Porridge is simple, delicious, and quick to cook. It is varied and a great breakfast option. But is it a healthy food? How much of calories and other nutrition does it provide? How to see to it that it remains healthy?
What is Porridge?
Porridge is a simple food dish made by boiling grains in water. Oats are commonly used for it. 45 g of uncooked oats provide 150 calories. The amount of calories, protein, carbs, dietary fiber, fats, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in the cooked porridge would very depending on how you cook it and what toppings are used. Sugar added to the dish would increase its caloric value. Fresh fruits provide vitamins and minerals. And dried fruits and nuts give Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein etc.
But often, this nutritious dish can become unbalanced. These are the circumstances wherein one can spoil the nutritive value of the dish. Hence avoid these instances.
Sometimes considering that porridge is a healthy dish, people take larger portion sizes of it. Nutritionist and author Dawn Jackson Blatner states:
“Because it’s a healthy food, it has this health halo and people eat too much of it.”
“Instead of having one cup (90g) cooked, they’ll double it and start off with one cup dry.”
Oats:water ratio too matters. For rolled boats, it is 1:2 and for steel cut the ratio is 1:3.
Too much added sugar
Some add a lot of sugar. Choose alternatives such as honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or chocolate chips for sweetness. These up the sweet taste without raising calories.
Too much dried fruits
Dried fruits are healthy but too much of those are not healthy. Dawn explains:
“Dried fruit can have about eight times more calories than fresh fruit,”
Prefer fresh or frozen fruits over dried ones. They have less calories with more satiety.
Too much nuts
Nuts are healthy with good fats and protein. But the calories are also more. Hence limit the nuts used as toppings. Do not overdo it.
You buy the porridge
Many shops serve porridge. But they add sugar, cream and other add-on that might be unhealthy. Dawn advises:
“Check out the ingredients of the porridge at a specific place before you decide to get it,”
You purchase ready to make packets of it
These might be unhealthy because of excess sugar, preservatives, and other food additives. The instant flavored porridge packets are bad for health and best avoided. Dawn says this of oats:
“Instant is great when you’re really in a hurry.”
“But if you have just a few extra minutes to spare, you can make rolled oats in the microwave.”
Top adequately for better nutrition. Under topping of porridge provides lesser amount of healthy nutrients such as protein and omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Have a liberal but not excessive toppings of fresh fruit, nuts, and dried fruits.