While there are days throughout the year that recognize oatmeal muffins, oatmeal cookies and even granola bars, January is Oat Month! That’s right – a whole 31 days dedicated to our favorite grain.
We think the Whole Grains Council picked the perfect month to celebrate oats. After all, January is the month of resolutions and the #1 resolution in the US last year was, you guessed it, to get healthy.
And what better way to take care of your health than to incorporate delicious, whole grain oats into your diet!
Heart health – Oats were the first grain recognized by the FDA as a preventative measure for coronary heart disease. Research suggests consuming just three grams of soluble oat fiber per day (one serving of oats provides four grams) can lower your total cholesterol by 8- 23 percent. This is pretty significant, considering there is a 2 percent decrease in the risk of developing heart disease for every 1percent drop in serum cholesterol.
Diabetes – In addition to being great for the heart, eating oats is an effective way to help prevent or manage diabetes. With their low GI and high fiber content, oats can help regulate blood sugar and have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the number of insulin injections needed.
Weight management – Oats can also help with weight management, something that many of us are thinking about this time of year. Starting your day with a satisfying bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will fill you up and keep you from reaching for leftover holiday baking on your coffee break. As well, studies have shown that there is a link between the beta-glucan found in oats and the hormone associated with appetite control. Even when willpower is wavering, oats have got your back!
In the spirit of Oat Month, we also wanted to share some fun trivia with you. Take our little quiz and see how well you know your oats! Answers are at the end. (No peeking!)
1. How many rolled oats are in an 18 oz package?
2. What percentage of oats grown worldwide are consumed by humans?
3. Oats were first eaten in porridge form in which country?
4. In Scotland, the traditional utensil used for stirring oatmeal is called:
a) a spatula
b) a spoon
c) a sporran
d) a spurtle
- There are approximately 26,000 rolled oats in an 18 oz package.
- Only 5 percent of the oats grown worldwide are consumed by humans. The other 95 percent is used primarily for animal feed and forage, pharmaceuticals and beauty products.
- It is believed that the Greeks were the first to cook oats as a porridge.
- A spurtle is the traditional, dowel-shaped kitchen tool used for stirring oatmeal