January is National Oatmeal Month


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January is National Oatmeal Month.

Virtually every calendar day is dedicated to honoring something. Jan. 4 is National Spaghetti and National Trivia Day. Jan. 6 is National Bean Day.

According to the Whole Grain Council website, oatmeal is so impressive a whole month is dedicated to this wonderful whole grain. Also according to the council, more oats are bought and consumed during the month of January than any other month. A steaming bowl of oatmeal, not exactly a craving factor, referred to as mush by the Little Rascals, a staple truly unexciting. However-

Back in an 18th century dictionary, oats were defined as a grain which in England was feed to horses, but in Scotland was enjoyed by people. Scotsman Samuel Johnson commented, ”That’s why England has such good horses and Scotland has such fine men.”

Oats are a super grain, they never have their germ and bran removed in processing, so there is a permanent guarantee in always getting the whole grain benefit. In the US, oats are steamed and flattened and rolled producing old fashioned, quick and instant oats. Increasingly popular are also steel-cut oats that contain the entire oat kernel.

Through documented studies, we are just learning about the numerous health benefits of oats. Eating oats- oatmeal can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol), can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and can assist in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Overall, eating oats and oat products encourages anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch capacities and let’s not forget the addition of fiber which achieves the feeling of fullness which can help control weight. Oatmeal is also used in skin care protecting products.

In 1877, the first oatmeal company sprang up in America. It was of course, the Quaker Oats Company. Their ever-increasing variety of products are stocked on every store shelf. Even their TV commercials refer to the company and its products as the “Helper of Hearts.”

Simple oats and oatmeal are an amazing food and can assist in healthy eating in the New Year. New recipes using oats and oatmeal are available on wholegrainscouncil.org and goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition.



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