Oatmeal is meal made from rolled or ground oats. Interest in oatmeal has increased considerably over the last 20 years because of its health benefits.
Research found that the cereal's soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels. When these findings were published in the 1980s, an "oat bran craze" spread across the U.S. and Western Europe.
In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed that foods with high levels of rolled oats or oat bran could include data on their labels about their cardiovascular heart benefits if accompanied with a low-fat diet. This was followed by another surge in oatmeal popularity.
Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber, which slow digestion down and stabilize levels of blood-glucose. Oatmeal is rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Coarse or steel-cut oats contain more fiber than instant varieties.
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