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Are Overnight Oats Healthy?

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On a hunt to find an easy yet nutritious breakfast options to eat in the morning? You love oatmeal but bored of trying it the traditional way? Looking for a make-ahead recipe? 

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you just have to try overnight oats for an all around versatile meal prep that is ready to eat the very next day. Delicious, perfect as a go-to meal and at the same time nutritious; this dish is definitely the solution you were looking for. 

Is it healthy to eat overnight oats? Yes, overnight oats are a healthy meal prep idea. The primary ingredients is whole grain oats, which boast a number of beneficial attributes. As long as you keep the toppings and mix-ins in line with your health goals, overnight oats are a nutritious food to include in your overall diet.

Recipe websites have gone gaga over them, and almost every influencer and health enthusiastic has been seen posting and raving about it. So, is it about time you also jump on the bandwagon? 

If you are worried about eating uncooked oats and scared to try them, then know that they are perfectly safe to eat and enjoy. To know more about overnight oatmeal and if it is indeed healthy or not, do read on as we have covered as possible questions you might have about it.

What are overnight oats?

Overnight oats are raw oats that has been soaked in a liquid of your choice overnight or longer. You have a ton of options when it comes to the liquid used for soaking the whole grain oats. 

Some popular choices include milk, soy milk, nut milk (like almond, cashew), water, coconut milk and hemp milk. You can even use yogurt to soak them. 

During the whole night, in your fridge, the oats will absorb the liquid and soften up just like cooked oats. There are a few different types of oats to choose from, though the most common options are steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick oats.

However, for a healthier choice and a better results when soaking, the best type of oats for overnight oats is rolled oats. Compared to steel cut oats, these varieties can absorb the liquid faster and more efficiently. 

Mix in ingredients like fruits, nuts and seeds to the mixture before soaking, or add these ingredients as an oatmeal topping in the morning just before serving.

Are overnight oats safe?

Overnight oats are safe to eat as long as the raw dry oats are fully hydrated and allowed to soak for a minimum of 12 hours. 

If you are worried about soaked oatmeal being safe to eat or not, then you must have heard that eating raw dry oats is not safe as they contain phytic acid. 

Phytates or phytic acids are found in the outer layer of legumes, beans, grains, seeds and nuts. Their main job is to ensure the food does not sprout in your pantry. 

The downside is that they are known for binding themselves to essential minerals like iron, calcium and zinc. As a result, your body is unable to absorb these minerals and you may end up with mineral deficiencies. 

As per nutritionists recommendations, soaking oats overnight will remove/breakdown some of phytic acid. If you understand how to remove the phytic acid, then having overnight oats will be perfectly safe to consume.

Overnight oats phytic acid

Even though soaking oats overnight can reduce the phytic acid, the liquid in which they have been soaked may still contain phytic acid. If you soak the oats in water then you can throw away the water and rinse the oats with fresh water thoroughly before consuming. 

If you are soaking it in other type of liquid or have chosen to have oats this way as it frees you from having to do any cooking in the morning, then there is an easier solution. 

When soaking the oats add a bit of acid in the form of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Lemon overnight oats and apple cider overnight oats are recipes that specifically target this dilemma.

These ingredients can activate phytase (a type of enzyme) that can breakdown phytic acid. It will promote mineral absorption by neutralizing the anti nutrient.

Is overnight oats a healthy breakfast?

Overnight oats are a healthy breakfast option as the main ingredient isolates, which boast a wide range of health benefits including reduced cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease and weight loss

Beside reducing phytic acid, soaking the oats overnight also helps in starch breakdown through fermentation, making it easier to digest compared to oats cooked in a traditional way. Steel cut oats and rolled oats can upset the stomach if you are not used to eating fiber rich foods, but oats soaked overnight will not. 

Whole grain are perfect for those suffering with gluten sensitivities, though it is still suggested to use certified gluten free oats if you are on a wheat free diet. 

Soaked oats are rich in plant based protein and dietary fibre, they also contain a number of essential minerals and vitamins. They are filled with B-vitamins, biotin, silicium, iron and magnesium, so it is actually a very healthy breakfast option considering the range of nutritional benefits.

Is it ok to eat overnight oats every day?

As long as you are preparing the soaked oats with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or rinsing the oats after soaking, you can eat it every day without concern. You will be preparing it the night before, so it is actually one of the quickest breakfast options to go for. 

It has a number of health benefits and includes healthy carbs and fat. They are also known for decreasing insulin spikes and aids in weight loss. 

Thus, eating oats this way comes with a lot of advantages, and they are great to eat every day.

Are overnight oats healthier than oatmeal?

Soaked oats contain resistant starch which is a type of prebiotic fiber. So, you body will not digest the fiber and it will easily pass through your digestive system and make their way to your gut. 

In your intestines, it will be fermented by the bacteria. As a result, the oats will help to promote a healthy gut microbiome which will improve your overall health and wellness. 

Compared to cooked oats, raw oats happen to have 28 times more resistant starch, making overnight oatmeal is much more healthier.

Overnight Oats Weight Loss

Oats soaked overnight happens to be one of the best sources of resistant starch. There are many benefits that comes with eating oatmeal, including burning the belly fat

This type of starch happens to digest very slowly. So, you will feel fuller and have less hunger cravings. Besides, they are also known for triggering the release of different digestive acids known for suppressing the appetite and also speed up your calorie-burning capabilities. 

Thus, raw soaked oats with healthy ingredients will definitely help you to lose weight.

Does eating overnight oats make you fat?

Overnight oats are not fattening. This ultimately depends on the ingredients you are choosing to have with your soaked oats. 

The soaked oats will be a healthy option no matter what, but you can’t have plain oats on their own. You will need to add a liquid and other ingredients to make it tasty. 

Unhealthy toppings, sweeteners or fatty ingredients then increases the chances that you might get fat. So keep the bad stuff to a minimum and make sure that you are serving up tasty, nutritious and wholesome overnight oats.

Are overnight oats healthy for weight loss?

Overnight oats can help to promote weight loss because oats keep you feeling full for longer stretches of time, stimulate digestive enzymes and are also a low fat food item. 

Keep the consumption of unhealthy, junk food mix-in to a minimum, and your overnight oats will be healthy for weight loss.

Suppose you are making a simple chocolate flavored overnight oatmeal. Instead of whole milk and chocolate sauce, choose a healthier milk option like nut milk and unsweetened cocoa powder or cocoa nibs instead. 

As long as you are choosing the ingredients wisely, preparing this type of oats will be weight loss friendly.

Are overnight oats healthy?

Can Overnight Oats Be Healthy: Final Thoughts

Oats are full of healthy benefits and preparing soaked oats is quite easy. You can try out a variety of ways to soak them like with fruits, healthy fats, protein, antioxidants and minerals.

Oats are a low fat source of plant based protein and high fiber food, a wholesome based to layer flavor onto. Keep the toppings and mix-in in check, otherwise they can transform a healthy meal prep into the complete opposite. 

Now you know everything that you need to know about preparing overnight oatmeal so that it. They taste delicious as well, so pick your favorite recipe and try it out today!

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Sunday 10th of October 2021

Digestive enzymes will develop to break down phytic acid after only 10 days. Yes, for the first 10 days you might want to soak them if you came from a severely unhealthy background then slowly introduce whole foods.

Merely look up peasant diet digestive enzymes and vegetarians not having this issue. It is an issue of modern urban junkfood life and fake scientists trying to sell you fad diets/supplements by falsely citing temporary fasting techniques out of context.


Sunday 10th of October 2021

Thanks for sharing.


Wednesday 5th of May 2021

This was a really informative article. Thank you. Particularly regarding the phylic acid. And I have been using quick oats. I will be on the hunt for regular rolled oats now.


Friday 7th of May 2021

Thank you Susan, Yes, we like rolled oats a lot more when preparing overnight oats. You may notice a slight increase in chewiness at first, especially compared to the mushy quick oats, but I think you will find the texture change to be quite enjoyable. Warmly, Joshua


Sunday 21st of February 2021

Thanks for doing such a wonderful job clarifying the benefits of overnight oats. I've always cooked them on the stove, but this is not only simpler but healthier too. A win-win!


Sunday 21st of February 2021

Thank you Toni, Glad that you found the information beneficial for your search. Warmly, Joshua


Thursday 18th of February 2021

How much lemon juice do you need to add to break down the optic acid? Are we talking about 1/2 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon for a cup of dry oats and liquid?


Thursday 18th of February 2021

Hello T, A tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of oats is a great way to reduce phytic acid in overnight oats, thats what I add to my overnight oats recipes. To be honest, you can hardly taste it when blended with all the other mix-ins. And in fact, lemon pairs wonderfully with fresh berries, nuts and seeds. Here are some lemon overnight oats recipes for you to try. Warmly, Joshua