What's The Deal With Oatmeal?

By diabetesfree Latest Reply 2016-11-07 10:37:31 -0600
Started 2012-02-04 08:00:47 -0600

Most health advice that I read online these days shows Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not the instant type or one that comes in a package) claims that oatmeal is good for diabetics and should not cause a spike in blood glucose levels. For some reason, I seem to get the exact opposite results though. I am using 3/4 cup of oats and about twice as much water, heated in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes. I weigh about 210, yet my blood glucose levels always seem to spike 50-100 points shortly after eating oatmeal. I am not using any milk, toppings or sweeteners of any type. Has anyone else here had the same reaction?

98 replies

annnoyed 2016-11-06 10:42:23 -0600 Report

After researching was exited about steal cut oats with blueberries. Well count really jumped. Made with water. Thou it's part of the grain. No difference. I was put on crestor cause I know I was doing everything right. Now my cohlestor.is picture perfect. Same with metaformin. BMI is now 28.5!!! I tried everything for bkst nothing is working, Stopped seeing the dietician. My new one was not encouraging just the opposite. Help bkfst

haoleboy 2016-11-06 11:08:06 -0600 Report

my solution was to just stop eating breakfast. (16:8 intermittent fasting)
no longer on statins and my cholesterol ratios are "ideal".
(fasting is also a good way to lose weight and to improve insulin sensitivity)

~eat as if your life depends on it ©

annnoyed 2016-11-06 19:05:06 -0600 Report

I wish I could do that Hypoglecmic, bee for yrs. Don't have a weight issue. Fasting dosen't help as at a certain it starts to rise. I'm 65 & only the last 2 yrs #'s went koko. Started with a little fat in the liver now it's perfect. Thanks for replying.

haoleboy 2016-11-07 10:37:31 -0600 Report

yeah … not a good idea to try fasting if you tend to have hypo issues,
based the weight loss comment on the 28.5 BMI … no offense meant


WASHED OUT 2016-04-02 20:38:17 -0500 Report

Oats in any form will cause a lasting spike. Steel cut whole oats are better if you are going to continue, but I nor many of our diabetic community can tolerate them and keep control. Oats are a grain carb, any grains or grain products should be avoided or limited to prevent glucose spikes.

Ray Ross
Ray Ross 2016-04-02 20:30:13 -0500 Report

I have never had better blood glucose levels since I began using Oatmeal sugar free of course my readings everyday read about 120 app they used to run in the 300;s God Bless Oatmeal

tiredofdiabetes62 2016-01-15 16:38:19 -0600 Report

I told my doctor today that I ate oatmeal for my morning snack at work and he said I need to stop doing that immediately! When I asked him why when all I had been told is that it was good for diabetics. He said it causes spikes and that is why my numbers are high. He said I will find my numbers will be much lower from now on. He said to start eating a couple microwave eggs instead to get me through til lunch time at work. I will try that and see how it works.

GabbyPA 2016-01-21 18:47:22 -0600 Report

Sadly, oatmeal has been left out of my menu now. I tried to eat it in different ways and different types, but they all mess with me. Not worth the headache of spikes.

DaisyNY 2015-08-06 11:19:13 -0500 Report

I'm T2 - Metformin 500 2X. I just started having Quick Oats for breakfast instead of eggs because I ran out of eggs and had oatmeal. I have 1/2 cup with sucralose and some evaporated milk.

I was really surprised that my levels were better than with eggs or fish - 105 vs 120. I guess I'm going to switch.

Autumnglow 2015-08-05 10:46:36 -0500 Report

I am a T2 Diabetic on 3 oral meds. I have tried eating steel cut oats cooked in water, added cinnamon and sliced almonds and my BG spikes over 100 pts. I cannot have any type of cereals either, no matter how low the carbs.

Barryman 2015-07-24 18:25:24 -0500 Report

Yes I have and its aggravating because I love oatmeal! First get away from that brand because they are fighting GMO labeling…go with an organic oatmeal…might help but didn't me (I only use 1/4 cup uncooked) and still does me that way. I was tested for oatmeal allergy and came back negative…I am wondering if I have a sensitivity to it that is causing it (sensitivitys will not register on the allergy test!) Gonna have to give it up for now…

SCLWKR 2012-02-10 10:57:47 -0600 Report

Some things just don't agree with our body chemistry. I can't eat a banana without a serving of protien or my BG will zoom. My nutritionist suggested to use the steel cut oatmeal and add some walnuts for protien. This will slow the rate at which it absorbs and hits your blood stream.

diabetesfree 2012-02-10 23:26:41 -0600 Report

I seem to recall reading that banannas have a higher sugar content than just about any type of fruit. I'm guessing that they do not have a lot of fiber, either. For me, the best/worst food is pizza. Pizza will spike my blood sugar levels for DAYS. It's probably the pan crust with extra sauce that does it. It has always been one of my great addictions though.

DaisyNY 2015-08-06 11:20:55 -0500 Report

Bananas are bad for me, but blueberries are great - hardly any effect at all (with non-fat Greek yogurt). It's my favorite dessert, in season.

Jaysayhay 2012-02-10 10:41:45 -0600 Report

Lots of good replies here. Let me add a tip. I add cinnamon and ginger to my oatmeal and sweeten with a little honey, because I have learned the cinnamon helps spur an increase of insulin,ginger settles stomach and eases arthritic pain and honey is a natural antihistamine…I also add protein to my brkfst. egg or meats or natural peanut butter on whole multigrain bread. I almost forgot, add a little vanilla to your oatmeal, yum!! By the way my type 2 diabetes is under control. I am convinced that breakfast, well balanced, is the key. My Doctors agree!

LisaLaraine 2012-02-08 15:45:13 -0600 Report

Unfortunately, all grains will raise blood sugar, and really NONE are slow carbs. The only way to make them slow is to add more fiber (I add ground flax seed to my oatmeal) and start your meal with protein. Eggs, ham, leftover chicken, lean steak, you know, even well-cooked bacon works. If you eat the meat/protein first, it will slow down the absorbtion of the grains, and the fiber added by the flax seed will do the same.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2012-02-08 13:41:21 -0600 Report

Most breakfast foods (including oatmeal) make my blood sugar spike. It is horrible because breakfast is my favorite meal.

Maddie98 2012-02-07 21:41:29 -0600 Report

Oatmeal has never caused problems with me. But other cereals always spike me. Try eating some protein with your cereals. Eggs or sausage are good choices. Also Canadian Bacon!

Misspearl01 2012-02-07 11:05:15 -0600 Report

Oatmeal. Any kind of cereal sends my bg's through the roof. It sucks. I miss oatmeal alot maybe one day we can eat it again I dought it but dreaming never hurts.

SCLWKR 2012-02-10 15:59:46 -0600 Report

You don't have to give up this favorite food. Just make a few adjustments. Combine it with raw walnuts and drink a 12 oz class of water with it. I'll bet you will see less of a spike. Additionally, I use water instead of milk to make mine. ANd what is a spike for you? 160-190? There are many health benefits associated with oatmeal (fiber, lowering of cholesterol) that it doesn't have to be eliminated. Experiment with protiens along with it. And enjoy!

Armourer 2012-02-06 14:58:08 -0600 Report

My reading is to use steel-cut oats. I don't use milk either. Some days it spikes, some days it doesn't. So my opinion is out on the matter. My steel-cut oats use 3-1 water. It makes about 4 servings, takes 15 minutes to cook.

MrsCDogg 2012-02-06 07:59:35 -0600 Report

I can't eat oatmeal either. Gets my sugar jacked up something awful. Just bear in mind that all the things we are told are "healthy" aren't necessarily. You have to find out what works best for you. For me I am better off staying away from all that starchy stuff, like oatmeal, and cold cereal. I like to stick to non starchy veggies, and some sort of protein.

GabbyPA 2012-02-04 18:15:03 -0600 Report

I stay away from oatmeal. I do use steel cut oats from time to time, but it spikes me as well. It is a good thing that I am not much of a cereal eater. Can't touch most of that stuff.

diabetesfree 2012-02-04 18:21:28 -0600 Report

O.k., is there ANYONE out there who does NOT have a problem with their BS spiking after eating oatmeal? For being so recommended by so many different books and medical websites, it seems strange that all of them are wrong. Go figure!

Mallacai 2015-06-13 10:30:42 -0500 Report

Hi, oatmeal does not spike me. I use about a 1/4 cup with water, cinnamon, ground flax seed, a little wheatgerm and approx two dates to sweeten it. I suppose i tolerate it well and my portion is small. My have a fruit before or after as well.

SCLWKR 2012-02-10 16:04:01 -0600 Report

Sprinkle a tablespoon of chia seeds into it (tastless) and that adds more fiber thus slower digestion.

SCLWKR 2012-02-10 16:02:33 -0600 Report

Have the oatmeal with cinnamon (lowers BG) and sweetner with a side of 2 morning star sausage patties for the protien. The key is protein protein protein!

CaliKo 2012-02-04 19:17:03 -0600 Report

I can eat 1/3 cup rolled oats cooked with 3/4 cup water. That is often my breakfast. I can eat the same amount of steel oats, too, but it takes so long to cook.

jayabee52 2012-02-07 19:24:49 -0600 Report

I have heard that folks will put it in a slow cooker, and cook a bunch at a time and let it cool in the refrigerator. Then they take out and a serving and zap it in the Micro

CaliKo 2012-02-07 20:19:34 -0600 Report

That's a great solution! I think the steel-cut oats are slower-acting carbs. Thanks James, I hope you are doing well.

jayabee52 2012-02-09 21:11:55 -0600 Report

yes anything less processed like the steel cut oats takes longer to for stomach acid to break down, and hence the longer digestion time which makes it a slower acting carb. I am doing well, thank you Caliko

GabbyPA 2012-02-04 18:34:51 -0600 Report

I think it is all hype. Like most things that are good for diabetics. Add a little diabetic label and charge twice the money. They are always looking for something to market their products. So if it doesn't work for you very well, then I would just avoid it. I have done that to a few foods. I just don't eat them anymore because it isn't worth the headache and spike later.

Nick1962 2012-02-04 19:08:51 -0600 Report

Ditto that. Serving of oatmeal and a whole grain english muffin are both 26 carbs. I'd rather throw an egg and ham on that english muffin and get the same protein benefit if I'm taking the spike hit.

Anonymous 2016-02-20 13:07:53 -0600 Report

As a diabetic I presume you know that not all carbs are created equally, you need to look at other aspects, e.g. GI (glycemic index)

Caroltoo 2012-02-04 18:24:27 -0600 Report

Do you think that it might be the halo effect?

Oats/oatmeal get such high rating for reducing cholesterol which is big issue among heart problem prone diabetics, it may be more assumption of heart benefits that testing of BG rates.

Nick1962 2012-02-04 19:04:15 -0600 Report

I think you're onto something there Carol. I don't remember it being advertised as good for diabetics, just good for the heart. The background calim is that it's a "slow" carb.

Young1s 2012-02-04 19:40:32 -0600 Report

I've posed the question in many different ways on line and all avenues lead back to oatmeal being a healthy choice for diabetics. Which makes me wonder, if so many of us have a negative effect on our BG's, has anyone actually tested actual diabetics before reporting their findings?

Nick1962 2012-02-04 19:51:55 -0600 Report

Good point. Maybe we should call out big oatmeal and ask for proof. I can't find any. The only folks I've seen who have no problem with it are those on medications or insulin.

granniesophie 2012-02-05 05:37:44 -0600 Report

What an excellent idea!! I'm up for doing it! Really, I will email a letter to them and see what reply I get. Give me a couple of days and I will get a letter going. I am on several meds, and my BG spikes like crazy. I never see a 200 anymore, and oatmeal does it!
Keep you all posted!

jayabee52 2012-02-04 14:40:16 -0600 Report

Yes, and I've used steel cut oats and even tried oat bran, with much the same effect. I have to cut the suggested portion size in half to give me an acceptable rise in BG levels.

Oatmeal used to be my breakfast of choice for me for a number of years even after my Dx with DM. Once I figured how to check out how foods affect my unique metabolism, I got a shock how my BGs were affected by my fave breakfast food.

Caroltoo 2012-02-04 16:03:34 -0600 Report

Oatmeal sends my BGs way up also, even when steel cut and without any sweeteners of any kind.

jayabee52 2012-02-04 16:11:07 -0600 Report

I thought of the oat bran would not be as bad for my BGs. I checked my BGs after 2 hrs and was shocked at how high the oat bran was after 2 hrs (and that was without sweetener, and cooked with water) . When I cut the portion size in half then it was more acceptable. but the amount wasn't enough to be really satisfying

kdroberts 2012-02-04 12:29:54 -0600 Report

The root sources that claim it won't raise blood sugar are those who will profit by selling it. It is almost 100% carb and will absolutely raise blood sugar. Eating protein and fat will help even out the spike as will portion size and not adding extra carb.

diabetesfree 2012-02-04 11:17:59 -0600 Report

Glad to hear that I am not alone on this one! On paper, oatmeal should be an excellent food for diabetics. The last time I was hospitalized, that was about all they would serve me for breakfast. At first, I thought that it might have been the milk I was adding that was responsible, so I stopped using that. With no better results, I finally removed Splenda from the recipe. While removing the milk improved my BG levels slightly, just plain oatmeal with water still sends my BG through the roof. Could it be that I am overcooking it? I'm not really sure what to think at this point, other than I miss my oatmeal!

MEGriff1950 2012-02-04 11:33:08 -0600 Report

Hello, I have done a lot on online research plus I eat oatmeal often. Yes my sugar spikes shortly after eating but will return to a good BG about 1.5 hrs after. The research I learned that the fiber and nutrients in oatmeal outweigh the quick spike. When I make oatmeal I make it with 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 water. Then I add 3/4 C of frozen fruit (thawed). Berries are great tasting and add your fruit and anti oxidents especially blueberries. If you add a bit of cinnamon on top it will help the spike. Also eating a bit of protein helps, perhaps a hard boiled egg.
I usually boil up 6 to 8 eggs at a time, peel, and place in a ziplock bag and keep in my frige.

jayabee52 2012-02-04 20:42:37 -0600 Report

when I test for my tests of how a particular food affects my BG levels I test at the 2 hr mark and I find a suggested serving raises my BG too high to eat it at the suggested serving level. I have found that I could eat half of the suggested serving and have an acceptable BG (without added milk or sweetener) at 2 hrs after reading, but the half serving size just was not satisfying to me.

MEGriff1950 2012-02-05 00:44:57 -0600 Report

Those are some of the reasons that I add the fruit to try to get the recommended carbs and still get that added fiber.

Young1s 2012-02-04 10:34:33 -0600 Report

It hates me too but I thought it was because of the sweetener I add to it. Never tried it just plain.

granniesophie 2012-02-04 10:29:55 -0600 Report

Love oatmeal, it hates me! Same spikes everyone else gets! But I can eat Cream of Wheat. No spikes. Go figure??!!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-06 18:44:51 -0600 Report

I haven't tried cream of wheat since I was diagnosed. I might get brave enough. I loved it on cold snowy days. Oatmeal hates me, it is a mutual feeling.

diabetesfree 2012-02-07 14:12:12 -0600 Report

Yes, do let us know about the cream of wheat. I haven't had any of that in years. I have no clue what is actually in in, but I suspect… wheat?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-07 19:18:35 -0600 Report

I will. My husband stopped for groceries yesterday ad forgot the cream of wheat. H said he'd get some today. So I'll try it tommorrow if the nasty flue bug we're fighting at work doesn't get me.

diabetesfree 2012-02-07 15:07:29 -0600 Report

I wouldn't expect the results to do that well then. Most wheat products are loaded with carbs from my experience.

jigsaw 2012-02-04 08:34:20 -0600 Report

Same here! Any kind oatmeal spikes my bg! I still have a small portion every once in a blue moon. I think 1/2 cup = approx. 27 grams of carbs.

cavie2 2012-02-04 08:20:58 -0600 Report

We in Scotland call it Quaker's Porridge Oats or guid auld fashioned Porridge, I remember ma mither tellin' us as weans that she used to cook it thick during the war, line a drawer with greaseproof paper and when it was cooked she would pour it into the drawer and wait till it cooled down then it would be sliced up and eaten cold when food that was rationed was in short supply. Eeuuukk!!!

MewElla 2012-02-04 08:05:00 -0600 Report

Oatmeal drives my bg#'s also. I stay away from this and it is a shame, since I always liked it before…