool, making it easier to pass. It also regulates hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. “Oats have soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like formula that can leave people feeling full,” Ross says.