Food for Thought: Oatmeal

In America, oatmeal is eaten more in January than any other month in the year. This trend is growing every year, not only in America but globally. In fact, the global oatmeal market is due to reach 2.5 Billion US dollars of value by 2022 (just four years from now).

Naturally gluten free (although processing could result is cross contamination so always look at the label), oatmeal is associated with all kinds of health benefits from helping with diabetes, to heart disease, to an improved immune system.

Nutritional Value:

Oats (100 g) contains energy (380 calories), protein (13 g), fat (6.5 g), carbohydrate (67 g), dietary fiber (10 g) and low content of sugar (1 g). There are many minerals and vitamins found in oats. Some of these include calcium (52 mg), iron (4 mg), magnesium (138 mg), phosphorous (410 mg), potassium (362 mg), sodium (6 mg), zinc (3 mg), thiamin (0.4 mg), riboflavin (0.1 mg), niacin (1.1 mg), vitamin B6 (0.1 mg), folate (32 mcg), vitamin E (0.42 mg) and vitamin K (2 µg). Also, oats contain zero cholesterol.

First introduced into the human diet all the way back in the Bronze Age (around 3000 BC), oatmeal comes from hulled oat grains or “groats” that have been milled, ground, steel cut or rolled. Rolled is the most popular in America and steel-cut or ground is the most popular in Scotland.

The most popular way to eat oatmeal in Scotland is to soak the oats in salt water over night and then slowly warming them over heat till they thicken. This method has recently been making an appearance in America. Adding sugar, syrup and dried fruits to oatmeal is a popular thing to do in America.

With global oatmeal consumption increasing, is it time to add oats to your diet? Try them in cookies, stuffing or just as a breakfast cereal.

John Steiding / Director of Training

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