8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
1

Are oats an addictive food?

by (47)
Updated about 12 hours ago
Created August 26, 2012 at 9:30 PM

I'm starting to eat paleo foods and so far I have eliminated all legumes and grains...except oats. I have been trying to eliminate oats, but I'm addicted, so many years of killing hunger with oats made them my favorite food, their flavor tastes too good and I don't even cook it just add milk to rolled oats and eat. I eat about 6 cups of oats daily, what health problems can I develop by doing this? I'm trying to bulk up so carbs don't seem to be a problem to me, but 12 grams of polyunsaturated fat seems unhealthy. I don't eat any junk foods or non paleo foods just oats and milk are my exceptions. Sorry for my bad english not my main language.

86cb0ceb4c145603be2e405cd14c5acd
50 · April 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM

I know it's an old thread but i'm curious, too,,, so what is that equally awesome food that you are/were eating instead of oats?

28a01d631cca15ad08ccbb92a510e603
0 · June 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM

I honestly think I'm addicted to dry FLAVORLESS oats.. I don't like sugar or anything in them.. I just grab a spoon nd poor some in a bowl and eat it.. but I really don't mind being an addict.. to just oats tht is

22ed067dfadf3ce563b2f0b9f8bf70bb
92 · March 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

"unless you're secretly a goat)"....ha ha ha ! x

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5
5381 · August 27, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Try homemade almond milk with a cup of macadamias, 1/2 a cup of walnuts, some coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of blueberries, perhaps a little bit of honey. Thats roughly what ive been doing a few days a week (minus the coconut flakes and honey), and its pretty yum. Not that I find oats yum, but if your after something breakfast cereally, it is doable. Almond milk is very much like milk in this kinda meal.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Okay, then eat your six cups oats and have fun with them. I have no idea why you're on a Paleo/Primal board extolling the hidden virtues of grains. No point in asking a question if you already know the answers and simply do not find them compelling.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e
11152 · August 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Some oats are: http://theoatmeal.com/

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The problem is that I can't find a good reason to quit oats and the answers here seem like the same I would get from a registered dietitian if I asked why should I eliminate saturated fat. I think that the main problem with some of the paleo community is that when asked why is X grain bad they respond with the generic avoid (phytic acid, lectins, glutten,carbohydrates) Without analyzing the positive things.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM

The phytic acid becomes more relevant when you are talking about eating 6 cups of them a day. Every Paleo/Primal eater cheats sometimes, but 6 cups of grains per day is beyond a cheat. If you want to eat them, then that is fine, but don't look to Paleohackers to tell you they agree with that dietary move. It is absolutely not a Paleo food under any of the varying degrees and definitions of Paleo. Your choice as to whether or not you want to continue eating them, but I think that if you are here, asking this question, then you already have an idea of what is good for you and what isn't.

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM

One of the reasons I still can't convince myself to eliminate oats is that when I try to think of something bad about oats the only problem I see with them is the omega 6 content because the phytic acid is probably not relevant in a very nutrient dense diet and some say it has anti cancer activity also don't forget about the avenanthramides and beta glucan. :(

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

If you are feeling angry/moody/sad etc if you forgo your oats, that's the carbs talking. Carbs can be addictive for a lot of people, whether it's in the form of wheat pasta or sugar cookies. If you can do 30 days without the oats/other huge carb loading items, you can break it. It just might not be a very nice couple of weeks to start, but if you power through it you can kick your carb habit and after that, make carb-choices, not carb-compulsions. :)

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8
803 · August 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

don't keep us in suspense, what is equally as awesome?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Hmm, yes, if they are already cooked or partially cooked, I can see how that'd be the case. Thanks for the FYI - no longer eating them myself, I had no idea that oats were generally heat treated before they get to the shelf.

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

But I always get angry if I don't get my oats for a few days and start to question if all those things being said about them being unhealthy are really that serious, because at least I'm not binge eating ice cream...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12677 · August 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Actually I've read soaking does basically nothing to the phytic acid content of heat treated oats, of which most oats sold are (depending on the country you're in)

Total Views
8.3K

Recent Activity
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

Last Activity
71D AGO

Followers
0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

9 Answers

best answer

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
7
12677 · August 27, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Oats are not paleo! Braah!

Sorry, I had to say that or I might get fired from paleo. Okay, so oats are an evil grain and not optimal and stuff. But they're far from the worst food you could be eating.

Here are some studies with favorable outcomes for oats:

  1. In one study, older men ate about 1 1/2 cups of oats for 12 weeks (2). By the end of this period the men eating the oats had lower small (bad) LDL, higher large (arguably good) LDL, lower triglycerides, lower VLDL, a better total: hdl cholesterol ratio, and lower fasting insulin. This study did the same thing with wheat. Wheat made most of these values worse.

  2. In another study (3), adding oats to the diet of hypertensive and hyperinsulinemic people led to lower blood pressure, lower LDL, lower triglycerides, and a trend towards improved insulin sensitivity.

  3. Compared to a control diet, oats were better for blood pressure and insulin sensitivity (4). The control diet basically had wheat instead of oats.

Do these studies mean oats are good? Not exactly. Compared to crap food like wheat, almost certainly. But how are they compared to typical paleo fare? I haven't been able to find studies comparing oats to things like eggs, fruit, or tubers so I can't say for sure. Oats seem like alright food, but I suspect these foods would generally outperform oats.

Phytic acid is the main problem I have with oats. On it's surface, oats are a good source of nutrients. But they have tons of phytic acid (and some other anti-nutrients), so many of the minerals in oats will have reduced absorption. This includes zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and copper (5,6,7). So if you're eating a lot of oats I'd be really careful to make sure I was getting enough of these minerals, either from food or supplement if necessary.

I also wouldn't recommend oats to people who have problems with gluten or their intestinal health. A controlled trial (1) on recovering celiac patients found that those eating gluten free oats increased intestinal problems like diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. My own experience as a gluten intolerant is that oats are bad for my belly. I also know a number of people with digestion issues not doing well on oats. How is your gut health?

Finally, as someone else already suggested, if you think you're addicted to oats, cut them out of your diet for 30 days or so. See how you feel. You can see if you feel better without them and hopefully figure out if you have a legitimate addiction.

So, to wrap up this already too long of an answer, this is my advice if you choose to continue your oat eating habit:

  1. Try cutting outs out for a month first and see how you feel.
  2. Definitely cut them down. A pound of oats in a day is just too much in my opinion (unless you're secretly a goat).
  3. Make sure you're not ending up short of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

22ed067dfadf3ce563b2f0b9f8bf70bb
92 · March 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

"unless you're secretly a goat)"....ha ha ha ! x

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
5
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Oats are definitely not good for you. The carbs probably aren't even the biggest issue to an active, nondiabetic person, though that is the "addictive" part about oats. The anti-nutrients in them, along with most other grains (phytates and lectins, mostly) prevent absorption of nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and calcium, to name a few. By eating large quantities of these things, it makes it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients from the awesome things you eat.

If you MUST eat oats, first of all, 6 cups is quite a lot of any one food on a daily basis. Cut your quantity way down. Secondly, I'd suggest soaking them first (drastically reduces the anti-nutrients) and thirdly, not eating them with other foods.

What I really think you should do for maximum benefit: 30 days without them. If you can go 30 days without any oats, it will show you that you most certainly can do without them and you'll feel the benefits, both physically and mentally, and you may not even want the oats at all, or if you do, you may see that you have a much better handle on your craving for them.

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM

One of the reasons I still can't convince myself to eliminate oats is that when I try to think of something bad about oats the only problem I see with them is the omega 6 content because the phytic acid is probably not relevant in a very nutrient dense diet and some say it has anti cancer activity also don't forget about the avenanthramides and beta glucan. :(

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Hmm, yes, if they are already cooked or partially cooked, I can see how that'd be the case. Thanks for the FYI - no longer eating them myself, I had no idea that oats were generally heat treated before they get to the shelf.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM

The phytic acid becomes more relevant when you are talking about eating 6 cups of them a day. Every Paleo/Primal eater cheats sometimes, but 6 cups of grains per day is beyond a cheat. If you want to eat them, then that is fine, but don't look to Paleohackers to tell you they agree with that dietary move. It is absolutely not a Paleo food under any of the varying degrees and definitions of Paleo. Your choice as to whether or not you want to continue eating them, but I think that if you are here, asking this question, then you already have an idea of what is good for you and what isn't.

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The problem is that I can't find a good reason to quit oats and the answers here seem like the same I would get from a registered dietitian if I asked why should I eliminate saturated fat. I think that the main problem with some of the paleo community is that when asked why is X grain bad they respond with the generic avoid (phytic acid, lectins, glutten,carbohydrates) Without analyzing the positive things.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12677 · August 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Actually I've read soaking does basically nothing to the phytic acid content of heat treated oats, of which most oats sold are (depending on the country you're in)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Okay, then eat your six cups oats and have fun with them. I have no idea why you're on a Paleo/Primal board extolling the hidden virtues of grains. No point in asking a question if you already know the answers and simply do not find them compelling.

963322f175cdd4c5f7d52cc372b3a167
3
656 · August 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I can assure you they most certainly are. Don't laugh: I just recently finished a six-month stint in rehab for my oatmeal habit. It started innocently enough; I assumed I could have oatmeal (low-sugar, no less) on a purely recreational basis, but in just a matter of weeks I had progressed to getting Costco/Sam's Club memberships just so I could buy practically whole pallets of the stuff. So yes, STAY AWAY. Don't be fooled. Oatmeal is not like, say, cream of wheat (which I think can be handled on an occasional/recreational basis). JUST SAY NO.

8c2eba9d5fb30451b540d1d7070ef146
47 · August 26, 2012 at 9:56 PM

But I always get angry if I don't get my oats for a few days and start to question if all those things being said about them being unhealthy are really that serious, because at least I'm not binge eating ice cream...

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · August 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

If you are feeling angry/moody/sad etc if you forgo your oats, that's the carbs talking. Carbs can be addictive for a lot of people, whether it's in the form of wheat pasta or sugar cookies. If you can do 30 days without the oats/other huge carb loading items, you can break it. It just might not be a very nice couple of weeks to start, but if you power through it you can kick your carb habit and after that, make carb-choices, not carb-compulsions. :)

B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f
1
1495 · August 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Oats were the LAST grain I gave up! I really had a hard time letting go also. I had to come up with something equally as awesome to replace the muesli I used to make and eat daily. That did the trick for me. Seriously, my body doesn't miss them at all. I'm full longer than I used to be when I ate an oat-based breakfast, and I find that my body doesn't miss the carbs. If you are trying to gain weight, maybe just try extra fat for the extra calories instead.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8
803 · August 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

don't keep us in suspense, what is equally as awesome?

86cb0ceb4c145603be2e405cd14c5acd
50 · April 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM

I know it's an old thread but i'm curious, too,,, so what is that equally awesome food that you are/were eating instead of oats?

8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815
0
327 · June 25, 2013 at 2:54 AM

well at least buy them heirloom, organic and boil soak them in lime then dry em and soak them again with kefir.

28a01d631cca15ad08ccbb92a510e603
0
0 · June 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I eat oatmeal dry.. old fashion out of the container.. no additives but I love it.. I eat it all the time.. and complain to my mom constantly until we buy more.. seriously I eat.all of it by myself

28a01d631cca15ad08ccbb92a510e603
0 · June 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM

I honestly think I'm addicted to dry FLAVORLESS oats.. I don't like sugar or anything in them.. I just grab a spoon nd poor some in a bowl and eat it.. but I really don't mind being an addict.. to just oats tht is

74c55f870de5c122f2b71a171386aa25
0
0 · March 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I don't see how oats can be addictive the are dry and flavorless! It is probably the sweeteners people put on them that make them addictive.

C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de
0
1579 · January 04, 2013 at 3:11 PM

They're certainly not the worst thing you could be eating, although they're far from optimal compared to foods like eggs and sweet potatoes. If you ARE going eat them, I would recommend soaking them. I experimented with oats for a while before I discovered that I don't tolerate them very well.

Put oats in a small jar or mug and cover with water. Add 1 tsp buckwheat powder/flour and 1 T whey (from yogurt or homemade kefir). Cover loosely and cook in the morning with more water or milk.

5913edd15e00a21658bd57a12da5a693
0
10 · January 04, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Yes, I admit it too! Bobs organic red mill oats I adore but only 1/4 cup in the morning i EAT. I have recently addapted the paleo lifestyle while trying to lose weight and Sadly, I cant seem to give up my Ezekiel low sodium bread nor oats.

What's the worst that can happen to me if I continue to eat these? Can these be affecting my weight? I use the gym an hour and a half a day

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes