You already know the importance of eating breakfast each morning (it kick-starts your metabolism and helps prevent overeating throughout the day). But what kind of breakfast has the most staying power? As an all-time breakfast favorite, oatmeal is a great choice for people on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet — but not all oatmeal is created equal.
Dr. Arthur Agatston, leading preventive cardiologist and author of The South Beach Diet Wake-Up Call, recommends steel-cut oats and rolled or old-fashioned, slow-cooking oats, rather than the more highly processed instant varieties. These high-fiber types of oatmeal have been minimally processed and will help keep blood sugar levels steady, minimizing cravings. Plus, studies have linked eating whole grains to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
It's also important to select hot cereals — including oatmeal — that have at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 2 grams of sugar per serving.
While steel-cut and rolled oats can sometimes require up to 30 minutes to cook, there are some tricks to speeding that along:
your oats overnight.
Just boil water (at a ratio of 4 cups water to 1 cup oatmeal), add oats, stir,
remove from the heat, and cover until morning. Reheat your oatmeal over a low
flame for 9 to 12 minutes for a warm, hearty breakfast.
slow cooker. Assemble
your oatmeal and other ingredients in a slow cooker at night and wake up to a
steaming bowl of hot cereal. Try our Overnight Oatmeal (Phase 2).
pressure cooker. With this
appliance, oatmeal can be ready in just 5 minutes.
microwave oven. You can
prepare steel-cut or rolled oats from scratch by microwaving them for 12 to 14
minutes in a high-sided container with fat-free or 1% milk. Keep a close eye on
it so it doesn’t boil over.
- Prepare your oatmeal a few days ahead of time. It will stay fresh in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When it's time for breakfast, simply reheat a portion of the precooked oatmeal with one of the milk choices mentioned above.
To perk up the flavor of oatmeal, try mixing it with fresh, chopped high-fiber fruits (like apples or pears) and sprinkling some cinnamon on top.