Why Oatmeal Tends To Spike Blood Sugar
Despite being lauded as a health food, oatmeal often causes a glucose (blood sugar) spike. As @sonjakm notes in the reel, our Levels data shows oatmeal is a sneaky culprit. Why?
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▪️ Rolled and instant oats are processed foods. To speed up cook time, both have the outer husk removed and are flattened, pre-cooked, and toasted dry. Instant oats are also milled to a smaller size, so they take even less time to prepare. But this convenience means your body breaks down both types of oats quickly, which means the carbohydrates in the oats are more rapidly converted to glucose and absorbed. That can lead to a spike in blood sugar.
▪️ A crash often follows a sudden rise in glucose as your body releases extra insulin to try to get back to homeostasis. That blood sugar dip is why you may feel hungry and sluggish soon after a carb-heavy breakfast. This kind of eating could lead to health problems down the road.
▪️ Regular large spikes and plummets of glucose (called high glycemic variability) are linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. And when you consider the links between metabolic function and cardiovascular disease, oatmeal’s status as a heart-healthy food seems less certain (1).
What you can do👇
▪ Consider upgrading from rolled and instant oats to steel-cut oats or groats.
▪ But remember, glycemic response is highly individual, so while this simple swap may make a difference for some, steel-cut oats can still spike glucose levels for many. Another way to calm glucose response: top oats with foods rich in protein, fat, and fiber.
▪ A better way to keep blood sugar stable is to avoid grains altogether. Seeds such as chia, flax, and hemp can come together to create an alternative to oats. Or you can change your usual breakfast to a savory option.
(1) PMID: 26301188
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