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5 Things That Will Happen When You Eat Oatmeal

5 Things That Will Happen When You Eat Oatmeal

Oatmeal is easy to love. It’s a warm, filling whole grain that is easy to prepare and packs a nutritious punch. You may be wondering, what’s the difference between rolled or steel cut oats? Rolled oats have simply been steamed and rolled-over to flatten before packaging. Steel cut oats, on the other hand, are just oats chopped up into smaller pieces with a sharp blade. Both maintain their whole grain status, so choose the one you like best because they’re both healthful choices!

In fact, a few things will happen if you start eating oatmeal everyday. For example:

1. You’ll manage (or maybe lose!) weight

Oatmeal fills you up so you can make the most of your morning without distracting hunger pangs (or reaching for a donut in the break room). A study comparing a breakfast of oatmeal to cornflakes found that oatmeal leaves the stomach more slowly, keeping hunger at bay longer. In fact, those who ate an oatmeal breakfast consumed less at their next meal for overall fewer calories, especially if they were already overweight. It’s believed that oatmeal’s beta-glucan content attributes to these satiating effects.

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2. Your heart will be healthier

You have probably heard that oatmeal is a heart healthy food — it says so on the packaging — but there is hard science to back that up. Oats offer cholesterol-lowering properties associated with better overall cardiovascular health. Adding just 2 ounces of dry oats (or 1 cup cooked) to a “typical American diet” can offer a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels.

Oatmeal can also help with glycemic control, aka keeping blood sugar levels stable, which is highly relevant for people with diabetes since they’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. As a whole grain food, oatmeal has 26 grams of carbohydrates in a one-cup serving, a great breakfast choice for someone with our without diabetes.

3. Your gut will thank you

An important way to support your gastrointestinal (GI) health is to include prebiotics in your diet. Prebiotics are types of fiber that human intestines can’t digest but that feed the good bacteria in your gut. The beta-glucan found in oatmeal is a great way to keep your friendly gut bacteria happy and healthy.

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In addition to its prebiotic properties, the fiber in oatmeal helps to keep you regular. Cooked oatmeal contains a total of 4 grams of dietary fiber per cup, which adds bulk to the contents of your gut and helps you (ahem) eliminate waste so you don’t feel bloated.

4. You’ll get a nutrient boost

We already touched on oatmeal’s carb content, but what about protein and fat? Oatmeal is low in fat (only 2 grams per cup) and virtually saturated fat free. Surprisingly, one cup of oatmeal has 5 grams of protein! It’s also packed with micronutrients, including copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc as well as antioxidants. And one cup of oatmeal will only set you back 143 calories (before you add toppings).

Enjoying oatmeal in the morning will set you up to make great choices throughout the day.

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5. You’ll never have a boring breakfast again

Your body thrives on a variety of foods, and oatmeal is the perfect blank canvas to mix-up your breakfast routine with different toppings. You may like to prepare oatmeal each morning, but you can also make a large pot for the week ahead and portion out a serving to reheat each day. (I recommend adding a bit more milk or water before microwaving for a minute.)

Ideas to flavor your new morning regimen:

  • Throw in some fruit slices (fresh, frozen or canned works great!) are always a good idea (try apples, strawberries, kiwi)
  • Stir in a spoonful of pumpkin puree and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Top oats with a drizzle of honey and a few nuts or seeds
  • Add chopped dried mango and coconut flakes for tropical oatmeal
  • Use applesauce to sweeten, then toss in a few raisins
  • Soak rolled oats overnight in milk, top with peanut butter and banana in the morning and enjoy chilled or reheated

Oatmeal is truly a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack option you should feel good about. So, try to incorporate it into your meals and reap the benefits of this “whole”-some food!

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Kelda Reimers, Dietetic Intern at the University of Maryland, College Park contributed to this piece.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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