Grow Your Diet: Week 3

What did you have for breakfast this morning? A bowl of Reese's Puffs, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Two of my faves. And don't forget Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops! Or maybe you had a granola bar, or a piece of fruit. Maybe the only thing you had was a cup of coffee. Breakfast, as we have been told is an important meal. It is breaking the fast from the night's sleep and getting us started for the day. When my hubby and I are home and don't have to rush to work in the morning we like to cook Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. Oats are a healthy choice to begin a busy day.

oatmeal

When I eat oatmeal I add brown sugar, skim milk, walnuts and if I have them fresh blueberries. Oatmeal has a mild flavor, so adding things like cinnamon, apples and various nuts can make your breakfast a meal you look forward to. 

Oatmeal contains a substance called beta glucan, a soluble fiber. This fiber is what helps to lower our "bad" or LDL cholesterol levels. See WebMD's short article here. A few years ago I was diagnosed with borderline high cholesterol. My doctor suggested oatmeal along with diet, exercise and fish oil supplements to help bring it down. My husband and I started eating oatmeal about two to three times a week when we were able to fit it in. Six months later when I had my cholesterol rechecked it had gone from a 213 overall to a 204 overall and my HDL or "good" cholesterol had gone up and the "bad" or LDL had gone down. I'm sure oatmeal had something to do with the change along with the exercise and fish oil. If you have high cholesterol, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any sort of diet or exercise changes.

Oatmeal is also a versatile add in for many recipes. Add it to muffins for an extra heart healthy boost. Put some in with your meatloaf instead of bread or breadcrumbs. And of course oatmeal is absolutely delicious in cookies. Again, we can't just make cookies and eat them and think that we are eating healthy....wish we could! But we can make small adjustments in the things that we cook to make them healthier.

I hope you will think about adding oats to your diet. You will enjoy the change and your heart will love you for it.