Did you know: oats are nutritious, versatile, and low FODMAP. I love oatmeal and eat it most days for breakfast. I never get bored of oatmeal because I make so many different flavours! I want to share with you the benefits of eating oats, how to create a balanced breakfast with oatmeal, and five healthy oatmeal flavours.
Oats are a whole grain and a source of fibre, which is great for everyone, but especially important for people with digestive health troubles. In the grocery store you will find many different types of oats (such as instant, rolled, and steel cut). All oats contain fibre, but the ones that take longer to cook (aka steel cut) will keep you feeling full for longer. I love steel cut oatmeal, but to be honest, I most often make quick rolled oats in the microwave to save time in the mornings. Quick oats are still very nutritious and filling! (Note: 1/4 cup of steel cut oats makes approximately the same amount of oatmeal as 1/2 cup of rolled oats).
A person with celiac disease needs to buy certified gluten-free oats to avoid cross contamination (learn more about eating oats with Celiac disease here).
If you are on the low FODMAP diet but do not have celiac disease, you don’t need to spend the extra money on certified gluten-free oats. Regular oats will do! The safe serving size of oats is a bit confusing, since the Monash App has many different types of oats listed. Most oats are listed as low at 1/2 cup, but quick oats are listed as low at 1/4 cup. Large servings of oats do contain high amounts of fructans.
If it is your first time eating oats, I would recommend starting with 1/4 cup rolled oats (or 1/8 cup steel cut oats) to test your tolerance. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can try eating up to 1/2 cup in a serving. As long as you stick to ½ cup oats (measured when dry) or less, you should be fine! Oat bran is also low FODMAP at a 2 Tablespoon (1/8 cup) serving.
Oatmeal is nutritious, but isn’t a balanced breakfast on its own. To add nutrients and help you feel full until lunch, try to include a source of protein (such as lactose-free yogurt, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butter) AND a serving of fruit (1/2 cup).
I prefer to buy plain lactose-free yogurt so I can choose how much fruit and sugar to add in. Flavoured yogurts often have a lot of added sugar (not a FODMAP issue, but still important to consider for good health). If you purchase vegan coconut yogurt, read the ingredients carefully and stick to 1/2 cup max per serving. Make sure to read the ingredients lists of all nut and seed butters, and choose options that are 100% nuts/seeds. You can find small bags of chopped or sliced nuts in the baking isle (including almonds, walnuts and pecans). The fruit can be fresh OR frozen!
There are endless yummy combinations of balanced oatmeal bowls you can make! If you wish, you can sweeten it a bit with a teaspoon (5mL) of brown sugar or maple syrup. You may not need the sugar, since fruit adds plenty of sweetness. You can also try adding a splash of a lactose-free milk to cool the oats off a bit.
Here are five of my favourite healthy oatmeal flavours that are delicious and balanced!
Chocolate Raspberry Almond
Peanut Butter Banana
Strawberries and Cream
Are you looking for support with managing digestive symptoms and/or the low FODMAP diet? My nutrition counselling and coaching services are available across Canada (via video messaging or phone). I am a registered dietitian with a Master’s of Public Health in Nutrition who specializes in digestion and practical healthy eating tips. Learn more about my services by clicking here.
If you have any questions let me know in the comments below! What is your favourite way to eat oatmeal?