In this guide, I take a look at the question of is oatmeal paleo friendly and if you’re able to incorporate it into your diet. I also take a look at what exactly it is and any positives and negatives of this popular ingredient.
The Paleo diet has been insanely popular for only the past few years; in fact, Paleo diet research started in the early 2000s. Of course, this “diet” is an eating style that has been used by human beings for the majority of the time that we have been on the earth! Only in recent years has this diet been shown to have incredible health benefits, while providing pleasing options for eating for even the pickiest eaters.
One of the first things that people who begin a Paleo diet want to know is: What can I eat on my diet? Well, let’s start our investigation of that with a healthy breakfast staple: oatmeal.
What is Oatmeal?
You will find that oats do not start out as the way that we see them when we open the box in our kitchen. You will be surprised at just how many different types of oats there are. At the beginning the cereal grain is called a groat; it still has the bran, the husk, and is what is usually included in livestock feed. However, when we go to the grocery store and select a box of oatmeal, we are getting either steel-cut oats or rolled oats.
Steel-cut oats are made when the whole groat is cut into pieces, rather than rolled. It has a chewy texture. Rolled oats are the ones we most commonly purchase; they are steamed to make them soft, then they are pressed flat. This process makes them cook faster.
So, is Oatmeal Paleo or not?
There are two sides to every story, and deciding whether is oatmeal paleo or not, is no different. Some people say that because people in caveman times did not eat cereal grains or dairy products, oatmeal cannot fall into the category of paleo foods. Others say that maybe oatmeal could be acceptable on a paleo diet. As with everything else, it all depends on your viewpoint.
No. Although oatmeal has been advertised as a very healthy start to the day, oats contain anti-nutrients, which are to be avoided if one is following a paleo diet. Anti-nutrients like avenin, phytic acid, and lectins have negative side effects; they cause inflammation, cause weaknesses in the immune system, and can irritate existing autoimmune conditions. Like many cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, oats are often cross-contaminated with gluten as a result of being harvested and stored next to other crops.
Maybe. If someone buys oats that are gluten-free, then the oatmeal is more in line with a paleo diet. Also, soaking the oats for several days or soaking them with a small amount of a similar grain (like ground wheat or rye) can reduce the phytic content; this also makes oatmeal more paleo-friendly. If you want to be safe, it’s probably best to leave this one off of your paleo diet shopping list.
Then What Can I Eat for Breakfast?
If soaking oats for five days is not your idea of breakfast preparation, there are plenty of healthy paleo friendly breakfast alternatives to oatmeal. Even something like our paleo friendly porridge is a great alternative that is worth taking a look at. It is not necessary for you to microwave a packet of oatmeal with warm milk; you can select a course of action that allows you to stay faithful to your new paleo diet.
If you have anything to add to the question of if oatmeal is paleo friendly or not, then please feel free to leave a comment below.