Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Oatmeal Manifesto

The topic of oatmeal came up in a low carb discussion group today. Someone posted a recipe for oatmeal and banana pancakes. Since this was in a low carb group, several people commented that the recipe was in no way low carb. The original poster got defensive and stated that while oatmeal pancakes were not low carb, at least they were healthy because oatmeal is good for you. But is it really?

I say no, oatmeal is not a health food. The typical blood sugar spikes associated with eating oatmeal are bad enough, but when you through in the phytic acid content, it's only slightly better for you than wheat, which is a proven nutritional disaster. If you want to eat oatmeal because of the taste - eat it! Just be aware of the risks. Don't operate under the delusion that oats are some kind of health food. Not only are they not a health food, oats are definitely not something you should recommend to people on a low carb diet cruising for low carb breakfast ideas in a low carb forum. 

Whether or not you eat oatmeal (either in plain or pancake form) is up to you and based on your body. Even a tiny bit of oatmeal is enough to trigger serious inflammation for me. This makes me sad because oatmeal with cream and maple syrup is one of my old winter breakfast favorites. If you happen to be at your goal weight, have no problems maintaining your weight loss and don't have serious blood sugar issues, you might want to try steel cut oats soaked overnight ala Nourishing Traditions. After all, oats are comforting, filling and relatively inexpensive.

If you want to totally avoid oatmeal's carb count risks or the phytic acid content, there are some really great low carb pancake recipes out there. The Nourishing Days coconut flour pancake recipe is my personal favorite. To keep it lower carb, skip the honey and use some monk fruit or erythritol for sweetener.