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How to Make Oatmeal Healthier

Fresh fruits, nuts and soy milk are great ways to add flavor and make oatmeal more nutritious.
Fresh fruits, nuts and soy milk are great ways to add flavor and make oatmeal more nutritious.
Wiki Commons

If you're watching your weight or are looking to cut more fat and sodium from your diet, oatmeal is a great filling option for breakfast. Skipping breakfast often leads to overeating and sluggishness, and while it's hard to make time in the morning, you can take your natural, pre-made mix with you to work, and simply add hot water, so you're not skipping the day's most important meal.

Avoid high sugar oatmeal brands. More often than not, flavored oatmeals are loaded with sugar and sodium, and pack little nutrition. The sugar in your low-calorie breakfast can actually make you feel hungrier, and overindulging sugar can put you at risk for diabetes and premature aging.

To get the benefits of a heart-healthy breakfast, buy instant, non-GMO, organic oatmeal. Go for the unflavored variety, and if possible look for oatmeals containing ancient grains; these grains are easier on your body's digestive system, and usually contain more fiber.

How to Make Oatmeal Less Bland..

1. Add Fresh Fruit

Oatmeal pairs wonderfully with apples slices and cinnamon or sliced bananas. You can also opt for blueberries, strawberries or blackberries, but try to use dried fruit sparingly as it's high in calories.

2. Use Natural Sweeteners

Eating bland oatmeal, isn't exactly the most exciting thing in the world, but you can add a hint of sweetness to your breakfast by using natural sweeteners like raw honey, organic maple syrup, agave or virtually calorie-free, flavored stevias.

3. Add Some Crunch

Nuts have many health benefits when consumed in moderation. Adding a tablespoon or so of pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or toasted macadamias will not only add protein, but give a nice texture to your oatmeal. Plus, nuts which contain good natural oils help fight against persistent feelings of hunger.

Helpful Tip: Set aside a portion of oatmeal in a resealable plastic bag; add nuts, spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg), and dry sweeteners. If you want to add fresh fruit, simply wash and peel your favorite fruits and store them in another plastic bag until you're ready to eat.

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