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Why I Stopped Eating Oatmeal

For most of my life, oatmeal was a staple in my diet. It was always considered a "healthy" choice, touted for its benefits like fiber and heart health. Despite experiencing constant gas, bloating, and cramping, I continued eating oatmeal, believing these issues were just normal for me. It wasn’t until I discovered more about the nature of oats and their impact on mineral absorption that I decided to make a change.

The Problem with Phytates

Oats, much like wheat, contain compounds known as phytates. Phytates have the ability to bind positively charged minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. While this might not sound problematic at first, it means that these essential minerals become difficult for the body to absorb. As a result, even a diet rich in these minerals might not translate to adequate levels within the body if it is also high in phytate-containing foods.

Mineral Deficiencies and Digestive Issues

Mineral deficiencies are a common issue, with many people unknowingly suffering from low levels of vital nutrients. This can lead to various health problems, including poor bone health, weakened immune function, and low energy levels. Additionally, the digestive issues I experienced, such as gas and bloating, are also symptoms that can be linked to the consumption of high-phytate foods.

My Decision to Eliminate Oatmeal

After learning about phytates and their impact on mineral absorption, I decided to remove oatmeal from my diet. Initially, it seemed like a drastic change, but the potential benefits made it worth trying. I began to pay more attention to how my body reacted to different foods and noticed significant improvements once I eliminated oats.

Notable Improvements

Since ditching oatmeal, many of the annoying little health issues I had dealt with for years began to clear up. The constant bloating and cramping reduced significantly, and my digestion improved. Moreover, I started to feel more energized and noticed improvements in my overall well-being. These changes were not immediate but became more apparent over time as my body adjusted to the new diet.

Alternatives to Oatmeal

Finding suitable alternatives to oatmeal was essential to maintaining a balanced diet. Here are some nutritious options that can serve as a healthy breakfast alternative:

  1. Quinoa Porridge: Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that makes a great substitute for oatmeal. It can be cooked similarly to oats and topped with fruits, nuts, and seeds.

  2. Chia Seed Pudding: Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Soaking them overnight in almond milk creates a delicious, pudding-like texture that can be enjoyed with various toppings.

  3. Smoothie Bowls: Blending fruits, vegetables, and a protein source like Greek yogurt or plant-based protein powder can create a nutritious and satisfying meal. Topping it with nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits adds extra nutrients and texture.

  4. Buckwheat Groats: Buckwheat is another gluten-free option that can be cooked into a porridge. It is rich in fiber and minerals, making it a nutritious breakfast choice.

  5. Egg-Based Dishes: Eggs provide high-quality protein and are incredibly versatile. Scrambled eggs, omelets, or a simple boiled egg with vegetables can make for a balanced and satisfying meal.

Listening to Your Body

One of the key takeaways from my experience is the importance of listening to your body. While certain foods may be marketed as healthy, individual reactions can vary significantly. Paying attention to how your body responds to different foods can help identify those that may not be suitable for you, even if they are generally considered healthy.


The decision to stop eating oatmeal was driven by the need to address ongoing digestive issues and to improve overall health. By eliminating a high-phytate food like oats and incorporating alternatives, I experienced notable health improvements. It's important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Listening to your body and making dietary adjustments accordingly can lead to better health outcomes.

Jared DiCarmine Jared DiCarmine

Jared DiCarmine is a health and wellness expert with over 20 years of experience and a degree in exercise science.
Authoring 5 books and being featured in top media outlets, Dicarmine is an authority on helping men and women achieve their goals.