The Paleo diet is in its essence a tool for a healthier lifestyle. Sure, you can use it for weight loss, it’s pretty darn great for that too. But we look to our ancestors in the Paleolithic era, to guide us and give us a break from modern foods and its problems.
Now that sometimes means our favorite foods have to go, and that can be a bummer. But what Paleo offers is a lifestyle that truly makes you not miss all the sweets and snacks you grew up with.
One of those foods, for most of us at least, is Rolled Oats. Can you eat the stuff, and if not should you risk it all?
Can You Eat Rolled Oats On Paleo?
Well, that depends on who you ask but the simple answer to that question is NO.
Rolled oats and all meals made from it are not Paleo-friendly. The logic behind this is quite simple – it’s not on the list of allowed foods.
Paleo allows lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Wheat and oats are simply not allowed.
But there are other reasons behind this rule that we’ll get to in a minute. Just don’t panic, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel just yet.
What Are Rolled Oats Exactly?
To find out what the problem with eating any Rolled Oatmeals is, we have to know what they are.
Rolled oats are made from whole-grains. They are processed from oat groats and are then rolled into small flakes that are easier to cook – hence the name. We have been using them for a long time; they are a great source of fiber that will fill you up with some healthy and long-lasting energy. This is why they’re on farmer’s tables every morning.
They sound simple enough – so why would the Paleo gods make you get rid of them?
Sure they weren’t used in the Paleolithic era, but let’s go a bit deeper into why they could be bad for you while on Paleo.
Why You Can’t Eat Rolled Oats?
When you go on any diet, your body adapts to it. A healthy diet will help your body work more efficiently; Paleo, for instance, is famously great for this. When you don’t have to process all the unnecessary substances that are found in modern foods, you tend to feel better.
Rolled oats sound like they’re a great fuel for your body. The level of fiber alone will make you think you should be munching on oatmeal as soon as you wake up.
But rolled oats contain some antinutrients that can cause quite a bit of problems for you. Let’s go through some of these:
The Health Risks Of Having Rolled Oats While On Paleo
Avenin is a protein found in Rolled Oats. Now, as soon as you hear the word protein you probably think – well great!
But Avenin is no ordinary meat or dairy-based protein, it can cause a similar reaction to gluten for some people. So if you’re gluten-sensitive, you might want to stay away altogether.
Phytate or phytic acid is found in all sorts of foods. Grains, seeds, nuts, and beans. Some of these are banned from Paleo already, but it is important to know what’s what when it comes to the food you eat (or the food you want to eat).
This acid binds minerals and doesn’t let us absorb them. Too much of the stuff can cause mineral deficiencies and all the trouble that comes with it.
Now this one is tricky considering that oats should be gluten-free.
The problem is that they are usually contaminated by other grains that do contain the substance. During the processing of Oats – wheat, barley or rye can find their way into the mix, so if your body doesn’t tolerate gluten, just stay away from the oatmeal section at the supermarket.
As you can see, the story is not always that simple. Sure, you can just say that food isn’t Paleo-friendly, but knowing why helps you organize your diet much easier.
Time For Another Opinion
We know it seems all bad right now. Rolled Oats are banned from your diet after all. But there could be some good news.
We’re talking about a recent discovery in Italy that could change the game. Scientists found a slab of rock that is believed to have been used by our Paleolithic-era ancestors to grind oats, acorns, and other foods.
The slab is 32.000 years old, which fits pretty snugly into our preferred period of food processing.
Humans of the Paleolithic era ground their oats and other grains to carry them more easily and so they could survive the winter. Hey, we get it, a spring-time oatmeal breakfast is as good as any other.
It is believed they cooked this primitive oat flour and made oat cake, oatmeal, or porridge. Now, this does sound like some great news and many people were satisfied with the discovery. But not everybody was as easy to convince. Some Paleo folks still refuse to implement Oats in their diet.
Well if you’re a part of this group, worry not – we got you covered. There are always alternatives to your favorite foods. And we know, sometimes they do have the reputation of being just a cheap copy to keep your mind off the real thing. But that’s not always the case!
What Are The Alternatives?
Finding an alternative to Rolled Oats is no easy task. The famous texture and the warm comforting feeling you get from them is hard to replicate. But like we already said, there are always good alternatives.
There are many homemade alternatives to Rolled oats, or more specifically – meals made from it:
- Sweet Potato Porridge is our first choice. It’s easy to make and has the same texture as traditional porridge, which adds to the value quite a bit!
- Paleo Pumpkin Spice Coconut Porridge is second, – the mouthful of a name translates well into the recipe and the taste!
- Nut and Seed Overnight Porridge: This one takes some dedication and time to make, but the results are pretty darn spectacular! It’s full of protein, grain-free and delicious.
We don’t want to go overboard with the homemade stuff though, store-bought alternatives are a good choice too. All you need to look for is a grain-free sticker on it (gluten-free could be a good idea too).
The Nutritional Value Of Rolled Oats
We need to take a look at the nutritional values of Rolled Oats – for those people who decided that the new studies are enough to get Oatmeal back on the table.
Nutritional Values of Rolled Oats:
The calories are not that wild, considering that this is usually a morning food. The energy that it will give you is worth it.
Proteins are at a good level but nothing spectacular, while the carbs go over to the problematic side. All in all, this won’t give you any problems, weight-wise. But the health side, as we mentioned, is a different story.
One thing that you need to look out for is sugar levels, especially on the store-bought meals. They tend to go overboard with the sugar. The carbs, in general, can give you some trouble too, as they can disrupt the regulation of insulin.
Nothing here, nutrition-wise, is dangerous or problematic. Like with any food, you really should be moderate. Being smart with your meals is the most important part of any diet, Paleo especially!
Can You Eat Rolled Oats On Paleo – Final Words
To wrap things up, we’ll give you a piece of advice. Always investigate everything you eat. The Paleo diet is one that requires this more than any other! Rolled oats are a perfect example of this. They are a bit tricky since some people say that they are Paleo-friendly, while others keep away from them like they are a disease.
With that said we hope that the information we gave you here helps with the decision. Keep healthy and enjoy your meals, that is the most important part of Paleo!