Fill up on oatmeal in the morning to keep from filling out, suggests recent research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
For the study, 48 participants were asked to eat one of two breakfast options: prepared oatmeal or ready-to-eat cereal. Oatmeal-eaters not only felt fuller longer than their cereal-eating counterparts, but they also had less of a desire to eat after the meal—something researchers chalk up to oatmeal's high fiber levels. With less of a desire to eat, oatmeal could very well be a new tool for weight loss.
Fiber isn't this breakfast's only benefit. "Oatmeal is one of the most filling and healthiest breakfast for so many reasons," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH, author of the forthcoming book The One One One Diet. "It can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, and contains B vitamins. This is a family of eight water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in our metabolism."
Batayneh suggests a balanced morning bowl—one cup cooked steel cut oats are preferable, with one added fat and protein each—though instant is okay if that better fits your lifestyle, she says.
An example of added fat would be nut butter or pumpkin and sunflower seeds, with protein including milk and whey powder. "Think about using freebies to flavor it like cinnamon," says Batayneh. "Studies show that cinnamon has a positive impact on your blood pressure."