Representational image. (Photo: visualphotos.com)
Washington: Having oatmeal for breakfast can make you feel fuller, with lower hunger ratings and fewer calories at lunch.
Scientists at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital randomly assigned 36 subjects (18 normal weight and 18 overweight) to each receive 3 different breakfasts. The breakfasts consisted of 350 calories of similar amounts of carbohydrates, fat and liquid from either quick-cook oatmeal or sugared corn flakes. A third control breakfast was only 1.5 cups of water. To evaluate appetite, ratings of hunger and fullness were obtained at frequent intervals before and after the breakfast until a lunch test meal 3 hours later.
Lead researcher Allan Geliebter, PhD, explained that according to their results, despite eating the same number of calories at breakfast, satiety values were significantly greater after consuming oatmeal compared to sugared corn flakes. After three hours, subjects reported the same level of hunger after having a corn flakes breakfast as they did when they consumed only water. Interestingly, the results were more pronounced for the participants who were overweight, suggesting that overweight individuals may be more responsive to the satiety effects of the dietary fiber in oatmeal.
The results showed statistically significant higher ratings of fullness, lower ratings of hunger, and 31 percent fewer calories consumed at lunch after consuming oatmeal compared to sugared corn flakes or water. The overall satiety effect was greater among overweight subjects, who consumed 50 percent fewer calories at lunch after eating oatmeal.
The study authors suggested that the greater satiety effect of oatmeal cereal compared to sugared corn flakes or water might be due to a slower gastric emptying (oatmeal took longer to leave the stomach). Given that the results were more pronounced in overweight subjects, researchers suggested that a longer-term weight control study testing daily oatmeal for breakfast is warranted.
The research is published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.