Tina Ruggiero | Nutrition Expert, Cookbook Author and Spokesperson
Feb 5, 2007 by Tina Ruggiero
Feb 5, 2007 at 8:03 pm
Michael Pollan doesn’ t exactly say don’t visit grocery stores, though he suggests getting out of supermarkets whenever possible and instead visiting farmers’ markets, something North Dakotans can easily do. Granted, they cannot go in winter — but then, neither can I, and I’m in Ohio. I agree; let’s not villify foods — at least not the foods my great-great grandmother would recognize. Anything else is fair game.
Feb 8, 2007 at 1:04 pm
But, But – re: oatmeal. All oatmeal is not created equal. I have read many times and places that to get the benefits of eating oatmeal, it has to be minimally processed, not instant. I have also read that the tradition was to soak oatmeal overnight in water to cover with a tablestpoon (or two) of either lemon juice, yogurt or whey – that this makes all the goodies in oatmeal more digestible and shortens cooking time. (I have tried this and the oatmeal is pretty yummy with butter and maple syrup! I say. Thank you, Michael Pollan. (and bigger thank you, Mary Enig PhD)
Feb 12, 2007 at 10:29 am
Suki, youre correct. Not all oatmeal is created equal, but theres nothing wrong with instant oatmeal. The heart-healthy oats found in regular oatmeal are the same as in the instant variety, but instant oats are cut more finely, so they cook faster.
Flavored oatmeal tends to have more sugar, so if youre looking for taste, I suggest adding fresh blueberries (which have the added benefits of antioxidants) or sliced bananas (which pack potassium) to your hot cereal.
Bottom line: unadorned, whole-grain, hot cereals are among the healthiest foods you can enjoy. They’re rich in fiber and, as research shows, eating 3g of soluble fiber daily from oatmeal as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Oats do this by lowering total cholesterol and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, keeping your arteries clean.
As for making oatmeal more digestible, our bodies are capable of doing this on their own, without help from yogurt or lemon, though I like to top-off my oats with Vermont maple syrup, too.