Oatmeal is a good source of high-quality vegan protein. A serving made with water contains up to 6 grams of protein. Adding milk, seeds, or protein powder boosts the protein content of oatmeal, though. It can be a great protein-rich snack that supports a lean body.
Is oatmeal high in protein?
In fact, oatmeal has a great protein content. About 14% of its calories come from protein. The rest calories come mainly from carbs.
Dry oats contain 13.2 grams of protein per 100g, or 10.7 grams per cup.
Instant oatmeal made with water contains 2.3 grams of protein per 100g, or 5.4 grams of protein per 1-cup serving.
The protein content of oats depends mainly on the processing methods as well as the oat variety. A serving of cooked oats has up to 6 grams of protein!
Moreover, regular instant oatmeal made with milk contains about 5.6 grams of protein per 100g, or 13.4 grams of protein per 1-cup serving. So, oatmeal made with milk contains approximately 140% more protein, as compared to oatmeal made with water!
Should I make oatmeal with water or milk?
Oatmeal made with water has fewer calories and saturated fat. A cup of oatmeal made with water has only 160 calories and only 0.6 grams of saturated fatty acids.
A cup of oatmeal made with cow’s milk has about 275 calories and 3.3 grams of saturated fatty acids, which is 25% of the maximum safe dose on a 2,000-calorie diet.
So, oatmeal made with water or any plant-based milk, like soy milk, is good for weight loss. It has 40% fewer calories than oatmeal made with whole cow’s milk! If you like cow’s milk, at least prefer skim milk.
Most noteworthy, oatmeal made with water has 80% less saturated fat. High amounts of saturated fat are dangerous for our health. It can raise LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hence, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Are oats enough for protein?
Not only is oatmeal high in protein, but also, it has a great amino acid profile. Actually, oatmeal is high in most essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, phenylalanine and valine.
However, oats are not enough for protein. They have low amounts of methionine and tryptophan.
We have to get all essential amino acids from food. But, only a few plant-based foods contain all essential amino acids. Therefore, we have to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods in order to get all of them.
How to prepare a high-quality oatmeal snack?
On the other hand, animal-based foods are complete protein. They contain all essential amino acids. So, oatmeal made with cow’s milk is a high-quality protein-rich meal.
Moreover, you could add 1–2 tablespoons of oats to your favorite egg omelet recipe. It’s one of the best meals you can have for weight loss and maintaining a lean body year-round.
Can I eat a vegan protein-rich snack?
Certainly, you could have a 100% plant-based oatmeal, containing high amounts of high-quality protein. You only have to combine oats with other vegan foods high in methionine and tryptophan.
Firstly, you can add a tbsp of cashews or sunflower seeds to your oatmeal. They’re great dietary sources of methionine. You could add Brazil nuts as well. Actually, they’re the richest common plant-based food in methionine.
Furthermore, seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and cashews are high in tryptophan. Banana is a great dietary source as well. You could add them to your favorite oatmeal recipe for a high-quality protein-rich meal.
In addition, you could have a slice of whole-grain bread and peanut butter with your oatmeal for breakfast. Peanuts are rich in both methionine and tryptophan!
Also, you could add a tbsp of soy powder protein to your oatmeal. Soybeans are among the few plant-based foods containing all essential amino acids!
You can find a wide variety of soy as well as other vegan/whey protein powders at unbeatable prices on iHerb.
How much protein do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of protein for most people is 0.8 grams per kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight.
Only active people who work out regularly require more protein. In fact, people with minimal, moderate, and intense physical activity should get at least 1.0, 1.3, and 1.6 grams of protein per kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight, respectively.[5,6]
For instance, an 80 kg (177 lbs) person with moderate physical activity should get approximately 100 grams of protein a day, while a 59 kg (130 lbs) person who follows a sedentary life requires only 59 grams of protein.
Protein deficiency is rather unlikely, though. People who consume adequate amounts of calories and follow a well-balanced diet, probably consume more protein than they need.
Health benefits of eating oatmeal every day
Oatmeal is a healthy meal, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other health-promoting compounds.
For instance, oatmeal contains decent amounts of vitamin E, folates, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, carotenoids, betaine, and choline.
Beta-glucan may lower high cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, oatmeal may protect from chronic inflammation of arteries and atherosclerosis. It protects the heart.
You could sprinkle some cinnamon on top of your oatmeal. Cinnamon prevents spikes of blood sugar and has potent antioxidant properties.
Oats with cinnamon are beneficial for athletic performance. You can eat them before or after a workout.
Oatmeal has anticancer properties as well.
Last, but not least, oats are gluten-free. They’re considered suitable for celiac disease. But, as there is the danger of cross-contamination, people who follow a gluten-free diet should buy only oats labeled as gluten-free.
Always consult your physician before changing your diet.