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Health

Debbie Archer | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Unbeknownst to many, January is national oatmeal month. It is a good time to start implementing some of those New Year’s resolutions by focusing on improving your health by incorporating healthy whole grains in your diet, Teresa Henson, Extension specialist-program outreach coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said.
“Oatmeal is a more soluble fiber than any other grain, with excellent health benefits,” Henson said. “Some benefits are good digestion, controlling blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, managing weight, supporting a healthy immune system and keeping your stomach fuller longer during the day.” 
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, oatmeal is a healthy whole grain food that is nutritious, heart-healthy and high in fiber. Oatmeal contains a slew of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, B vitamins and magnesium, just to name a few.  
Oatmeal is a warm, nutritious breakfast food that you can enjoy every day, Henson said. When selecting oatmeal for breakfast, you can pick from various oats – old-fashioned, quick-cook, rolled or instant oats. For a fast approach to fixing oatmeal, you can purchase the packets of oatmeal that only need milk or water to cook.  
Henson recommends trying the recipe below provided by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension Healthy Aging Program for a fuss-free breakfast oatmeal.
Greek Yogurt Oatmeal 
Ingredients
1/2 cup old fashioned oats 
1/2 banana – sliced (optional) 
Pinch of sea salt 
1 1/4 cup water, milk or a blend of both 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional) 
1/4 cup Greek yogurt + more if you’d like 
Directions
Instead of using the banana to add sweetness, you could add other natural sweeteners, Henson said. Some options include maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar or even stevia.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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