When I first got married, I was never really an oatmeal eater. It was always a fairly boring meal to me. My wife on the other hand was convinced that it was the best breakfast ever. She even started to tell me that it “will stick to your ribs.” What did this even mean, and can a food really stick to your ribs?
Oatmeal has a sticky texture, but it doesn’t actually stick to your ribs. This happens because oatmeal has a high amount of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber stays in your stomach for a longer amount of time than other foods. Therefore, you could say that oatmeal actually doesn’t stick to your ribs but to your stomach!
Why Does Oatmeal Fiber Stick?
You may have heard that fiber helps your digestive track, and it turns out that can be true. Fiber is a part of food that is difficult for people to digest. Soluble fiber absorbs water as it moves through your digestive system.
As soluble fiber absorbs water, it becomes similar to a gel that becomes fermented from bacteria. This process becomes bulky and helps you to feel full as the process becomes more regulated. The slower and more regulated process becomes sticky.
The particular soluble fiber found in oatmeal is called beta-glucan. The health benefits of beta-glucan include:
- Reduced blood sugar and better insulin activity
- Good bacteria lives well in your gut with the introduction of beta-glucan
- Reduced LDL and cholesterol levels
Other Benefits of Oatmeal
- Oats contain high levels of antioxidants
- Positive impacts on cholesterol and heart disease (LDL regulation)
- Better blood sugar control
- Potential weight loss
- Positive skin benefits
- Decreased risk of asthma
- Help with constipation