Oats are a nutritional powerhouse and a staple in the diets of health enthusiasts, particularly for those focused on weight loss and muscle building. They are a rich source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, specifically a soluble fibre called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has been extensively researched and shown to contribute to satiety the feeling of fullness, which can help prevent overeating.
This soluble fibre also helps to slow digestion, leading to a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream, providing a stable energy supply without the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to increased fat storage. A meta-analysis published in the “Journal of Nutrition” supports the role of oat consumption in promoting satiety and potentially aiding in weight management.
For muscle building, oats provide a dual benefit. Their low glycemic index (GI) carbs offer a sustained release of energy, essential for fueling long, strenuous workouts. Moreover, oats are a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. While the protein content in oats may not be as high as in other sources like whey or casein, it still contributes to the overall protein intake, which is vital for muscle hypertrophy. Additionally, certain amino acids, especially arginine, can aid in producing nitric oxide, thereby improving blood flow to the muscles during exercise, as highlighted by research in “The Journal of Nutrition.”
Adding coconut to oats not only enhances flavour but also boosts the meal’s nutritional profile. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are fats that the body can more readily convert into energy compared to other types of fats. This can provide an immediate source of energy for workouts and may help in maintaining lean body mass. Moreover, the MCTs in coconut have been studied for their potential to increase metabolic rate and enhance the body’s ability to burn fat, as noted in research from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”
Beyond weight loss and muscle building, combining oats and coconut is heart-healthy. Oats are known for their cholesterol-lowering effects due to their beta-glucan content. The “British Journal of Nutrition” published findings that consuming beta-glucan from oats can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol, both risk factors for heart disease. Coconut, despite its saturated fat content, has been observed to have a neutral, if not beneficial, effect on heart health. Some studies, such as one in “Lipids,” suggest that coconut fat might help to improve the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol, promoting a healthier cardiovascular profile.
Incorporating oats with a sprinkle of coconut into a daily diet can support weight loss, muscle building, and overall health. This combination leverages the extended energy release from complex carbohydrates, the muscle-supporting protein of oats, the metabolism-boosting effects of coconut’s MCTs, and a range of heart-healthy benefits, making it a wise choice for a wholesome meal.
Overnight coconut oats
- 150 g Gluten free oats
- 45 g Desiccated coconut
- 25 g Vanilla protein powder
- 200 g Coconut yoghurt
- 350 ml Almond milk unsweetened
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- Add the oats and desiccated coconut to a large bowl and mix well.
- Then, mix in the vanilla essence. Whisk together the coconut yoghurt, almond milk and maple syrup.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and transfer serving containers. Refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Sore in the fridge for up to 3 days; add more milk before serving, if necessary.
- Serve with your favourite berries.
- Meal prep