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The surprising health benefits of oats

Bowl of oats with fruit

We all know oats are a healthy option that are full of fibre and other important nutrients.  We share some of the health benefits.

Choosing the right oats is easy if you follow these steps!

Oats are budget friendly

It may not have superfood status (or the matching price tag), but the humble oat is jam-packed with good nutrition. Oats contain plenty of gut-loving fibre, with half a cup offering around 15 per cent of your daily needs. There’s even a special type of fibre in oats called beta-glucan, which supports a healthy heart by reducing cholesterol levels. Oats also have more protein than many other grains. What’s more, they’re a type of whole grain and eating enough of them is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.

Are plain oats healthier?

These are usually purchased as rolled or quick/instant. Both offer the goodness of wholegrain oats, but the difference is quick oats have been finely chopped before they are rolled. This makes quick oats faster to cook, but also quicker to digest. So you won’t feel as full and satisfied after eating quick oats as you will after eating regular rolled oats.

Flavoured types

Porridge sachets are usually made with quick-cook oats and flavourings that usually have added sugars, so they’re not always the best choice. If you’re after convenience, opt for a plain sachet and add your own flavour with fresh fruit, or look for no-added-sugar sachets that are boosted with healthy nuts and seeds.

Oats plus extras

You can now buy porridge oats with added ingredients like quinoa, rye, barley, nuts and seeds. These options are a smart purchase because they mean you’re getting a greater variety of nutrients in your brekkie bowl. When picking the best oats to put in your shopping trolley look for:

  • Plenty of fibre. The more, the better. If you’re buying a sachet, use the ‘per serve’ column to compare brands. If you’re buying a bulk bag, look at the per 100g column to find the highest-fibre content product.
  • Minimal sugar. If you love flavoured sachets, look for a brand with less than 10g sugar per 100g. If there’s dried fruit in the product, a little more than 10g per 100g is okay.
  • Sensible portion size. One benefit of buying porridge sachets is they’re pre-portioned.
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