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Oatmeal, Oats & Oat Bran | Healthy Food of the Day

Posted Sep 26 2008 3:21pm

Learn How Including Oats, Oatmeal and Oat Bran In Your Diet Can Help You Lose Weight and Have a Healthier Heart

When it comes to healthy fitness foods, oatmeal and oats are the undisputed champions of whole grains.

Inexpensive, loaded with healthy soluble fiber, and incredibly versatile as an ingredient in everything from meat loaf to protein shakes, oats and oatmeal are a staple in the diet of nearly every bodybuilder, fitness model, athlete or healthy person. Image of Whole Grain Oats

But what makes this humble grain that usually found its way into horse and cattle feed such a nutritional powerhouse? And what if you don’t like eating oatmeal? Can you still get the benefits without the mush?

Believe it or not, oats don’t have to be served hot in bowl with cinnamon and raisins. I said this grain was versatile, remember. Read on to find out why you need to include oats in your diet, if you already aren’t.  And if a bowl of oatmeal isn’t doing it for you, we’ll look at some alternative ways of preparing them that can let you have your oats and eat them too.

A (Very) Brief History of Oats

Oats are the harvested seeds of the common oat plant ( Avena Sativa ).

As I mentioned earlier, oats have historically been used as an inexpensive source of feed for horses and livestock. However, humans have been eating oats as well for centuries, especially in Northern Europe, where the cool, wet weather is perfect for growing oats. The Scottish, in particular, have made oats a staple of their national diet – even lending their name to a particular form of oats known as “Scottish Oats” or “Scottish Oatmeal” (more on this later.)

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