6 Benefits of Eating Porridge (Which Is Not the Same as Oatmeal) | Livestrong.com (2023)

6 Benefits of Eating Porridge (Which Is Not the Same as Oatmeal) | Livestrong.com (1)

Porridge is not only delicious but also packs a hefty nutritional punch.

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With its intense flavor and rich consistency, porridge is one of the most beloved breakfast dishes worldwide. For many families, it's an integral part of their morning routine. Some prefer it simple, while others top it with dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, nutmeg, pumpkin puree or peanut butter. From increased satiety to greater energy and mental focus, the benefits of porridge go beyond convenience and comfort.



Porridge can be made with most grains, including wheat and corn. Oatmeal, on the other hand, only contains oats. Both options are healthy and rich in nutrients.

(Video) 6 Benefits of Oats and Oatmeal (Based on Science)

Porridge Versus Oatmeal

Contrary to popular belief, oatmeal and porridge are not one and the same. Oats are often eaten as porridge, but you may use other grains if you wish. Wheat, buckwheat, rice, corn and barley are all popular ingredients in porridge. Therefore, its nutritional value varies from one recipe to the next.

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Eating porridge for breakfast is a simple, convenient way to fuel your body for the day ahead. This popular dish is loaded with fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and complex carbs that provide steady energy. Oats, for example, have a low glycemic index and pack a hefty nutritional punch. One cup of uncooked oats provides:

  • 607 calories
  • 26.4 grams of protein
  • 103 grams of carbs
  • 16.5 grams of fiber
  • 10.8 grams of fat
  • 383 percent of the RDA of manganese
  • 49 percent of the RDA of copper
  • 41 percent of the RDA of zinc
  • 82 percent of the RDA of phosphorus
  • 79 percent of the RDA of thiamin


Wheat germ — another popular ingredient in porridge — boasts 26.6 grams of protein, 59.6 grams of carbs, 15.2 grams of fiber, 11.2 grams of fat and 414 calories per cup. These grains are also loaded with B vitamins, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Depending on what toppings you choose, porridge will contain more or less protein, carbs and fiber. Peanut butter, for instance, will increase its fat content.

(Video) What Will Happen If You Start Eating Oats Every Day

Why Eat Porridge for Breakfast?

This breakfast staple is made with whole grains and milk or water, so it's a lot healthier than refined cereals. Due to its high fiber content, it's easy to digest and keeps your blood sugar levels within normal limits. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, consider using oats in your daily porridge.


According to a 2015 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients, oats may improve blood lipids and glycemic control in diabetics. Researchers attribute the benefits of oatmeal to beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that reduces postprandial blood glucose and enhances the body's ability to use insulin. Furthermore, these grains have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss.


Another study, which was published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2018, indicates that whole grains may reduce the risk of diabetes by as much as 11 percent in men and 7 percent in women. Wheat and oats appear to be more beneficial for women than rye. Whole grains have also been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality.


Porridge and Weight Loss

Many dieters avoid whole grains because of their high carb content. The ketogenic diet, Atkins and other slimming plans eliminate grains altogether. Yet, these foods can actually help you get leaner and keep the pounds off. Eating porridge for breakfast might be exactly what you need to curb hunger and stay full longer throughout the day.

Read more: Can Eating Porridge Help Me Lose Weight?

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Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found that barley may reduce appetite and improve blood sugar levels. In the study, subjects who ate barley bread at every meal for three days experienced positive changes in the gut hormones that regulate appetite and fight inflammation. Their metabolic rate increased for up to 14 hours after dinner. Scientists point out that barley's effects on appetite and metabolism vary among individuals, depending on the composition of their gut microflora.


A recent clinical trial published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2017 suggests that swapping refined grains for their whole counterparts may help reduce body weight and fat levels. Men and postmenopausal women who replaced cereals with whole grains had lower blood sugar levels compared to the control group. They also experienced significant improvements in energy-balance metrics.

Can Porridge Reduce Inflammation?

One of the lesser known benefits of porridge lies in its ability to reduce inflammation. The polyphenols in whole wheat can positively alter the gut microbiota, increasing the number of good bacteria that regulate inflammatory processes. A 2018 clinical trial, which appeared in the Nutrition Journal, confirms these findings.



(Video) This Happens to Your Body When Eating Oatmeal Daily | Dr. Mandell

This study assessed the role of fruits and vegetables versus whole grains in reducing inflammation and promoting digestive health. All subjects experienced a reduction in inflammatory markers and improvements in the gut microbiota, but via different mechanisms. Fruits and vegetables may trigger these changes due to their high content of soluble fiber, vitamin C, folate and flavonoids. Whole grains contain larger amounts of insoluble fiber, phytosterols and vitamin E.

Add fresh fruits to porridge to get the best of both worlds. This is a simple, effective way to boost your intake of soluble and insoluble fiber, fill up on vitamin C and power up your diet with antioxidants. Sprinkle a few slices of apples, pears or citrus fruits over oatmeal, add mashed bananas to the mix or top everything with berries.

Ward Off Chronic Diseases

Eating porridge for breakfast could add years to your life and ward off chronic diseases. As the journal Nutrients points out, eating two or three servings of whole grains daily can significantly lower the risk of developing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular problems. Oats, rye, wheat and barley are all excellent choices.

The phenolic acids in unrefined cereals exhibit antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When consumed regularly, these nutrients help balance the gut flora, protect your tissues from oxidative stress and improve digestive function. Researchers also note that ferulic acid, caffeic acid and other phenolic acids have the ability to destroy pathogens, improve insulin response and aid in weight management.

Refined grains, on the other hand, promote obesity and contribute to the onset of diabetes. These popular foods are chock-full of sugar and low in fiber. Most brands also contain high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, preservatives and flavor enhancers that may affect overall health.

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Porridge

What makes porridge so appealing is its versatility. This breakfast staple can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. If you're short on time, combine milk and oats in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until soft.

Get creative in the kitchen and try new porridge recipes. Swap cow's milk for coconut or almond milk, add nuts and seeds to the mix or serve it with frozen summer berries. For extra flavor, sprinkle nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon or cocoa powder over porridge. You can even add some protein powder to it to fuel your morning workouts.

Read more: 9 Sweet Oatmeal Toppings That Will Transport You to a Bakery

For a nutty flavor, toast the oats before cooking them. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil or grass-fed butter if desired. This will result in a thicker consistency and keep you full longer. Serve your morning porridge with almond butter, baked apples, Greek yogurt or dark chocolate chips for a unique flavor.


(Video) Health Warnings About Eating Oats/Oatmeal, Especially For Breakfast!



How is porridge different from oatmeal? ›

Porridge is a mixture of any grain, cereal, or legume boiled in water, milk, or broth. It is served hot and made from a variety of cereals such as oats, maize, rice, corn, wheat, and barley. Oatmeal is a type of porridge made from ground, rolled, or flattened oats.

What are the benefits of eating porridge? ›

Top 5 health benefits of porridge
  • Helps to manage cholesterol levels. ...
  • May help balance blood sugar levels. ...
  • May support gut health. ...
  • Provides protective antioxidants. ...
  • May help with weight management.
Feb 15, 2023

What is better for you porridge or oatmeal? ›

Summary. Porridge and oatmeal are usually referred to as oatmeal; however, the term porridge includes whole grains, cereals, and vegetables. Compared to the original Cream of Wheat, oatmeal is richer in all macronutrients, calories, vitamins, and minerals.

What is oatmeal benefits and disadvantages? ›

Overall, oats are a low-risk, high-reward food. However, despite their numerous health benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind if you're new to the oat game. Oats are high in soluble fiber, which is good for digestion, but it may also cause bloating, increased gas, and abdominal cramps for some people.

Is porridge not oatmeal? ›

Oatmeal can be made into a type of porridge, and the two terms are often used interchangeably because oatmeal is so commonly used. Not all porridge, however, is made from oats. Porridge is a hot cereal that can be made from a variety of grains, vegetables, or even some legumes.

Is porridge full of protein? ›

Oats are a powerhouse of nutrition, packed full of fibre, protein for muscle support and essential fats for joint support. Porridge oats contain around 11-15% protein which equates to 11.1g of protein per 100g.

What is the nutritional value of porridge? ›

Per 100 grams oatmeal contains:

59 g carbohydrates (of which 0.7 g sugar) 10 g dietary fiber. 14 g Protein. 7 g Fat.

Why is porridge a superfood? ›

Oats are a natural superfood because they are 100% whole grain with minimal processing, and contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. Oats are unique in that they are one of the richest sources of beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol reabsorption^.

Is porridge good for your gut? ›

Porridge oats contain a special type of fibre (beta-glucan) which is proven to help nourish and replenish levels of healthy gut bacteria as well as maintain normal levels of cholesterol.

What is the healthiest porridge? ›

But if you want to get technical, Oat Groats remain the healthiest because they're the purest form of the whole oat you can eat. They're the least processed and contain the most nutrition.

What is the healthiest way to eat porridge? ›

14 delicious heart-healthy porridge ideas
  1. Strawberries and blueberries. ...
  2. Cherry and chia seeds. ...
  3. Banana, raspberry, almond butter and cinnamon. ...
  4. Flaked almonds and chopped dates. ...
  5. Walnuts, pear slices and ginger. ...
  6. Peaches and raspberries. ...
  7. Stewed plums. ...
  8. Blueberries, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

What is the main ingredient in porridge? ›

With oats the primary ingredient in porridge, it's also one of the best breakfasts to have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As they're low GI and full of dietary fibre, they'll keep you fuller for longer.

What are the negative effects of oatmeal? ›

What are the side effects of eating oatmeal? The most common side effect of eating oatmeal is bloating and gas due to its high fiber content. Additionally, if you are not getting enough protein and other nutrients in your diet, it can cause fatigue and an increased risk of weight gain.

What is the disadvantage of eating oatmeal? ›

5 ways having too much oatmeal can backfire
  • 01/6​5 ways having too much oatmeal can backfire. ...
  • 02/6​It can increase your sugar intake. ...
  • 03/6​You are eating only oats. ...
  • 04/6​Can lead to malnutrition and muscle mass shedding. ...
  • 05/6​It can lead to bloating. ...
  • 06/6​Can backfire on your weight loss goals.
Jan 13, 2021

What are examples of porridge? ›

Perhaps the most well-known type of porridge is oatmeal. It is made from different types of oats, including rolled, steel-cut, or instant. Examples of corn-based porridges are grits, which originated in the American South, and polenta, an Italian dish that is similar to grits but less creamy.

Is porridge The healthiest breakfast? ›

Porridge is our top choice for a heart healthy breakfast – when it is made with low-fat milk or water and unsweetened. All porridge oats are wholegrains and they all contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which can help lower your cholesterol level if you have 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet.

Is Quaker oats a porridge? ›

The basis of any great porridge is the oats – and boy at Quaker do we know our oats. As well as being a wholesome, healthy and tasty meal Quaker Oat porridge comes in all shapes and sizes with products ranging from our Traditional wholegrain oats to gluten free and those with added protein.

Does porridge lower cholesterol? ›

Regardless of the type, shape or size, all porridge oats are wholegrains and they all contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which can help lower your cholesterol level if you have 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet. (A 40g serving of porridge oats contains 2g of beta-glucan.)

Is porridge good for diabetics? ›

Porridge oats or the instant variety are both fine - just avoid those with added free sugars like honey and golden syrup. Wheat biscuits, shredded wheat or muesli (with no added sugar) are also great alternatives.

Does porridge build muscle? ›

Raw oats are 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, and 7% fat. This means Oats contain the right amount of proteins to help build muscle and the right amount of carbs to strengthen and repair muscles.

Is porridge good for circulation? ›

Share on Pinterest Oatmeal contains high levels of antioxidants, which can improve blood flow in the body.

Is porridge good for constipation? ›

Foods that help ease constipation

Consider adding some the following fibre-rich foods to your diet to help ease constipation: High fibre cereals such as: bran flakes, Weetabix, porridge, muesli and shredded wheat.

Why is porridge high in sugar? ›

The reason? processed oats are basically sugar! They digest more quickly and are broken down into sugar in the body, which will cause your blood sugar levels to rise faster. And you can forget about adding any sweeteners (even natural ones such as honey).

Does porridge lower your blood pressure? ›

suggests that it can also help control blood pressure levels. A new clinical study has found that eating oatmeal and other wholegrain oat cereals can help control blood pressure levels.

What foods heal the gut lining? ›

To combat leaky gut, eat foods that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, including fruits, cultured dairy products, healthy fats, lean meats, and fibrous and fermented vegetables. Avoid processed and refined junk foods.

Does porridge have probiotics? ›

Fermented grain porridge offers nutritional benefits derived from the grain itself as well as from the probiotic properties brought about by fermentation.

Is porridge good for stomach inflammation? ›

Light porridge such as warm oatmeal or semolina porridge, which can be served with unsweetened compote, is particularly gentle on the stomach. Oatmeal is recommended for gastritis, as experience has shown that this dish is particularly gentle on the gastric mucosa.

Is porridge a carb or protein? ›

Porridge is made from oats, which are around 66% carbohydrate by weight. A 40g serving of Scottish Porridge Oats typically contains around 24g net carbohydrates, 23.8g of which is starch. Whether you choose to enjoy a bowl of porridge or not comes down to your own unique dietary needs, preferences and goals.

Is porridge healthier with milk or water? ›

Milk is rich in fats, calcium, and Vitamin D that complements the nutrients in oats. Thus oats cooked in milk have benefits over oats cooked in water. Milk has fats, calcium, and Vitamin D that is normally absent in processed oats. Apart from adding a flavour, it also helps in keeping your muscles and bones healthy.

What are the two types of porridge? ›

26 Types Of Porridges To Please Your Taste Bud
  • Genfo.
  • Harissa.
  • Congee.
  • Hasty Pudding.
  • Kasha.
  • Arroz Caldo.
  • Champurrado.
  • Upma.
Jan 22, 2023

What happens to your body when you eat porridge every day? ›

Daily consumption of oatmeal helps improve metabolism, accelerating weight loss. Breakfast based on oatmeal over a long time period allows us to refrain from excess calorie intake. The slow carbohydrates contained in it, allow us to regulate appetite and anxiety and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Is porridge good for your liver? ›

Oats may have protective effects for the liver as they contain a specific type of fibre called beta-glucan. One study showed that beta-glucan reduced liver damage and oxidative stress in individuals with obstructive jaundice.

What is the American version of porridge? ›

It is known as simply "porridge" or, more commonly in the United States and Canada, "oatmeal". In the US, oat and wheat porridge can both be called "hot cereal". Rolled oats are commonly used in England, oatmeal in Scotland and steel-cut oats in Ireland.

Who should avoid oats? ›

Diabetic patients must take preventive measures when it comes to eating oats due to their high percentage of Carbohydrates, although these are of low glycemic index. In any case, they must measure the daily intake of carbohydrates thoroughly, looking for different ways to include oats in their diet without any issue.

Is it true that oatmeal is not as healthy? ›

Extensive studies have associated oats and oatmeal with plenty of heart-healthy benefits, such as lowering cholesterol (both total and "bad" LDL cholesterol) and helping with weight control. Oatmeal has a host of vitamins and minerals.

Is peanut butter good for you to eat? ›

Peanut butter is loaded with so many good, health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium and vitamin B6. Research shows that people who regularly eat nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Can dogs eat oatmeal? ›

It is a great alternative carbohydrate for dogs that may be sensitive to wheat or grains.” Oatmeal contains vitamin B, which helps maintain a healthy coat, and linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps to maintain the strength of dogs' skin.

Is oatmeal hard on the digestive system? ›

Are oats good for digestion? Oats can be a fantastic gut-friendly food as part of a healthy, varied diet. Here are four of their digestion-boosting benefits. Most simple of all, the high fibre content of oats helps us have regular and healthy bowel movements.

Can oats cause digestive issues? ›

Oatmeal can cause digestive issues for some, including gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort. This may be due to the presence of gluten or not digesting oats properly. Additionally, oatmeal is high in calories and carbohydrates so people who are trying to lose weight should be careful how much they consume.

How long after eating oatmeal will I poop? ›

Since oatmeal is a complex carb, it's digested slower than foods containing simple carbs. However, oatmeal also contains dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and absorption. When these two factors are combined, the digestion time of oatmeal is relatively fast and takes about two to three hours.

Why do I get diarrhea after eating oatmeal? ›

If you're not used to consuming high-fiber foods like oats, gradually increase your fiber intake. A sudden increase in fiber consumption can soften your stool too much, causing diarrhea, and can also cause bloating and flatulence.

Why do Americans call porridge oatmeal? ›

Porridge made from rolled oats or ground oatmeal is common in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Finland and Scandinavia. It is known as simply "porridge" or, more commonly in the United States and Canada, "oatmeal". In the US, oat and wheat porridge can both be called "hot cereal".

Can you eat oatmeal like porridge? ›

Oats can be a great addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast, added to baked goods, and more.

Does porridge help lose weight? ›

Rather, it's about using porridge as a low-calorie yet nutrient-rich start to the day. One serving of oatmeal per day, combined with a low-calorie, nutrient-dense diet below your calorie needs, can help you lose weight. This may sound too simple, but this diet is actually easy to implement and promising.

Is porridge oats or wheat? ›

Oats are extremely versatile and can be used to make porridge, flapjacks, wheat free muesli, granola, cakes, bread and cookies. Oats are also used to make certain beers and feature very strongly in traditional Scottish cooking, including Haggis.

What is McDonald's oatmeal called? ›

McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal recipe feature two full servings of whole-grain oats with a touch of cream and brown sugar. Loaded with red and green apples, cranberries, and two varieties of raisins, our oatmeal makes for a hearty, wholesome breakfast of whole grains and fruit.

What nationality is porridge? ›

Today, porridge prepared with water and a pinch of salt is as much a symbol of Scotland as whisky, bagpipes and haggis. But the history of this simple yet versatile grain doesn't end at the Scottish border.

Can dogs eat porridge? ›

Yes, dogs can eat porridge oats as long as they're plain. Don't give your pup any of those instant or flavoured porridges because they simply aren't as healthy for your hound.

Why is porridge a Superfood? ›

Oats are a natural superfood because they are 100% whole grain with minimal processing, and contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. Oats are unique in that they are one of the richest sources of beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that can help lower cholesterol reabsorption^.

What is the healthiest type of porridge? ›

But if you want to get technical, Oat Groats remain the healthiest because they're the purest form of the whole oat you can eat. They're the least processed and contain the most nutrition.

What nutrients are in a bowl of porridge? ›

Porridge nutritional values
  • 372 kilocalories/ 1562 KJ Calorific value.
  • 59 g carbohydrates (of which 0.7 g sugar)
  • 10 g dietary fiber.
  • 14 g Protein.
  • 7 g Fat.
  • 0,02 g Salt.
May 11, 2022


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