Now there is Lent, and oatmeal is one of the most popular dishes.
Many instead of the good old Hercules are increasingly choosing instant oatmeal. Cooking it in the morning when you are in a hurry is much more convenient and faster. But can this replacement be considered equivalent in value?
IT IS IMPORTANT
Classic oat-flakes are made according to GOST 3034-75 “Oatmeal. Technical conditions. Such oat-flakes represent the integral flattened flakes which prepare about 20 minutes. And Hercules, to the title of which any epithets like “traditional”, “in Russian”, etc., are added, are not classic hercules, they are made according to TU.
Porridge differs significantly from other cereals. The fact is that all the shells are removed from the grains of rice, millet, buckwheat and wheat, and then they are polished and often crushed. Together with the shells go healthy fiber. As a result of additional polishing, the mass of other useful biologically active substances that are contained in the seed germ is lost.
The endosperm or its fragments remain de facto from the grain – this is the name given to most of the grain, which contains almost one starch. As a result, in such processed porridges, devoid of shell and germ, there is a lot of starch and very few any useful substances.
Because of the peculiarities of modern nutrition, we already consume starch a lot more than necessary, and this is not useful. After all, the end product of starch digestion is sugar. Their excess, firstly, seriously complicates the work of the pancreas, contributing to the development of diabetes, and secondly, the sugars turn into fat and are deposited under the skin. Because of this, modern nutritionists advise seriously limit the consumption of starchy foods, which include our favorite cereals and potatoes. But oatmeal is an exception.
Why is oatmeal an exception? Looking closely at the classic flakes of Hercules, you will see that they are not as smooth as other cereals. They are unpolished. These are flattened whole grains of oats, from which only the coarse outer husk was removed, and a significant part of the shell of the grain itself and the germ remained. Due to this, oatmeal contains many useful substances, and the proportion of starch is less than in other cereals. Please note that all this we are talking about classic hercules (see "This is important").
Modern fast oatmeal also contains all this, but differs from the traditional Hercules by pretreatment. For quick-cooking cereals, oat grains are crushed and flattened more strongly to make them even thinner, so they cook faster. But in instant porridges not only grain particles are thinner.
The main thing is that they are kind of pre-cooked – they are more deeply processed by steam. As a result, they are more porous and therefore it is even easier to absorb hot water and become ready almost immediately.
WHAT TRUTH, BROTHER?
The main beneficial components of oatmeal are not vitamins, minerals and fiber (although they are extremely important). The exclusive and very useful component of oatmeal is the so-called beta glucan. This is a special type of dietary fiber, they are called soluble. If fiber (this is the most common dietary fiber) does not dissolve, then betaglucans absorb water and turn into a viscous mucus-like mass. Its main advantage is the ability to bind cholesterol in the digestive tract. As a result, it is less absorbed by the body. These beneficial properties of soluble fibers have been proven in scientific studies conducted to the most stringent standards.
After such a scientific study, oatmeal in North America was officially allowed to give the following "health formula" on packages with it:
"The soluble dietary fiber contained in the oatmeal can reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease if they are used as part of a diet containing low saturated fat and cholesterol."
Similar inscriptions are sometimes found on packages and in our country. But honestly, they are usually not as correct, the reference to the need to follow a diet with restriction of unhealthy fats and cholesterol in them was not met.
On the basis of our inscriptions, it can be assumed that for health you just need to eat more oatmeal and it will connect and remove all harmfulness from the body. It is not, there is a lot of oatmeal not worth it. The fact is that there is less starch in it than in other porridges, but it is still a lot of it, and therefore on oatmeal, like on any other porridge, you can easily become fat.
Sometimes on packages of oatmeal, we indicate that it not only reduces cholesterol, but also does a lot more: it prevents the development of type II diabetes, boosts immunity and normalizes digestion. Scientists are conducting research in these areas, but if everything is proven with cholesterol, then there is no final clarity on other medical issues.
Naturally, do not confuse oatmeal with medicine. It is useful, but only in moderate doses (see “Our Help”) and as part of a proper balanced diet.
Photo: FOTODOM / REX