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Size Matters - how the size of your oat flake impacts hunger and energy

Jill here - All oats are not created equal.

Let’s assume we’re talking about locally grown oats, planted by experienced growers in fertile and nutrient rich soil, harvested and sent to a local plant to be processed and milled.

Those oats are equal until we start to process, cut and roll them.

If you’re choosing oatmeal for your health and performance then you may be interested to learn what benefits each type of oat flake brings.

The bigger and more whole the oat (think steel cut or Jumbo) the lower the glycemic index.

The only thing you need to know about glycemic index - it's a scale or index from 0 to 100 (pure sugar being 100) of how quickly a carbohydrate rich food raises blood sugar levels.

Why does this matter? Because the lower the glycemic index the slower blood sugar levels rise in relation to what you’ve just eaten. That’s a good thing. You tend to feel fuller and your energy is more likely to stay stable for longer.

As the oat is cut smaller and becomes more processed the glycemic index starts to rise, meaning that your blood sugar level rises quicker but also falls quicker. You’ll feel hungrier and your energy will drop off at a faster rate.

Your typical Jumbo oat usually has a glycemic index of around 55.

Your typical medium cut oat usually clocks in around 65.

But instant oatmeal, particularly if you’re using single serve pots with added sugar can be as high as 70-80, which is no different to your typical cereal in a box.

So if you’re choosing oatmeal to stay full and fueled through the morning then a Jumbo Oat is your best choice.

The only Jumbo oat we’ve found in a single serving sachet by the way is Toatly Oaty.

It says on the box that you need to cook it for 2-3 mins but we’ve found that if you mix it with hot water in a thermos cup – just like the one you drink your coffee out of – it cooks just fine in 3 mins. It’s the perfect blend of low glycemic index oatmeal in a single serving that’ll keep you feeling full and fueled for longer.

Here’s one tip – at Team Joe Barr we mix a little finer cut oat into our Jumbo Oat base to give it a beautiful creamy texture.

Finer flakes absorb more liquid, becoming softer and creamier. For many, that also makes them more digestible.

So it really is possible to have the best of both flakes resulting in a low glycemic index and creamy textured oatmeal!

But how does flake size impact nutrition, particularly when it comes to athletic performance? Great question and one that we address in our “In the Workshop with TJB” Facebook group so pop on over and join if you’re interested!


Interested in reaching further in 2020? Check out the the Team Joe Barr 200, The TJB Coastal 330 or The Joe Barr 500. All distances open to both solo's and teams.

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