“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Oatmeal / reading labels

So I've heard for a while that oatmeal is a great breakfast.  Dr. Oz always talks about how great oatmeal is for anyone that watches him.

So, I started using just the plain quaker oats that come in the cylinder shaped can with rubber top.  I would add cinnamon and 1 packet of Splenda.  It was pretty good.  I got away from eating oatmeal but finding a need for a protein breakfast I decided to bring it back.  However, our trainer advised us that Splenda is not really healthy for us because of the chemicals it is made of.  So I tried oatmeal with no sweetener... YIKES.  So I decided that maybe a teaspoon or sugar would be enough to sweeten but not mess up the health benefits of my breakfast.  So, I asked my trainer.  He was hesitant... wanted me to be careful of adding any sugar.  So I investigated.  I compared against pre-packaged, flavored oatmeals.

Below is a picture of a serving of "my oatmeal" and pre-packaged oatmeal.  Look below the pic for info about each.  I also discuss info about oatmeal and its benefits.

My Oatmeal  is on top in a snack size ziplock bag
A pre - packaged serving is on bottom
(I couldn't rotate the picture, couldn't figure out how?)

Info about each:

My Oatmeal - serving size 40g, Calories 150, Fat 2.5 g, Sodium 0mg, Protein 6g, Carbs 27, Sugar 1g

Pre-packaged Oatmeal - serving size 30g, Calories 130, Fat 2 g, Sodium 180mg, protein 3g, Carb 27, Sugar 12 g

So, Its super important to read labels PAST the calories even when you are counting calories.  Its also good to notice the difference in serving size.  My oatmeal is MUCH better on sugar it has 11 g less than the pre-packaged type.  So, can I add 1 teaspoon?  Well a teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4.2 grams.  So when I add 1 tsp it brings my sugar total to 5.2 grams.  Still a drastic improvement from the packaged oatmeal.  So I felt confident and good and added 1 teaspoon of sugar to my oatmeal and made it much more enjoyable.
My oatmeal also has more protein and no sodium.  The calories and fat are about equal when considering the serving size variation. So I feel confident that my oatmeal is the best choice even when I add 1 tsp of sugar. (1 tsp of sugar adds 15 calories, raising the total calories to 165)

What else did I add?  I added cinnamon which is good for blood pressure and may lower LDL cholesterol.  I added 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed.... a great source of Omega-3s which is great for your heart and also for balancing female hormones.  You do have to be careful adding Ground Flax Seed too quickly because it is high in fiber.  It should be added graduallly to your diet. (whole flax seeds pass too fast to give benefit.)
Ground Flax Seed can be found in the health section of your grocery and is not too expensive.  I keep mine in the fridge. (two tablespoons adds 60 calories, bringing my total calories to 215...a good number for breakfast esp since it is valuable calories)

Why Oats?  The fiber in oats has been found to significantly lower cholesterol levels.  Since I have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) I watch my cholesterol.

I usually pair my oatmeal with egg whites which contain 17 calories each, a good deal of protein and no cholesterol when the yolk is removed.

So, just some info about my breakfast that might get you to thinking.  One of my main points here is really reading labels through and through. 

I should add that my trainer agreed with me in adding I teaspoon (using a measuring spoon not a tea spoon) once I presented him with my numbers in comparison. Also the prepackaged flavored oatmeal is a great resource for those who need the benefits of oats but cannot stomach the taste of plain. It is best to have the extra sugar in breakfast (if you must have it)so that your body has all day to get rid of it. So if that is how you can get your oats get them that way for sure!

Have a great friday!

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