Is Porridge a Good Breakfast for Weight Loss?

Is Porridge a Good Breakfast for Weight Loss?

It’s getting colder outside, which brings warm creamy porridge back on everyone’s radar.

Porridge is widely considered a healthy breakfast but is it really that healthy? Let’s take a closer look.

Oats are indeed high in fibre; however, oatmeal can lead to blood sugar spikes resulting in a rollercoaster of energy crashes, cravings and mood swings for the rest of the day.

One reason is that instant and rolled oats are highly processed, allowing them to dissolve easily in water or milk. The grain’s outer husk is stripped away, removing much of the protein, fibre, and plant sterols. What remains is the starchy inner portion with just a trace of fibre. Because of this processing, instant and rolled oats have a much higher blood sugar response.

If you now think, “No problem, I have steel-cut oats instead”, be aware that though a better choice, this type of oat still has a high carbohydrate load, which can negatively impact your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, both instant and steel-cut oats contain more than 30g of carbs per serving, which our bodies struggle to process in one sitting.
Dr Mark Hyman reports in his book Ultrametabolism about a Harvard study with a group of obese boys who were split into three breakfast groups – one eating instant oats, the second steel-cut oats and the third omelette.

The shocking result was that the instant oatmeal group ate 81% more calories during the day, while the steel cut group ate 51% more than the omelette group.
Not only were they hungrier, but their blood tests looked entirely different, too. The instant oatmeal group had higher insulin, blood sugar, blood fats, and adrenaline levels even though they consumed the same number of calories as the omelette group. The steel-cut group was better but still ate significantly more in the afternoon than the boys who had eggs for breakfast.

It shows that it matters what you have for breakfast and supports my recommendation to start the day with a focus on protein and healthy fats instead of ingesting a massive load of carbs.

Does that mean you have to say goodbye to porridge forever? No, with a few hacks, you can reduce the carb hit without compromising too much on taste. The trick is to have something like cauliflower, protein powder, collagen or flaxseeds as a base (or a mix of it) and then add a couple of tablespoons of oats just for flavour. Top it with nut butter, cacao and cinnamon, and you’ve got a healthy breakfast bowl that gives you heaps of energy without any blood sugar spikes.

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