Getting more fiber in your diet is easier than you think. Much of the fiber in oatmeal is soluble — a type of fiber that is especially beneficial for your heart. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber on its own, but you can further boost the fiber content by adding blueberries, sliced bananas, diced apples or another type of fruit.
Fiber content is very similar in instant oatmeal versus regular whole oats. A 100-gram serving, which amounts to about 3.5 ounces, of either type offers approximately 10 grams of total fiber. You need 14 grams of fiber in your diet for every 1,000 calories you consume. As an example, following a 2,000-calorie diet requires you to get 28 grams of total daily fiber. Both types of oatmeal are considered whole-grain foods, but instant oats are more processed to reduce the cooking time. The major difference is that instant oatmeal is higher on the glycemic index, meaning it raises your blood sugar quickly since it breaks down faster than whole oats.
The rich soluble fiber content in oatmeal is beneficial for your heart. Soluble fiber attracts liquid in your intestinal tract, forming a slow-moving gel. As the gel travels through your gut, it binds with some of the low-density lipoprotein in your body. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, hardens arteries, leading to increased blood pressure. Over time, the added strain on your heart may lead to a heart attack. Since soluble fiber from oatmeal and several other foods helps lower low-density lipoprotein, improving overall cholesterol levels, your risk of suffering from heart disease decreases.
A diet rich in fiber can lower your risk of certain types of cancer. One study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, looked into the effect of a diet rich in whole grains and its relation to developing pancreatic cancer. In the study, published in the “American Journal of Epidemology,” participants who consumed at least two servings of whole-grain foods per day, including cooked breakfast cereals like oatmeal, had a lower risk of having pancreatic cancer. Research is mixed on fiber’s role in preventing colon cancer, explains MayoClinic.com. If you’re concerned about your risk of colon cancer, talk with your physician about adding more high-fiber foods to your diet.
Some of the fiber in oatmeal is insoluble, a type of fiber that promotes regularity. Insoluble fiber travels through your gut intact and acts like a broom by pushing out fecal waste. Getting more insoluble fiber in your diet makes your stools bulky and soft. You’ll be more regular and less likely to suffer from constipation. Having regular bowel movements is important for preventing diverticular disorders of the intestines. Diverticular disease causes waste to get stuck in pouches along the lining of your intestines. As waste continues to get trapped, inflammation occurs in your gut, leading to severe abdominal pain, a condition known as diverticulitis. Boost the insoluble fiber content of your morning oatmeal by adding a spoonful of crushed walnuts or almonds.
Source : http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/