oatmeal with brown sugar

If I have a long day ahead of me, there’s only one option for breakfast – oatmeal. Oatmeal is quite simply the perfect breakfast for a long day.

With a big bowl of oatmeal, such as my cinnamon raisin oatmeal, I can go all day.

Here’s why it’s so great:

1) Oatmeal is natural and nearly unprocessed.

Oatmeal is healthy and natural for one basic reason – it’s made almost entirely of oats, which are very healthy grains. And even better, the oats are nearly unprocessed. That’s what really sets oatmeal apart from cereals that come out of a box.

(Those cereals are usually just white flour plus some added nutrients to make it appear healthy, when in actuality most nutrients were already stripped out of the ingredients during the processing.)

2) Oatmeal keeps you full.

Oatmeal keeps you full longer than most other foods. Since the oats are whole grain, there’s plenty of fiber, which helps you feel satiated. Oatmeal “sticks to your gut” as they say.

So if breakfast could end up being your only real meal of the day, choose oatmeal!

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3) You can get 1,000 high-energy calories in one bowl.

You can get 1,000 calories in one bowl (if the bowl is big enough.) If you need to fuel for, or refuel from, a huge ride, this is the ticket. And a lot the calories are from carbs, so you should get tons of energy and feel great on your next ride.

4) Oatmeal is packed with protein, fiber, and tons of good nutrients.

While there are lots of carbs, oatmeal also contains protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. Among others, one beneficial nutrient is that soluble fiber which may reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad one) without lowering HDL cholesterol (the good one.)

To learn about more nutrients packed in oatmeal, just see the oatmeal page at World’s Healthiest Foods.

5) Oatmeal makes a great conduit for fruit.

Besides oatmeal, fruit is also great for breakfast. And oatmeal just happens to taste great with fruit mixed in!

Flavor your oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, bananas, or peaches for a great breakfast where you also get potent antioxidants and nutrients from the fruit.

So what are you waiting for, go have some oatmeal!

Photo credit: nate steiner

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  1. I agree!

    The pic you have of oatmeal looks like it should when cooked properly. I think so many people are not fond of oatmeal because of what they usually get from instant, breakfast at summer camp or Boy Scouts, their family, or a dining establishment – a gluey, sticky mass of over-cooked starch.

    ‘Real’ oatmeal requires, for one good-sized serving, about 1.25 C of water at a boil to 1 C of old-fashioned (not ‘minute’ or instant!!!) oats. Dump the oats into boiling water, briefly return to a bare boil, cover, and turn off heat. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. It comes out nice and chewy, not like some wallpaper paste. If you add dried fruit (like raisins), add a bit more water perhaps, maybe up to 1.33 C water to 1 C oats. You can dump the raisins/dried food in while the water is coming to a boil.

    I usually put a dash or two of salt in the water, and stir in a pat of butter and a couple of Tbsp of pure maple syrup to the finished product.

    A lot of processed foods, wheat, and greases/fats upset my stomach, but oatmeal is like an old friend. It’s always good.

    If you use steel-cut (Irish/Scotch) oats, you may require a bit more water and perhaps little more covered heat time – depends on your taste.

    Oh, and oats, especially in bulk, are very cheap, and nutritious.

    PS – you can make your own long-lasting ‘instant’ oatmeal for travel or convenience by cooking as above (without fats) and then dehydrating. Eat as-is or rehydrate with hot water.

  2. @Matt

    Yeah, oatmeal gets a bad rap sometimes based on the “gluey mass” stereotype. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great article. Oatmeal is excellent in the morning…give you slower acting carbohydrates, fiber to help you feel full and maintain you sugar levels steady.

  4. Butter and Maple Syrup? Why not just pour some sugar on it or hot fudge? Well, I guess if you do not care about your health or athletic performance. Here is another small piece of advice that few people know; you do not have to cook oats, they can be eaten or blended raw! If you do decide o cook them, instead of using water, try coffee or tea, you’ll be adding caffeine and some flavor.

  5. oh!
    this why i am on this breakfast for the last 274 days.

  6. Oatmeal is truly one of the kings of nutrition, and you’ve given many of the main reasons why. One thing people should keep in mind though is that they want to consume oatmeal that is sugar-free. I know many of my clients believe that eating a serving of oatmeal prepackaged with maple and sugar is a great way to start off their day. Unfortunately, that is not the type of oatmeal we’re talking about. That being said, you can easily sweeten up that plain oatmeal with fresh fruit, as you’ve mentioned. This combination is a powerful tool in health and as an added bonuse, weight loss.

  7. To get the full benefit of the nutrition in fruits and vegetables, it is recommended to eat them uncooked when possible.
    The vegetables that are difficult to eat raw should be steamed until al dente, or used in a vegetable soup.
    Never, ever use the microwave to cook or reheat as it destroys a lot of nutrition in foods.

  8. I eat oatmeal for most breakfasts. I do not add sugar or fruit. I add cinnamon and a little maple syrup. I cannot combine fruit with a carb product; so cinnamon and maple syrup were recommended by a dietician!! Plus that way of eating oatmeal is for a person who wants to get rid of some extra pounds, a Fibromyalgia person, and someone who needs to be on a food combination diet.

  9. I’m a grab & go breakfast person,love oatmeal, & also lifetime member of Weight Watchers.Here’s a WW recipe for BAKED OATMEAL.Makes 6 servings so I use jumbo 6 serving muffin pans instead of using a baking dish. I grab one,pop it in the microwave,
    get my coffee & I’m good to go.Can also make a big batch,put them in freezer & thaw in fridge the night before.
    6 servings – 4 points each
    2 cup uncooked oatmeal (instant,not steel cut)
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup fat-free skim milk
    1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 eggs or 3 egg whites)
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or 2 mashed bananas,pumpkin,sweet potato or fruit
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 Tbs ground cinnamon or other spices

    Combine wet ingredients and add dry ingredients. Bake in sprayed 11×7 ( or jumbo 6 muffin pan) at 350 for 30-40 min. You can add raisins, nuts, or crushed pineapple instead of applesauce or bananas. Also good served warm with sugar free syrup

  10. Microwave 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries until warm and stir in uncooked rolled organic oats (thicker than regular, and not instant). All the liquid you need is from the blueberries, no need to add water or reheat. You can stir in 1-2T of whey protein powder, too, and then top with stevia, agave or maple syrup to taste. A bit of lemon is nice, too. Add more blueberries for a dish more like blueberry cobbler, more oats for a granola texture. Works great with other berries, too.

  11. This looks delicious. Great to use for carb loading also.

  12. I am in love with the McDonald oatmeal the only issue is that it has plenty of sodium and sugar so i eat it once in a blue moon

  13. Why would you want 1000 calories in one bowl? That’s well over half a normal person’s calorie intake for an entire day. There is lower calorie oatmeal that’s still good…

  14. @Karen P

    Pro cyclists aren’t normal people. 1000 calories in a bowl of oatmeal isn’t a big deal for someone burning an extra 4000 calories per day from training!

  15. All oatmeal cereals (rolled, quick, steel cut) are precooked before they are packaged for sale. I don’t understand the obsession with having to cook it for long periods.

    My fav SCO only need to soak in water overnight and then simmered a couple of minutes before eating. Adding a little Cream of Wheat and wheat germ increases the nutritional value. Soaking saves fuel costs.

  16. I LOVE BURGER KING!!!!!!

  17. @DaQuan Hanks

    I’ve heard that BK’s Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal is nothing more than a packet of instant oatmeal that they mix with hot water and give you… for the same price as you could buy an entire box for at the grocery store!

    Plus it’s only 170 calories!

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