New research published in the Nutrition Journal reveals that calorie-for-calorie, even a serving of instant oatmeal is more filling than a ready-to-eat (RTE), oat-based cereal. Researchers found that eating a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast is more satiating and helps to manage hunger better than the same amount of calories from a leading oat-based, cold cereal, even when consumed in smaller portions than previously found.
Frank Greenway, M.D. and colleagues at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, tested three different oat-based, 217.5-calorie breakfasts. The statistically significant results show that instant oatmeal enhanced satiety, feelings of fullness and reduced the desire to eat more than a RTE, oat-based cereal.
Forty-three healthy men and women completed the randomized, controlled crossover investigation. Following an overnight fast, subjects completed three breakfast trials in random order at least a week apart. Each breakfast consisted of 150 calories of instant oatmeal, old-fashioned oatmeal or a RTE cereal, plus 67.5 calories of lactose-free skim milk. After eating breakfast, subjects' hunger and satiety measures were assessed at 30, 60, 120, 180 and 240 minutes.
The results showed that when subjects ate instant oatmeal, they reported less hunger compared to the RTE cereal. Oatmeal also provided increased fullness and a reduced desire to eat more. Researchers state that the viscosity of oatmeal was higher than the RTE cereal – which could explain the differences in hunger and appetite control.
"This study demonstrates that the unique characteristics of oatmeal have a significant impact on fullness and desire to eat – even when matched for calories and ingredients [oats] with another breakfast option," said Greenway. "We found instant oatmeal to be more effective at suppressing appetite compared to the cold cereal, even with a smaller serving size and less calories than previously investigated."
Previous research examined 250-calorie breakfasts consisting of instant oatmeal or an oat-based RTE cereal served with 113 calories of lactose-free skim milk. Those results showed that when subjects ate oatmeal, they reported increases in overall fullness and reductions in hunger and the desire to eat. The new research demonstrates that a similar benefit of increased satiety is possible with smaller portions and less calories (150 calories).
"This research is exciting because it shows that something as simple as a single-serving of instant oatmeal and milk has the potential to help keep hunger at bay from breakfast until lunch," says Marianne O'Shea, PhD, PepsiCo R&D Nutrition. "This study supports our mission at the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence of investigating the ways that oats can improve our health and well-being."