Healthy diets don’t change over time—but some food and ingredient trends are continually changing. As health professionals, your clients expect you to have all the answers when it comes to the latest food trends. To keep you in the know, we are offering updates on "ingredients in the news." This issue’s featured ingredient: Oats.
Oats are the healthy breakfast staple continuously being reinvented. The grain can be the base of new on-the-go breakfast cups, a wheat flour alternative, and now, a trendy substitute for dairy milk. Though oats may not be as flashy as other “superfoods,” they deliver a nutrition punch!
Benefits of Oats
Oats fit with many diet philosophies, since they can be certified gluten-free but still provide the benefits of a whole grain. But it’s what oats do contain that makes them a nutritional powerhouse. A ½ cup serving of old-fashioned oats provides a good source of multiple essential minerals as well as a specific soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of fiber linked to numerous health benefits, even beyond heart health. Research has shown a link between beta-glucan consumption and benefits including appetite regulation and moderating post-meal blood sugar.*
Photo above by Daniel Hansen for Unsplash
Oats and the Environment
Oats have a sustainability advantage because the process of planting oats replenishes the soil. And when people are choosing non-dairy “milks,” oats may have a leg up over almonds. Research on agriculture and the environment finds that oats require significantly less water to grow than almonds.†
*Betting on Beta-Glucans. Today’s Dietitian, 2014. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050114p16.shtml
†Climate Change: Which vegan milk is best? BBC News, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46654042
Disclaimer: Conagra Nutrition does not provide medical advice. Information is intended for educational purposes only. For specific nutrition guidance, please consult your regular healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.