What is Oat Bran?
Oat bran consists just of the outer husk of the whole oat groat… aka oatmeal. It has many of the same benefits as oatmeal and even boasts a few more than this well-known cereal grain! Over the past few decades, oatmeal has had a high rise to stardom in the nutrition world. It’s been touted as one of the best fiber packed breakfasts you can get. Many oatmeal brands even get the “heart-healthy” stamp of approval from the American Heart Association. I am not saying that oatmeal can’t be a healthy way to start off the day, but it doesn’t get such a clear pass in my book.
The Problem With Oatmeal.
Yes, oatmeal is a whole-grain. Yes, whole-grains can be beneficial in our diet, however, not all whole grains are created equal. Most products that tout the “whole-grain” label contain only a small amount of actual whole grains and instead include refined flour—a pulverized version of what may, at some point, have been a whole grain. This goes for bread, crackers, instant oatmeal, granola bars, and other grain-based snacks.
However, the issue here isn’t about whole grains vs. non-whole grains. In fact, oat bran is not technically a whole grain but thanks to its exceptionally high fiber content, its often considered one. The problem lies in how these two breakfasts are prepared and some unique differences in their nutritional content.
When Breakfast Becomes Dessert.
It can be very easy to take a nourishing breakfast and unknowingly turn it into a sugar bomb. Oatmeal and smoothies are two of the easiest examples I see people making this mistake with.
When I hear someone is starting off their day with 1-1.5 cup oatmeal topped with 1 cup fruit and some honey (and sometimes a piece of toast) I am not surprised to hear that they are ready for a snack, or nap, by 10 am. Yes, oatmeal has fiber in it but the amount of carbohydrates consumed all at once in that meal are not going to set you up for success.
Instead, let’s work on balancing out that meal to achieve energy that lasts well into lunchtime. A great place to start is to replace half the amount of oatmeal with oat bran, or, as in the recipe below… trade it out completely and add balancing fats and proteins to achieve a better macronutrient balance.
Oat Bran’s Superior Benefits.
Oat bran boasts 50 percent more dietary fiber per serving than whole rolled oats. Oat bran bulks up in the digestive system to promote satiety and steadies blood sugar to prevent that mid-morning dip in energy and keeps you full longer. It also delays the movement of food through the digestive system to give the body more time to absorb nutrients. After all, it’s not just about what we eat, but what our body can absorb and utilize.
This fiber is especially beneficial because it consists mostly of a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a specific type of fiber called a prebiotic. Prebiotic fibers act as fuel for beneficial bacteria in the gut (probiotics) as well as promote inflammation-squashing compounds called short-chained fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFA’s prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast and calm inflammation in the gut. They even have a beneficial effect on the immune system!
Oat bran also cooks up quicker than rolled oats. In fact, today’s recipe takes a total of five minutes to prepare! Talk about getting more bang for your buck.
Other Prebiotic Rich Foods.
It is best to get a variety of prebiotic foods in the diet to nourish healthy gut bacteria. My favorite top sources include…
- Green banana flour
- Plantain Pancakes
- Potatoes, rice, and lentils that have been cooked and then cooled for a few hours and consumed cold!
A five-minute warm and satisfying breakfast that provides you with more beneficial fiber than oatmeal!
- Heat oat bran, coconut milk, water and salt on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Let stand for 2 minutes.
- Add ghee or coconut oil, collagen, and cinnamon.
- Top with optional fresh fruit or other toppings and enjoy!
Optional Toppings (not included in nutritionals): ¼ cup pineapple, papaya, berries or pomegranate seeds
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: Breakfast, warm porridge, oat bran