Tue, 20 Sep 2022 Home & Food

A Bowl Of Oatmeal A Day, Keeps Diabetes Away

By K. Coco Zhang
A Bowl Of Oatmeal A Day, Keeps Diabetes Away

ACCORDING TO International Diabetes Federation (IDF), around 24 million adults between the ages of 20 and 79 are living with diabetes in the IDF Africa Region in 2021, among which 54% are undiagnosed. Moreover, IAF reported that diabetes led to 416,000 deaths in IDF Africa Region in 2021. Indeed, diabetes may sound largely inevitable among African individuals, but what causes diabetes exactly? And how do we avoid it?

Diabetes is a sickness that occurs due to the lack of insulin production or inefficient insulin utilization. Insulin is a hormone produced in our body and functions to regulate the blood sugar levels in order for our body to function properly. High blood sugar levels can cause diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease, eye disease, heart disease, anxiety, nerve damage, amputation and erectile dysfunction. Amongst the different types of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is typically developed in adulthood.

Fortunately, over half of the cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. This can be partly achieved through dietary modifications, such as substituting refined grains with wholegrains. Wholegrains are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals and have been found effective in reducing fat mass, increasing resting metabolic rate, promoting negative energy balance, increasing insulin sensitivity, improving the lipid profile, and reducing systemic inflammation (Hu et al., 2020). A large cohort study was conducted on 55,465 participants aged between 50 and 65 years. Detailed information on daily intake of wholegrain products and types of wholegrain consumed (wheat, rye, oats) was collected. It was discovered that wholegrain intake was associated with 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes per serving (16 g) per day in men and 7% in women (Kyrø et al., 2018). The intake of various types of wholegrains were significantly linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in men, but only wheat and oats were significantly linked for women.

Here is an example of how to incorporate wholegrains into a healthy breakfast.

Savory oatmeal with egg and avocado (5 servings)

Ingredients for the oatmeal:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil of choice
  • 1.5 cups oats, steel cut (alternative: rolled oats)
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Ingredients for toppings:
  • Eggs, fried
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Baby arugula (optional)
  • Mushrooms, sautéed (optional)
  • Parsley (optional)


Heat the onion, mushrooms, and garlic in a large pot with the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the onions are slightly browned, and the mushrooms are cooked down.

Add the oatmeal and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25-30 minutes if used steel cut oats or 5-10 minutes if used rolled oats, until the oatmeal is tender, and the mixture has thickened.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with fried eggs, avocado slices, arugula, parsley, and sautéed mushrooms.

Recipe adapted from


BY K. Coco Zhang