January is National Fiber Month and what better way to celebrate fiber than with easy overnight oats?
So, you might wonder… why would anyone celebrate fiber? Well, I can think of lots of reasons, really.
What and where is fiber
Unlike macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat), dietary fiber is not digested and passes through–and out of–the GI tract fairly intact. Dietary fiber is primarily found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Soluble fiber: This type of fiber forms a gelatinous substance when dissolved in water, and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and stabilize blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, peas, beans and barley.
- Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to promote bowel movements. Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat flour and wheat bran, nuts, beans and many vegetables.
Benefits of a high-fiber diet
While fiber might be most known for its ability to promote regularity (which is pretty important!), fiber also provides lots of other health benefits, as well. Here are just a few benefits:
- Maintaining good bowel health (includes regular bowel movements)
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels
- Helps keep you feeling fuller longer
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
Daily fiber recommendations
- Women under age 50: aim for 25 grams of fiber per day
- Women 50 and over: aim for 21 grams of fiber per day
- Men under age 50: aim for 38 grams of fiber per day
- Men 50 and over: aim for 30 grams of fiber per day
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most Americans fall short of this recommended amount.
How to make overnight oats
You can add more fiber to your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains, including oats. In fact, eating a cup of oatmeal for breakfast provides about 4 grams of fiber. Plus, oats provide about 6 grams of protein, along with minerals iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and manganese.
And perhaps one of my favorite things about oats… I don’t have to wake up earlier to enjoy. I just whip up a mason jar of overnight oats and let them soak in the fridge overnight.
Here is a simple recipe for overnight oats that you can customize with your favorite flavors and ingredients.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Combine in a mason jar or container; stir and seal. Refrigerate overnight, heat in microwave and top with your favorite nuts, seeds and/or berries!
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins? Please share. I’d love to hear from you.