T Nation

Question on Oatmeal


I have always read about people adding oatmeal to their diet and it really helped their weight loss (although I did not read that here). I was wondering what you guys think about oatmeal. It seems high in carbs but I don't fully understand the difference between "net carbs" and total carbs.

Basically I am curious what you guys think about this as a breakfast. Keep in mind I am trying to lower my body fat percentage.

Oatmeal cooked with cranberries, apples, and flax seed. Milk, Splenda brown sugar, and cinnamon added.

Right now I have been eating as few carbs as possible except post workout.

Thanks in advance


I used Oatmeal as my only carb source (except green veggies) during my contest prep. It's filling, has a good amount of fiber in it, no sugar, and very little calories... it's a win-win situation. I certainly wouldn't suggest adding fruits or sugar to it, but some splenda and cinnamon, or even natural Peanut Butter or protein powder works very well.



couldnt agree more


I have a feeling (speaking theoretically, not from practice) that ditching the oats altogether in favor of those fruits you omitted are the better option.

I did a search one night on NutritionData.com, comparing the relative glycemic loads (read: LOADS) of various common carb sources in my diet. Many were reviewed, and here are my conclusions.

Even the sweetest fresh fruits eaten in normal quantities yield LOWER glycemic load ratings than all starches, grains, etc. Vegetables were of course lower than the fruits. Bananas were the highest of the fruits, I recall. Even pineapple, watermelon, and mango were way down there due to their water content. Even corn was pretty low!

Here is how I now prioritize carbs in order of glycemic impact:



The glycemic load/impact has almost nothing to do with body comp. however. Oats will keep someone fuller for longer than a banana will.


I highly disagree with your statement about the Glycemic Load having almost nothing to do with body comp. GL has a direct inpact on insulin levels, and chronically high insulin impedes fat oxidation and is correlated with numerous diseases. Low GL carbs are ideal for stable blood sugar, except post workout where insulin sensitivity is elevated.


One thing is for sure. Steel cut oats are "less" processed than rolled and whatever you do stay away from instant oats (loaded with sugar).


good info, i agree.


you're right!


Chronic high insulin levels may be correlated to numerous diseases, I agree. However, to have that occur you would need to indulge in way over excess (of such foods) for long periods of time. In the context of dieting down to get leaner, one's calories (the most important thing) should be in a negative balance anyway, meaning that a person shouldn't and couldn't be having a ton of glycemic loading foods (mostly carbs) in their diet to begin with. So keeping with in those parameters, the load difference between apples and oatmeal is VERY insignificant and should not even be fussed about. Also, insulin is often elevated throughout the day and does not stop the oxidation of fat in its tracks. Insulin works on a cell by cell basis and does not stop fat loss else where in the body.

I do agree that slower digesting foods will lead to more stable blood sugar and will help the torture that is dieting. However, when combining foods together like proteins and carbs and maybe even fats (o my) the glycemic index of said meal is greatly reduced (which would lead to more stable blood sugar.

I didn't intend to make a generalized blanket statement that was taken (IMO) to an extreme example. I was more specifically responding to an implication that starches and grains should be avoided while dieting. Thats not true, many people diet with starches as their main carb source (Stu and Myself, for example) just fine.


but...but.. I eat instant oats... :frowning:


Agree with everything elusive said.


does anyone find it weird that the original post was "today" and then stu and jimmy posted their response "yesterday"?

oatmeal is good. :slightly_smiling:


Oatmeal = good.

Eat it. =D


Great Post!


The T-Nation forums spazzes out all the time. I'm still trying to figure out why vBulletin was never implemented.

but yeah, go oatmeal!


calories in....calories out.


^ What he said. This forum is soooo 2003.

BTW, don't fear TEH CARBS~! or TEH INSULINZ~!


That's because we're so good we knew what the question was gonna be before it was posted!



Starches and grains have a higher GL in general compared to fruits, vegetables, and legumes. I heard some moron at my gym tell me to stay away from carrots, as they have alot of sugar in them. Dude, the way the glycemic index is measured, you would need to eat like 7-8 big carrots in one sitting, something I have yet to see someone do. All in all, if you are sticking with greens, some fruits, and beans, you probably don't have to worry about GL. Fiber and fructose help to offset things.