Oatmeal increases a sense of fullness and reduces hunger due to the viscosity and hydration properties of its beta-glucan content, according to research from PepsiCo.
The study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition claimed that oatmeal had better satiety effects than another oat-based ready-to-eat breakfast cereal (RTEC).
The research investigated the appetite and satiety effects of PepsiCo’s Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal and General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios. The latter was chosen as it was the most widely sold RTEC in 2012 according to IRI data, the researchers said.
“Oatmeal, higher in fiber and protein but lower in sugar than the ready-to-eat cereals, resulted in greater increase in fullness, and greater reduction in hunger, desire to eat and prospective intake compared to the RTEC.”
“The increase in satiety may be attributed to the viscosity of oatmeal. Increased viscosity was due to the hydration properties, higher molecular weight, and concentration of the beta-glucan in oatmeal compared to the RTEC.”
Beta-glucan viscosity important
Oat beta-glucan has been linked to improved satiety before, the researchers wrote, but this research showed the importance of beta-glucan delivery and form.
The oatmeal in the study only contained 0.9g more beta-glucan than its RTE counterpart, yet still had better satiety effects. The researchers said this was due to the higher viscosity of oatmeal.
They said the fiber levels in the oatmeal may also have contributed to the satiating effect of the beta-glucan content.
Appetite control as a result of fullness
The research, involving 48 subjects aged 18 and over, analyzed hunger, fullness, stomach fullness, desire to eat, prospective food intake and satisfaction.
It found that the oatmeal reduced hunger and decreased the desire to eat afterwards. Those who had eaten oatmeal also reported an increased sense of fullness.
“Oatmeal as a satiety-enhancing food can have immense value in prolonging the interval between meals and helping consumers to resist the environmental and personal factors that promote overconsumption,” the researchers said.
However, the level of satisfaction felt after consumption was not explicitly different – except that subjects reported greater satisfaction 180 minutes after eating the oatmeal.
The researchers acknowledged some limitations in the study – one being that the breakfasts were not matched for nutrient content and therefore, they said, it was difficult to clearly distinguish between the satiating effects of the nutrient components. They added that follow-up meals were not investigated to determine if consumption of oatmeal resulted in reduced energy intake at a subsequent meal.
Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition
Published 2013, Volume 32, Issue 4, Pages 272-279. Doi:10.1080/07315724.2013.816614
“Acute Effect of Oatmeal on Subjective Measures of Appetite and Satiety Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial”
Authors: Candida J. Rebello, William D. Johnson PhD,Corby K. Martin PhD, Wenting Xie MS, Marianne O’SheaPhD, Anne Kurilich PhD, Nicolas Bordenave PhD,Stephanie Andler BS, B. Jan Willem van Klinken MD PhD,Yi-Fang Chu PhD & Frank L. Greenway MD