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Jun 10, 2014 03:55 PM EDT

Oatmeal Can Help You Feel Full Longer

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Instant oatmeal can help you feel full longer than equal calories of ready-to-eat oat cereal, according to a recent study.

Researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University found that eating a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast is more satiating and helps to manage hunger better than the same amount of calories from a leading oat-based, cold cereal, even when consumed in smaller portions than previously found.

"This study demonstrates that the unique characteristics of oatmeal have a significant impact on fullness and desire to eat - even when matched for calories and ingredients [oats] with another breakfast option," researcher Frank Greenway said in a statement.

For the study, researchers tested three different oat-based, 217.5-calorie breakfasts. The statistically significant results show that instant oatmeal enhanced satiety, feelings of fullness and reduced the desire to eat more than a RTE, oat-based cereal.

Forty-three healthy men and women completed the randomized, controlled crossover investigation. Following an overnight fast, subjects completed three breakfast trials in random order at least a week apart. Each breakfast consisted of 150 calories of instant oatmeal, old-fashioned oatmeal or a RTE cereal, plus 67.5 calories of lactose-free skim milk. After eating breakfast, subjects' hunger and satiety measures were assessed at 30, 60, 120, 180 and 240 minutes.

Researchers found that subjects who ate instant oatmeal reported less hunger compared to the RTE cereal. Oatmeal also provided increased fullness and a reduced desire to eat more. Researchers state that the viscosity of oatmeal was higher than the RTE cereal - which could explain the differences in hunger and appetite control.

"We found instant oatmeal to be more effective at suppressing appetite compared to the cold cereal, even with a smaller serving size and less calories than previously investigated," Greenway said.

The findings were recently published in the Nutrition Journal.

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