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Even if someone was to set out to design the perfect breakfast cereal, they would be hard-pressed to beat it.A bowl provides more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread, is low in fat, virtually sugar-free and provides a wealth of minerals such as manganese, copper and iron, as well as the B vitamins.Dr Grimble agrees: ‘I think if everyone ate porridge we would certainly significantly cut rates of heart disease and possibly also bowel cancer.’Despite its complex benefits, porridge is a simple food.The oats are made simply by stripping the outer husk of the oat grass, leaving the wholegrain oat.And soluble fibres, such as beta glucan from cereals and pectin in fruit, which also help with food transit.But the main claims for beta glucan centre around its cholesterol-lowering benefits.
However, even instant porridge will contain useful amounts of beta glucan.
And the catch with this, says Professor Peter Wilde, a food research scientist at Quadram Institute of Bioscience in Norwich, is that instant porridge is likely to have a higher glycaemic index (GI).
One of the advantages of traditional porridge oats is their low GI, meaning the energy is released slowly into the bloodstream, leading to a small release of insulin and avoiding spikes in blood sugar.
Each pot of ready porridge will contain in the region of 1g.
Sout what if you don’t like porridge, could you enjoy the benefits of oats by eating more oaty flapjacks?