I have two new best friends since I re-started my Weight Loss Journey in December 2011: Oat and Popcorn.
Oat: I never really like oatmeal before but I would at least eat oat cookies. Now that I am trying to have a balanced and healthy life, I included it in my nutrition plan. I am getting to like it. It’s ideal for breakfast and one of the best weight loss friends you can have. Why?
This is what www.dentalplans.com says about it:
“Oatmeal’s Magical Benefits include:
It Lowers cholesterol: Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which binds to bile (bile helps us to absorb fat and cholesterol from our diet). Less bile, less fat and cholesterol absorbed! Then the liver makes bile from our stored cholesterol to compensate for the lowered absorbed amount, lowering our cholesterol levels further. Lower levels of total cholesterol are associated with lower rates of heart disease. Of course if we eat too much fat, let’s say on one of those high protein diets, eating our magical food won’t make magic.
Cancer Fighting Properties: Grains contain a phytochemical called “phytic acid”. This phyto binds to certain minerals thought to cause free radical production especially in our colon and it eliminates them instead.
Weight Control: Low in fat, and a “stick to your ribs food”, oatmeal, a complex carbohydrate has a low glycemic index.This means it is turned into a simple sugar very slowly. What does this do? It raises our blood sugar slowly by staying in the stomach longer, which decreases our hunger and cravings created by those other simple carbohydrate foods (we all know which foods I’m referring to). End result: more sustained energy, and less junk food cravings. Don’t forget that our brain gets fed from this complex carb food too! Oatmeal is also a great carbohydrate for diabetics.
Nutrient Density: The nutrients in fortified oatmeal include all the B vitamins including the heart healthy Folate which lowers homocysteine levels (another heart disease risk factor), and it also includes iron, calcium, Vitamin A, protein and more. All this plus fiber, virtually no fat, low sodium and no cholesterol. At about 140 calories per cup, I consider this an all around good deal. Eat oat bran oatmeal and we’ve got even more fiber.
Oatmeal the magical healthy food can also be a versatile food (yes, I said versatile). We can add lots of different toppings such as fruit, dried fruit, applesauce, yogurt, maple syrup and we can even top it with other cereals such as low fat granola. How about we make our own low fat granola using oats! Toast uncooked oats in an oven, add some bran cereal, chopped nuts, dried fruits and voila, we’ve made our own. We can even make our own muesli cereal, oatmeal pancakes (look for this recipe on my site soon), and then there are muffin and cookie recipes available everywhere.
From my personal experience: It boosts my energy, it is great carbohydrate and it is high in fiber. I feel good after eating oatmeal for breakfast and when I eat it, I have no need to snack during the day. Instead of having my regular three meals and two snacks, oatmeal helps me to have three meals and one snack. Less food, more health, less calories. High Five for Oat.
Popcorn: Popcorn has never been one of my favorite snacks because I always found it to be salty and greasy and I hated this particular taste (In my country, they use air popcorns more often and add a lot of salt to it). As I got back to my weight loss journey, I read some articles praising its snacking benefits and listed it as one of my snacks. I didn’t regret it. I use Act II 94% Fat free Butter microwave popcorn. Just 15 calories for one cup popped, no trans fat, just 1% of sodium, 3% of dietary fiber. I like it because it is high in fiber and low in calories.
“Popcorn is a great snack because you get a lot of volume and fiber (which makes you feel full), and it’s a whole grain, so it’s healthier than a snack like pretzels,” says Gidus. What’s more, the low-fat microwave kind is easy to prepare and low in calories. These days you can buy single-serve popcorn, which means you can eat a whole bag without feeling guilty!
Recommended serving size: 1 single-serve package, low-fat microwave popcorn
Thumbs up to Oat and Popcorn!