What’s the Problem with My “Healthy” Bowl of Oatmeal? 26. June 2014 Lisa G Nutrition, Oatmeal (0) Food manufacturers have clever ways to market foods to us. Unfortunately, many foods that have a reputation for being healthy are no more than junk food disguised as a healthy food choice. I commonly see people under the influence of a “health halo” effect. This is due to strategic marketing efforts. People overestimate the nutritional value of a food that is labeled “good for you” or they underestimate the negative impact of a food because it contains a healthful ingredient, like flaxseed or fiber. In fact, a recent study from the University of Houston found that terms on food labels such as antioxidants, all-natural, and gluten-free often are used to give an otherwise standard food a "healthy" halo, and influence consumption from the well- intended consumer. Case in point-- oatmeal. We’ve all heard about the cholesterol lower benefits from soluble fiber contained in oatmeal. It’s blasted all over packages with a paid endorsement from The American Heart Association. However, that’s not the whole story. Most people enjoy a cup of oatmeal with one to two tablespoons of added sugar and fruit such as a ripe, yellow banana. In other words, let’s enjoy a bowl of “send my blood sugar through the roof” high glycemic oatmeal. The glycemic index of oatmeal is 55, and instant oatmeal is 83. Top that with more table sugar, glycemic index 58-65 and better yet top that with a high glycemic, ripe banana with a GI of 62. Preparing one packet of regular instant oatmeal with one tablespoon of sugar and a medium ripe banana five days per week would result in the sugar equivalent of more than 5 1/2 cups of sugar per month! Furthermore, the story many Americans are missing is all of that sugar intake, from their so-called “healthy” bowl of oatmeal, actually raises small-dense LDL cholesterol particles, increases blood sugar and contributes to insulin resistance, faulty gut flora, and belly fat. How do we improve upon our bowl of oatmeal? Enjoy a bowl of hot coconut flaxseed cereal, eggs any variety of ways, or last night’s leftover salmon and vegetables. The Cureality program provides tools, guidance, and support that does not follow the party line but rather offers nutrition solutions that address the underlying causes for proliferation of many chronic diseases.