I have recently upped my carbs to be more in line with PHD, but going no higher than 100 g a day (before I was under 50g a day). In part I have been eating half a cup of (certified) gluten-free oatmeal, and I'm not convinced that it's any worse than eating a sweetpotato once or twice a week. I also eat that oatmeal in the context of an entire meal that also includes eggs and bacon. I know about pytates, but every plant food has anti-nutrients, yes? Am I just wrong in my thinking here?>
I have never really liked oatmeal...gluten free or not....but did eat some growing up. But now after reading on the HeartScanBlog of Dr. Davis, what it does to blood sugar immediately after eating, I would never touch it. From normal blood sugar, oatmeal can spike blood sugar up to 200 one hour after eating.
Blood sugars this high, experienced repetitively, will damage the delicate insulin-producing beta cells of your pancreas (glucose toxicity). It also glycates proteins of the eyes and vascular walls. The blood glucose effects of oatmeal really don't differ much from a large Snickers bar or bowl of jelly beans.
And then there is the Sulfuric Acid load put upon the body by oat consumption.
Know what food is the most potent source of sulfuric acid in the body? Oats. Yes: Oatmeal, oat bran, and foods made from oats (you know what breakfast cereal I'm talking about) are the most potent sources of sulfuric acid in the human diet. Why is this important? In the transition made by humans from net-alkaline hunter-gatherer diet to net-acid modern overloaded-with-grains diet, oats tip the scales heavily towards a drop in pH, i.e., more acidic. The more acidic your diet, the more likely it is you develop osteoporosis and other bone diseases, oxalate kidney stones, and possibly other diseases.
No oats for me in any form...soaked or unsoaked.
I'll take the yams/sweet potatos anyday.
It is worth looking at one of the places where oats has been something of a staple: Scotland. First of all, people didn't eat oats by choice. It was peasant food because the peasants were forbidden from most hunting, lest there not be enough venison or boar of what have you for the nobility. Secondly, they had the good sense to ferment the stuff. Take a traditional dish like sowans, which is basically a porridge made from the stuff left inside the hull of the oat. They'd ferment that for a few days before consuming it. I'm going to guess they probably fermented the hulled oats too. There were no quick cook oats, so the best they could do was an overnight prep. Maybe they didn't ferment the oats, but then again, we ought not look to Neolithic serfs for health tips--they weren't a healthy lot of people. Another preparation of oats was (and still is) in haggis. There I'm going to also guess the oats were fermented. I mean if you throw in a bunch of oats into a fresh cows stomach (probably with residual stomach acid) or intestines (with the residual bacteria) and throw in some offal (under less than sterile conditions), you probably get a nice fermenting mix of offal and oats. Like traditional agricultural peoples everywhere, the Scots took a less than ideal food source, fermented it, and made it into something they could live on. If they'd had their druthers they'd probably have preferred to eat venison and wild fowl. Instead they got the seeds of a weed and some bits of offal.
In the grand scheme of things, no, oats aren't as horrible as some other grains. There's a continuum, and oats are probably on the less awful end of the spectrum. But there's just not a lot of reason to eat them. Why not just eat a yam or sweet potato? They taste better, have more nutrients, and go way better with butter. Oh yeah, and we have a really long evolutionary history of digging tubers out of the ground and eating them, but we only really got the notion to pick the seeds off weeds when we developed government and decided that someone could tell us to not go hunting.
Ok, so yeah, modern tubers are still quite different than the stuff you'd dig up out in the wild, you got me there. So I wil concede, sure, oats a couple times a week is probably not going to cause you much problem...unless you happen to be one of those genotypes that reacts really poorly to prolamines and other goodies that grasses make to harm us. Experiment.
With all due respect to Dr. Davis, his post on oatmeal and its purported relationship to "battery acid" seriously impaired his credibility and casts doubt on his ability to offer any objective advice on health and nutrition.
There may be several reasons not to eat oatmeal, but "battery acid" is not likely one of them.
Also, with regard to his post on the relationship between oatmeal and blood sugar, he makes a rather bizarre case in that he singles out oatmeal as if it's somehow uniquely guilty. Oatmeal, unlike white flour and most any other refined grain product, is a known source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. That he did not address its fiber content when mentioning how oatmeal is "converted rapidly to sugar, and a lot of it" is strange indeed.
I'd say tubers. It's hard to get a lot of potassium without them. They have more nutrients and less bad stuff. The gluten free oatmeal is probably fine for once in a while, but I wouldn't make it a staple personally.
Because SOMEONE eats more than I do, I sometimes make oatmeal. My method is to soak it for a day and then cook it in the crockpot overnight. I don't eat it myself because of the Dr. Mellanby studies on dental health and my teeth are repairing ATM, but I don't feel bad feeding it to my family.
If it agrees with you, I think it's just fine to include limited amounts of gluten-free grains. All plant foods have some anti-nutrients that humans are well-equipped to deal with. The human animal has been eating some amount of small seeds for a very long time.
Variety, and eating food you like, is good too.
Of course tubers are the gold standard of starches because they are easily digested and low in anti-nutrients, high in nutrients compared to many starch sources.
I'll stay far away from oatmeal, gluten-free or otherwise, gluten ain't the only thing that triggers my IBS. My gut just hates whole grains.
Oatmeal is also objected to because of the avenin proteins (its basically gluten like, but different enough that celiacs do not usually respond to it).
If you are avoiding gluten because you are a celiac that could make oats okay, but if you object to hard to digest proteins (the "leaky gut" thing initially centered around that aspect - CERI and some of the early life extension newsletters well before paleo/atkins were popular) they are not really much better than wheat in that aspect. On the bright side, the soluable/insoluable fiber mixture is a lot closer to vegetable (which are usually not 100% insoluble like wheat is).