Supplements and Nutrition

When is the best time to eat oats?

When is the best time to eat oats

Are you a fan of oats but often wonder when the best time to consume this nutritious grain is? You’re not alone. Oats have been a staple in many diets worldwide due to their impressive health benefits. They’re packed with essential nutrients, high in fiber, and can be enjoyed in various ways.

But when is the ideal time to eat oats to reap the most benefits?

Whether you want to manage your weight, control your blood sugar levels, or simply incorporate healthier foods into your diet, understanding the best time to eat oats can make a significant difference.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of oats, exploring their nutritional profile, health benefits, and, most importantly, the optimal time to consume them. We’ll also address common questions and misconceptions about oats and even share some delicious oatmeal recipes for you to try.

The Nutritional Profile of Oats

Oats are not just a simple grain; they are a powerhouse of essential nutrients contributing to their numerous health benefits. A single cup of cooked oats contains:

  • Manganese: This mineral is vital for brain and nerve function. Oats provide almost 100% of your daily requirement.
  • Phosphorus: Important for bone health and energy production, oats offer around 40% of your daily needs.
  • Copper: Essential for red blood cell production and iron absorption, oats supply about a quarter of your daily requirement.
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine is crucial for your brain’s glucose metabolism. You get about 40% of your daily needs from a cup of oats.
  • Iron: Iron is necessary for the production of haemoglobin in your blood. Oats provide around 20% of your daily iron needs.
  • Selenium: This antioxidant helps protect your body from chronic diseases. Oats provide about 20% of your daily needs.
  • Magnesium: Important for many biochemical reactions in your body, oats offer around 30% of your daily requirement.
  • Zinc: This mineral is essential for your immune system and protein synthesis. You get about 20% of your daily needs from a cup of oats.

In addition to these nutrients, oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, including beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber known for its heart health benefits. They also contain more protein than most grains, making them a valuable plant-based protein source.

Oatmeal benefits

The benefits of consuming grains and oats are known from ancient times. They help the body from inside to outside:

  • healthy gut
  • adding necessary nutrients and fiber
  • low cholesterol
  • anti-inflammatory effect
  • weight control
  • aids in lowering sugar levels in the body
  • increased energy levels-sustaining mental strenuous activities
  • healthy skin and hair

When is the best time to eat oats 

Commonly, people have oats in the morning for breakfast. The oats can be consumed as an oat bar, added in yoghurt, mixed with fruits, or mixed with milk – oatmeal.

It is widely recognized that oats give a sensation of fullness and keeps the hunger pangs at bay for an extended time, slowly releasing the energy needed to perform the daily tasks until lunchtime arrives.

Some people prefer to eat some form of oats before bedtime. This light evening meal will keep the body well-nourished until the morning. However, this might not be for everyone as some people may notice some discomfort – feeling too full.

Due to the beneficial effects on energy levels, consuming this type of food is an excellent idea before starting a more strenuous activity. Thus, gym trainers and nutritional health advisors may recommend having oatmeal before a workout.

There are a few suggestions of how to incorporate these oats in everyday lunch meals, for example, by using powdered oats to add thick casseroles or stews. Also, they can be added to a batter for a nutritious change.

Some people even created recipes for oatmeal cakes, making these a great alternative to shop-bought ones.

Girl eating oatmeal

Oats and Specific Health Conditions

Oats can be particularly beneficial for individuals with certain health conditions. Here’s how:

Health ConditionBenefits of Oats
DiabetesThe high fiber content in oats, particularly beta-glucan, can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion process. This results in a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar.
Heart DiseaseOats are high in dietary fiber, contributing to a feeling of fullness. This can help control portion sizes and reduce overall calorie intake, assisting in weight management.
Celiac DiseaseWhile oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often contaminated with gluten because they may be processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye, and barley. However, pure, uncontaminated oats are available and are safe for most people with celiac disease.
ObesityOats are high in dietary fiber, which contributes to a feeling of fullness. This can help control portion sizes and reduce overall calorie intake, assisting in weight management.

Please note that while oats can contribute to a healthy diet, they should not replace any medical treatments or interventions. If you have a specific health condition, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any major changes to your diet.

Are there side effects to eating oatmeal?

Oats are safe to eat for almost everyone, and the main side effect could be the sensation of being bloated (which could result in flatulence). Raw oats could also increase the possibility of constipation.

People that suffer from digestive illnesses and Coeliac disease will need to avoid consuming oats as they may have gluten traces. There might be gluten-free formulas on the market as an option for people affected by gluten.

Eating oatmeal could have similar effects to adding any other type of Oates to someone’s diet; however, people must be careful about how they prepare the oats. For lactose intolerance, dairy products (milk, yogurt) should be replaced by water or alternatives derived from:

  • soy 
  • almond
  • coconut
  • rice

Where to find oats

From supermarkets to corner shops, health shops, pharmacy outlets, and online, consumers can find a wide variety of oats and oat supplements such as :

  • rolled oats
  • oat flakes
  • instant oats (in a cup)
  • oat flour
  • oat bars
  • green oat extract
  • wild oat
  • gluten-free oats

How to prepare oatmeal will depend on the type of oats and the liquid used. Most commonly, it is known as porridge eaten in the morning.

Oats are a healthy and substantial addition to anyone’s daily food, with positive effects on the general body’s health and wellness.

Delicious Oatmeal Recipes

To help you incorporate oats into your diet, here are a few delicious and nutritious oatmeal recipes:

  1. Classic Oatmeal with Fresh Fruits
    • Ingredients: Rolled oats, water or milk, a pinch of salt, honey or maple syrup for sweetness, and your choice of fresh fruits.
    • Instructions: Cook the oats in water or milk, add a pinch of salt, and sweeten with honey or maple syrup. Top with your favorite fresh fruits.
  2. Overnight Oats with Berries and Chia Seeds
    • Ingredients: Rolled oats, Greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, honey, and mixed berries.
    • Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a jar, stir well, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Enjoy it in the morning, topped with more fresh berries.
  3. Savory Oatmeal with Avocado and Poached Egg
    • Ingredients: Rolled oats, water, a pinch of salt, avocado, poached egg, and a sprinkle of black pepper.
    • Instructions: Cook the oats in water with a pinch of salt. Top with sliced avocado and a poached egg. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.
  4. Oatmeal Pancakes
    • Ingredients: Rolled oats, baking powder, a pinch of salt, milk, one egg, and honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
    • Instructions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Cook on a non-stick pan over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown.

Remember, the key to a healthy oatmeal dish is to watch the portion sizes and the added sugars.


To wrap up, let’s address some common questions about oats and their consumption:

Can I eat oats if I’m gluten intolerant?

While oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye, which can lead to cross-contamination. However, there are brands that offer certified gluten-free oats, which are safe for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Can I eat oats for dinner?

Yes, you can eat oats at any time of the day. Some people find that a bowl of oatmeal in the evening is a satisfying and healthy choice that keeps them full throughout the night.

Do oats help in weight loss?

Oats are high in dietary fiber, particularly beta-glucan, which can help you feel full for longer. This can help control portion sizes and reduce overall calorie intake, assisting in weight management. However, it’s important to remember that oats should be part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle for effective weight loss.

Can I eat raw oats?

While it’s possible to eat oats raw, such as in muesli or overnight oats, cooking them helps to break down the starches and make them easier to digest. Raw oats may also contain phytic acid, an antinutrient that can interfere with the absorption of minerals in your body.

How many oats should I eat in a day?

The right amount of oats to eat daily can vary depending on individual dietary needs and health goals. However, a common serving size is half a cup of dry oats, which is approximately 40 grams.

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