Many of us grew up eating oatmeal, also known as porridge, for breakfast. Especially those of us from cold-climate places, we know how warm and inviting a bowl of hot oats can be on a cold winter morning. We’ve also been taught that oatmeal is a healthy breakfast, particularly for those with heart problems. Recently, however, a cardiologist named Dr. Jack Wolfson, who is known as the “Natural Heart Doctor” on social media, put out a video on TikTok where he advised against eating oatmeal. This statement is quite controversial and has sparked a lot of debate in the health community.
Is Oatmeal A Healthy Breakfast?
This video has struck up quite a big debate as to what constitutes a healthy breakfast. Moreover, people are debating as to whether or not oatmeal should be included in that. Dr. Wolfson’s primary argument against oatmeal is that our ancestors never ate it. He also said that oatmeal has no nutritional value and said people should be eating eggs, not oats, for their morning meal. (1)
However, other experts have stated that this claim is incorrect. They remind people that oats have been cultivated since ancient times, and oatmeal has been consumed for centuries as a staple food in many cultures.
A Nutritious Option
Furthermore, oatmeal provides numerous health benefits. One cup of oatmeal contains approximately 5 grams of fiber, which helps promote digestive health and makes you feel full. It also contains some protein, iron, and numerous vitamins and minerals. Eating oatmeal regularly has shown that it may lower your risk of heart disease stroke, and improve cholesterol levels. Including nutritious additions such as fruits, nuts, and seeds can pack an even more powerful nutrition punch. (2)
Dr. Woldson’s Claims Challenged
Dr. Wolfson’s claims have been challenged by other health experts. Abbey Sharp, a dietitian and content creator, responded on TikTok to a video that Dr. Wolfson posted last year on the same topic rejecting his claims. She says that his videos have no base and, frankly, aren’t true.
“Oats are actually rich in a unique antioxidant (avenanthramide) that may actually reduce blood pressure and is a prime source of the fiber beta glucan, which has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels, slow the insulin response, and support feelings of fullness,” she challenged back in her video. “So not only are oats clearly not bad for heart health, they’ve actually been proven…to be quite good.”
She went on to suggest what a healthy, well-rounded breakfast could look like. In this, she included options that Dr. Wolfson suggested along with oatmeal.
“Here’s a crazy idea: why not have eggs, coffee, and oats for breakfast? That right there would be a balanced heart-healthy meal,” she suggested.
Things To Consider
While Dr. Wolfson’s claim that you should avoid oatmeal is not completely accurate, there are a few things you should consider before adding it to your diet. (3)
- Oatmeal is an excellent fiber source, promoting digestive health and making you feel full.
- It may lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
- Oatmeal is a low-glycemic index food that helps regulate blood sugar levels and may reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
- Pre-packaged, instant oatmeal is often highly processed and can contain high amounts of added sugar. This may be a concern if you want to manage your weight or blood sugar.
- While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may not be processed in a gluten-free facility. For those with Celiac disease, it is important to only buy oats that are processed in certified gluten-free facilities.
- Oatmeal is a high-carb food, and people on low-carb diets may need to limit their consumption.
Oatmeal can be a healthy addition to your diet, and like any food, it should be consumed in moderation. You should do your best to choose the least processed options available. Always consult with your healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet.
Keep Reading: 24 Of The Most Weight Loss Friendly Foods on The Planet
- “Cardiologist reveals why oatmeal should NOT be your go-to breakfast.” Daily Mail. Emily Joshu. September 17, 2023.
- “Surprising Side Effects Oatmeal Has On Your Heart, Says Science.” Eat This. Kiersten Hickman. April 22, 2021.
- “Take a fresh look at oatmeal – it’s not as simple as you think.” Heart. Michael Merschel. September 1, 2022.