Oatmeal may be more satiating than cold cereal

June 6, 2014

A study published in the Nutrition Journal shows that eating a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast may be more satiating and helps to manage hunger better than the same amount of calories from an oat-based, cold cereal.

The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled crossover investigation using three different oat-based, 217.5-calorie breakfasts. Following an overnight fast, the 48 healthy men and women 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 ready-to-eat (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 min.

The researchers found 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. The researchers noted 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 Frank Greenway, Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. “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.”