When you add the right toppings to the mix, rolled oats make for an equally delicious and healthy breakfast. One of the best things about a bowl of oats is that it serves as a blank canvas – it’s probably one of the most versatile meals, as you can add just about anything your heart desires. . However, while that leaves plenty of room for healthy toppings that can help you on your weight loss journey, it also leaves room for tons of unhealthy toppings that might please your taste buds but seriously harm your body. . For this reason, it is important to be aware of the risks involved when it comes to certain ingredients. In fact, health experts agree that there are a few you should skip altogether if you care about your health.
To learn more, we spoke to experts Rachel MacPherson, Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach at Garage Gym Reviews and Registered Dietitian Trista Best of Balance One Supplements. They told us that refined sugar and other sugary ingredients like chocolate and dried fruit are some of the worst options out there.
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1. Refined sugar
It should come as no surprise to learn that the worst thing you can add to your oatmeal or oatmeal overnight is old white sugar. While this ingredient can undeniably make your breakfast taste better, the health risks just aren’t worth it, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. “The worst ingredient to add to oats overnight if your goal is to lose weight is sugar,” confirms Macpherson, explaining that this sweet ingredient “contains no nutrients.” And whether you’re trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy diet, supplying your body with enough nutrients is key. As she says, “nutrient density is vital for sustained weight loss and healthy weight balance.”
But it’s not just the lack of nutrients that makes sugar a terrible ingredient; Eating too much of it can also lead to problems like inflammation, poor gut health, weight gain, and disease over time. Plus, in the shorter term, eating sugar (unsurprisingly) raises your blood sugar and makes you crave more sweets later in the day. This means that starting your day with a sugary breakfast will likely lead to overeating. For all these reasons and more, it’s best to avoid sugar in your oatmeal.
2. High-sugar toppings like chocolate, syrup, and dried fruit
While it might seem obvious that you should avoid adding sugar by the spoonful to your bowl of oats, there are plenty of sneaky high-sugar supplements you might not think twice about. As Best points out, “Some of the worst ingredients mistakenly added to healthy oatmeal recipes overnight include chocolate sauce, sugar, syrup, and dried fruit.”
Wait, are dried fruits bad? Unfortunately yes. While it’s certainly not the worst thing you can add to the mix, it’s important to know that this ingredient contains a lot more sugar than you might think. Best says it’s “one of those foods that’s going healthy and unhealthy, depending on how much you eat.” Compared to its fresh counterparts, “this type of fruit is very concentrated in calories and sugar and it is easy to eat much more than one serving”. Overall, it’s probably best to leave dried fruit out of your oats altogether and opt for fresh fruits like fiber-rich berries instead.
Other healthy, filling, low-sugar options you can add to your breakfast without putting your health at risk include seeds, nuts, and nut butters. All of these options will provide a good amount of nutrients and keep you full longer without packing on the sugar. All in all, when it comes to oatmeal, the possibilities for healthy ingredients are virtually endless. Remember to pay attention to the amount of sugar you add.
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