Getting The Most From Your Oats!!

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    Getting The Most From Your Oats!!


    This is an article I wrote as the first post to my new cliche blog this evening. I figured you guys might appreciate it, as it's about a natural bodybuilder's best friend: Oatmeal. You may not agree with me when you read about my levels of fat consumption, or about supplements, but surely you can't ignore importance of certain foods such as oatmeal in our diets. Now, what if I told you dudes that there was a way to increase your oats nutritious content and digestive availability just by adding water? Well, read on!

    This morning I had oatmeal for breakfast, big deal right? Well, it wouldn’t be very remarkable had it not been for the way I prepare them. I soaked them overnight in a bowl with a plate over the top to function as a lid, then upon waking I popped them onto the stove for 5 minutes and there before me were the most nutritious oats one can ingest without harvesting them from their own organic farm, of course. Here’s how I did it:

    1 cup rolled oats (avoid the quick oats crap, it’s exactly that and isn’t good for you at all!)
    1 cup water (the purer the better, of course)
    2 tbsp yogurt (full-fat if you’ve got it)

    Let it sit at LEAST 7 hours. Overnight is better. In the morning, just stir in your favourite treats and cook it for 5 minutes on the stove. I put some raisins, cut up fresh apples, cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey in mine. When it’s all done, I like to throw in a pat of butter, or if it’s too hot, some whole milk or cream. If you like it sweet, use raw local honey or real maple syrup. Avoid sugar, corn syrup and other/artificial sweeteners like the plague!! Now, for the most important part, here’s WHY I did it:

    We all know that white flour is horrible for our health; and some of us know that any kind of flour, even so-called ‘whole wheat’, is garbage if it’s ‘enriched’. But there are some people out there advocating the death of grains, claiming that they can’t be digested by human’s anyways and aren’t a part of our ‘Natural Diet’, whatever that is. The fact of the matter is, plenty of historically healthy peoples around the globe have traditionally included whole grains in their diet since the invention of agriculture thousands of years ago. So what’s their secret? Well, one of them is proper preparation. There are a few ways to do this, and my prefered and easiest method for making things such as porridge is to soak them. It takes only a few minutes at night to set up, and all the work gets done while you sleep. You only have to cook it on the stove or nuke it for a few minutes! Talk about easy...

    Here’s a bit of text from the 'net.

    ” Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

    Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.”

    The reason for these and other anti-nutrients is simple: self-preservation on the part of the seed, that they may not sprout until conditions are just so. Seeds need a number of factors - namely moisture, warmth, and slight acidity - in order to begin to sprout. These are the conditions which you imitate by soaking your grains in the solution I’ve described above. In doing so, you rid your grains of their anti-nutrients and make them very available to your body for proper digestion and absorbtion. There’s even a bonus - the vitamin content, particularly B-vitamins, actually increases!

    Other animals soak their grains as well, as many of them have multiple stomachs and a longer digestive tract than humans.

    All of these issues arise in the process of making bread as well. Until then, look for breads that require ’soaking’ or fermentation in their baking process, such as sourdough rye. Make sure it is organic, and that it has the fewest ingredients possible. Wheat bread, for instance, is very simple being just whole wheat flour, salt and water. Avoid quick-rise breads, as they still contain the anti-nutrients you've just read about above.

    You may notice that I'm a fan of butter, cream and other whole-milk products. There are many reasons for this which I obviously can't get into now. Just stick with yer prefered dairy, the cleaner the better.

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    This post smells a little bit like Weston Price spam. I could be wrong. Still human, I am. [/yoda]
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan aragon
    This post smells a little bit like Weston Price spam. I could be wrong. Still human, I am. [/yoda]
    I changed that quote, which never contained any links anyways, to "from the internet". I figured a reference would make it more understandable. Happy now, Yoda?

    edit: I don't care what websites people go to when I post here, and I don't follow anyone's prescribed way of living. Life is highly individual and those that adhere to one person's philosophy like glue and never deviate tend to suffer the consequences. I just enjoy learning from others, applying it to my life, and helping when I can. In this case, I figure I can help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by distinct
    I changed that quote, which never contained any links anyways, to "from the internet". I figured a reference would make it more understandable. Happy now, Yoda?

    edit: I don't care what websites people go to when I post here, and I don't follow anyone's prescribed way of living. Life is highly individual and those that adhere to one person's philosophy like glue and never deviate tend to suffer the consequences. I just enjoy learning from others, applying it to my life, and helping when I can. In this case, I figure I can help.
    Not a biggie. I figured there was a remote chance that you were spamming since your post was oddly well-written, and it was only your 2nd post. Being a mod, I tend to heighten my sensors for these things, sometimes at the temporary expense of the innocent. It didn't help that you mentioned a semi-quacky-but-okay-for-the-most-part website .

    I'm kinda just ribbing you, dude. Judging from your response to mine, you don't seem to have an ulterior agenda. If I knew off the bat that you were a legit member, I wouldn't even care if you posted a link to your info source, it's done all the time..

    On to the content of the post, I personally am not sold on the bottom-line nutritional superiority/benefit of soaked oats versus non-soaked. As soon as those oats enter your mouth, the salivary amylase begins the hydrolytic process, which is then kicked up exponentially once that chewed bolus comes in contact with the gut's hydrochloric acid. At this point, whether they were soaked or not becomes a non-issue. Unless you can provide some comparison data on this issue, with the clinical endpoints assessed on healthy humans, it's tough to lend a serious ear. Also, I don't subscribe to the idea that quick oats are any less nutritious than old fashioned, or steel-cut for that matter. They are merely differing levels of physical "thinness" of the same grain product, not differing degrees of micronutrient density (I'm speaking in terms of micronutrition per calorie). The facts just ain't there to support such a claim.

    However, I do agree with you on beneficial place of full-fat dairy in the diet when used - like all things - in moderation.
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    I understand where you're coming from. As a long time admin of various websites throughout the years, I've learned to hate spam with a passion. I also agree that the website is semi-quacky, yet there is a wealth of valuable information on the internet. Reasonably intelligent people should be able to read between the lines and do their own research. One should not draw conclusions based soley off of on source, such as this article.

    On to your point: I am coming at the soaking of grans from a baker's perspective. One ferments starter for a sourdough loaf to produce yeast, which breaks down the starches into more easily digestible sugars. While this isn't quite the same as a simple overnight soaking of oats, the principle is similar. True, your body contains the right stuff to break it down properly; this just insures that it breaks it down totally. I am not one of those "tradition = better all the time" folks, nor am I one of those quacks that 'worships' our 'ancestors', that's a load of crap 90% of the time. I do however feel that there is a benefit in the age-old tradition of soaking/fermenting grains, if not just purely for flavor reasons alone. I shall endeavour to find some scientific data on this subject. You've gotten my mind turning full-speed now, and I am very curious as to whether any major studies have been done. If I am mistaken, then so be it. I am a humble man Thanks for the intellectual stimulants, so to speak!

    Here is an interesting start, though it appears to deal with barley in various forms of processing.

    Influence of the physical form of barley grain on the digestion of its starch in the human small intestine and implications for health -- Livesey et al. 61 (1): 75 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    edit: and here are two more interesting reads. the last one deals with extrusion-cooking, which is a method of processing oats for the making of various cereal products. I do not know if this effects the quality of the finished product, and will also look into it as well. Keep in mind, I have only read the abstracts and haven't delved into the pulp of the matter. Together, we should be able to come to a fairly solid conclusion on this subject

    Digestion of the polysaccharides of some cereal foods in the human small intestine -- Englyst and Cummings 42 (5): 778 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    Fermentable carbohydrate reaching the colon after ingestion of oats in humans.
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    Ok, Last night I put a few cups of oats in a bowl and covered it in water. This morning I stove top cooked it for like 5 minutes.

    No way for me to tell about "digestion", what WAS nice was the fact that my oats were 'fully' cooked looking in those 5 minutes. I hate starchy oats anyways.

    Thanks for the advice. This will be a normal thing for me -- instead of using a bowl I am going to just throw it in a pot with a handful of mixxed nuts from costco before I go to bed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan aragon
    Being a mod, I tend to heighten my sensors for these things, sometimes at the temporary expense of the innocent.
    They haunt me in my sleep
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    Why not steel cut oats instead?


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