It's become the new hip health food. From Starbucks to McDonald's, oatmeal is on the menu.
And although it's been a staple of the American breakfast since the 1800s, the discovery that oats can lower cholesterol has made this porridge even more popular.
With the skinny on this breakfast wonder, here's Christi Paul with today's Health Minute.
You can spoon it, pour milk on it, even add some fruits and nuts.
Anyway you stir it, oatmeal is a good way to start the day.
"Oats, barley and rye specifically lower bad cholesterol. But oats also contain a lot of compounds and nutrients which help reduce diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, cancer. Being a whole, nutritious food, it has so many benefits."
But it's how you prepare your oatmeal that makes the healthy difference. Katherine Tallmadge, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says the best way to get the most out of your oatmeal is to make it from scratch.
"For something that's home prepared you are getting more nutrients, fewer calories and fewer of the negative nutrients like sodium and sugar."
Although she's not opposed to the instant kind, tallmadge says the packaged variety is usually loaded with additives. Taking a little extra time making your oatmeal can give you a healthier meal, and save you money.
"For the comparable amount of oats, the calories are going to fewer, the nutrients are going to be higher and it's going to be cheaper."
For Today's Health Minute, I'm Christi Paul.