Oatmeal is a good source of high-quality, plant-based protein. A serving contains about 5.4 g of protein. Add milk, seeds, or a protein powder to boost its protein content.
How much protein do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of protein for most people is 0.8 g 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 g, 1.3 g, and 1.6 g of protein per kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight, respectively.[1,2]
For instance, an 80 kg (177 lbs) person with moderate physical activity should get approximately 100 g of protein a day, while a 59 kg (130 lbs) person who follows a sedentary life requires only 59 g 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.
Is oatmeal high in protein?
In fact, oatmeal has a great protein content. About 14% of its calories come from protein. The rest come mainly from carbs.
Dry oats contain 13.2 g of protein per 100g, or 10.7 g per cup.
Instant oatmeal made with water contains 2.3 g of protein per 100g, or 5.4 g of protein per 1-cup serving.
Moreover, regular instant oatmeal made with milk contains 5.57 g of protein per 100g, or 13.4 g of protein per a 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?
On the other hand, 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 g of saturated fatty acids. A cup of oatmeal made with milk has about 275 calories and 3.3 g of saturated fatty acids.
So, oatmeal made with water or any plant-based milk is good for weight loss. It has 40% fewer calories! If you like cow’s milk, at least prefer skim milk.
Most noteworthy, oatmeal made with water is better for the health, as compared to oatmeal made with milk. It has 80% less saturated fat. High amounts of saturated fat are dangerous for our health. Too much saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hence, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 13 g of saturated fat per day.
Just a typical serving of oatmeal made with milk provides about 25% of this maximum safe dose of saturated fat.
Oatmeal has high-quality protein
Furthermore, oatmeal not only is high in protein, but also, it has a great protein profile. Oatmeal has a good amino acid balance.
Actually, oatmeal is high in most essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, phenylalanine and valine. But, it has 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.
On the other hand, animal-based foods contain complete protein. They contain all essential amino acids. So, oatmeal made with milk is a high-quality protein-rich meal.
Certainly, you could have a 100% plant-based oatmeal, containing high amounts of high-quality protein.
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 in order to have a high-quality, rich in protein meal.
In addition, you could have a slice of whole-grain bread and peanut butter with your oatmeal for breakfast. Peanuts are rich in methionine and tryptophan!
Also, you could add a tbsp of soy powder protein to your oatmeal. Soybeans are among the few plant-based foods which contain all essential amino acids! So, soy protein powder can make oatmeal a really high protein meal.
You’ll find a wide variety of soy and other high-quality plant-based proteins on Amazon. Click here.
Common foods high in protein
All animal-based foods are high in protein. In fact, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs are excellent dietary sources of high-quality, complete protein.
People who follow a plant-based diet can get adequate amounts of protein as well. Beans, nuts, seeds, whole-grains, and vegetables have a great protein content.
Should we eat 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. So, it’s good for the heart.
You could sprinkle some cinnamon on top of your oatmeal. Cinnamon prevents spikes of blood sugar and has potent antioxidant properties.
Oatmeal has anticancer properties as well.
Last, but not least, oats are gluten-free. They’re considered as suitable in celiac disease. But, as there is the danger of cross-contamination, people who follow a gluten-free diet should buy only oats labelled as gluten-free.
Always consult your physician before changing your diet.