I often get asked by clients and viewers whether it is okay to eat oats. Some people are under the mistaken impression that oats are bad for your health or that they contain a lot of gluten. They assume that they have to avoid eating oats if they want to avoid damaging their GI tract.
Let’s dispel a few of these myths. Oats are, in fact, one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They don’t contain any gluten. If there is any gluten in a package of oats, it is for one of two reasons. One, the oats were package in a factory that also packages gluten-containing grain or two, the field of oats was contaminated with gluten-containing grains. When either of these two scenarios happens, the gluten-containing grains get mixed in with the oats resulting in a small amount of gluten in the package of oatmeal.
If you’re not celiac, you can eat oats. If you’re gluten-sensitive you shouldn’t have a problem with oats because if you’re not celiac, you can’t be that sensitive to gluten.
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Oats are fantastically good for your health. They contain several compounds with beneficial effects. Oats contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber. Oats also contain a polyphenol antioxidant called avenanthramides that is linked with several health benefits. The prebiotic fiber found in oats is good for the colon. The prebiotic results in more beneficial bifidobacteria and less bloating and gas.
There are studies linking oats to a smaller waist circumference, low BMI, and stable blood sugar. Oats are also associated with lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. After seeing patients for over thirty years, I’ve noticed that the people with the longest lifespans eat rolled or steel-cut oats every morning.
Oats are absolutely okay to eat, even if you have Candida. But please don’t eat the sugary, artificially flavored oats that come in little packages. If you’re going to eat oats, make sure they are wholegrain oats with no added sugar.
Cook the oats in plain, filtered water. I have a good gut, so I can afford to put a little Manuka honey on my oats. I also add a few tablespoons of fresh berries from my
garden. That has been my breakfast every single morning for many, many years. I highly recommend giving it a try.
As always, if any food, including oats, aggravates your gut, swap it out for something else. There are all sorts of other healthy breakfast options, including eggs, steamed vegetables, or fish.