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10 Ways to Eat Oatmeal According to Different Countries

Oatmeal is versatile and very healthy on its own. The toppings added determine whether it would become healthier or less healthy

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished 2 years ago Updated 4 months ago 6 min read
Photo by Emilia Zabrocka on Unsplash

I recently watched a YouTube video by Beryl Shereshewsky. Her video content focuses on food cultures and recipes from around the world.

The video I watched was about what people from 10 different countries added to their oatmeal.

While watching that, my inner Nutritionist was inspired to write about the health benefits of each way they had their oatmeal and how it could be improved.

Before we get into that, here are a few health benefits of oatmeal:

  • Prevents constipation and reduces the risk of colon cancer
  • Reduces blood sugar levels and insulin resistance
  • Helps with weight management as it increases satiety
  • Reduces LDL and total cholesterol levels
  • Improves gut health by increasing the growth of good bacteria

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Always practice moderation. Even something healthy can be detrimental to our body if taken excessively.

Abigail from Australia

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Abigail tops her oatmeal with grated apple, diced peaches and some frozen berries.

Apples contribute to increased immunity and improved digestion. Peaches have anti-inflammatory properties and improve skin complexion.

Apart from being rich in antioxidants, frozen berries retain more beneficial nutrients compared to their fresh counterparts.

This is a very healthy and balanced meal as the oatmeal is rich in protein and carbohydrates and the fruits provide fiber.

Andrea from Bolivia

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Andrea likes her oatmeal with fresh cheese, strawberries and a sprinkle of sugar.

Fresh cheese is made from fresh curds that have not been aged and is the best source of calcium. Calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and has a positive effect on dental health.

Strawberries are rich in ellagic acid which has anti-cancer properties.

This is a balanced healthy diet. However, the sugar could be replaced with honey or something nutritionally similar to honey.

Diana from Canada

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Diana adds two of her favourite things to her oatmeal which are maple syrup and lingonberry jam.

Maple syrup prevents the clumping of certain proteins found in brain cells. These deformations lead to the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Apart from cranberry, lingonberry also reduces the occurrence of urinary tract infections. Lingonberry is antimicrobial and hence inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

While this may be a healthy meal, it is not balanced. The lack of fruits and vegetables results in no fiber.

Yes, lingonberry is a fruit but lingonberry jam is used by Diana. It would not have all the nutrients that fresh lingonberry contains. Plus, jams are rich in preservatives and sugar.

Kelsey from St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Kelsey has her oatmeal with kefir or yogurt, desiccated coconut and fresh pineapple chunks.

Both kefir and yogurt are made with dairy milk and are fermented food. Yogurt is made with cultured bacteria whereas kefir is made with kefir grain that contains everything needed to ferment the milk.

Kefir has a thinner consistency and more potent probiotics compared to yogurt. Probiotics help improve digestive health and decrease antibiotic resistance.

Desiccated coconut is finely ground shredded coconut. Coconut is rich in selenium which helps the body produce enzymes which enhance thyroid function and the immune system.

Apart from oranges, pineapple is also rich in Vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is also great for oral health as it reduces the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

This meal is healthy and balanced.

Dan from Israel

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Dan tops his oatmeal with chopped arugula and mint, a good amount of parmesan cheese and a fried egg.

Arugula helps to detoxify the body and reverses the damage done to body cells. It also helps the body to optimally absorb nutrients.

Mint is one of the best remedies for gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Mint is also a natural muscle relaxant.

Although being rich in calcium which aids in bones and dental health, parmesan cheese is very high in calories.

Eggs are an excellent source of choline. Choline plays a huge role in the regulation of the brain and nervous system.

Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants. They help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Overall, this is a healthy and balanced meal but the parmesan cheese could be taken in reduced amounts and the egg could be boiled instead of fried.

Ivana from North Macedonia

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Ivana adds a bit of salt, a knob of butter and two big pieces of white cheese to her oatmeal.

Apart from being exposed to the sunlight, Vitamin D can be obtained from butter. Vitamin D is crucial in the absorption and utilization of Calcium in the body.

Ivana didn’t specify what type of white cheese she used but it looks like feta cheese to me. The dietary fat found in feta cheese is important in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body. These vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K.

This meal is neither healthy nor balanced. Butter and feta cheese are very high in calories. Both should be taken in lesser amounts.

Feta cheese has high salt content which increases the risk of high blood pressure if taken too much. There are no fruits or vegetables in this meal to provide fibre.

Marty from the Philippines

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Marty makes Mocha oatmeal. His favourite oatmeal toppings are Milo, powdered milk and instant coffee powder.

Milo is a chocolate malt beverage. Milo contains Protomalt which is a special malt extract made from malted barley. Protomalt’s main benefit is to provide energy.

Milk is widely known for being rich in protein and Calcium which aids muscle and bone health. However, powdered milk has oxidized cholesterol added to it to increase the shelf life. This artificial substance would trigger the formation of plaques which would then clog arteries.

Coffee reduces uric acid in the body which in turn prevents gout. Coffee also helps combat the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

This is a healthy meal but it’s not balanced. The powdered milk could be replaced with regular milk. There are no fruits or vegetables so there is no source of fiber.

Yisle from Singapore

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Yisle loves her oatmeal savoury. She tops her oatmeal with olive vegetable, sesame oil, chopped spring onion, pork floss and boiled egg.

You are undoubtedly wondering what this grammatically questionable olive vegetable is. I had that same thought too so I looked it up.

Olive vegetable happens to be a condiment made of minced olives and mustard greens, salt and oil. It is most commonly used in fried rice, stir-fries or as a condiment.

Olives contain Oleanolic acid which is an antioxidant that helps to prevent liver damage and regulate blood fats.

The bioactive components of sesame oil help to retain the natural colour of the hair and minimize hair loss.

Spring onions are both antiviral and antibacterial. Therefore, it helps protect the body against viral infections as well as the common cold.

While being rich in iron, pork floss is very high in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.

The health benefits of eggs have already been mentioned above. The egg that Yisle used is marinated to enhance the flavour.

This is a well-balanced meal but it could be made healthier by switching out the pork floss for fresh (not processed) lean meat.

Faith from the United States of America

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Faith makes hot chocolate oatmeal. She adds chocolate syrup and marshmallows to her oatmeal.

Chocolate contains flavanols which are antioxidants. Flavanols help improve blood flow to the heart and brain and prevent blood clots. However, chocolate is also high in sugar and fat.

Marshmallows provide little to no health benefits.

As you may have guessed, this meal isn’t balanced or healthy. To make it healthier, the chocolate can be substituted with dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanols.

In my opinion, instead of having this as a meal, it could be consumed in a smaller serving as dessert.

Guillermo from Finland

Image from Beryl Shereshewsky

Guillermo also likes his oatmeal savoury. His favourite toppings are cold smoked salmon, some butter and fermented pickle.

Smoked salmon is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids which lower the triglyceride levels and preserve brain function.

The health benefits of butter have already been mentioned above.

Apart from being rich in probiotics, fermented pickles also contain electrolytes which help to reduce muscle cramps.

This is a healthy and balanced meal. However, the amount of butter could be reduced.

What do you add to your oatmeal? Let me know in the comments.

I’m a Certified Nutritionist and I’m always looking forward to helping others. If you have any questions regarding this article or anything nutrition-related, feel free to reach me here.

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Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

My mental health decline brought about a lot of darkness and I embraced it. It now flows out mostly as Dark Stories and Poetry.

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Comments (28)

  • Mika Oka2 months ago

    I love mine savory like the porridge

  • Susan Fourtané4 months ago

    This is very nice to have some of these ideas to try. I regularly eat oatmeal and will definitely try a few of these other experiments. I also use different toppings, but lately, I am just adding some cinnamon (good for inflammation) and honey (plenty of health benefits). It's very simple and delicious.

  • Mother Combs6 months ago

    Oatmeal is so versatile

  • Denise E Lindquist7 months ago

    Very informative and well-written!😊💕💖 I grew up with mostly oatmeal with bacon grease or leftover fried oatmeal with fried potatoes. Bacon or sausage on the side, or fruit was very occasional. There was homemade bread toasted and homemade preserves available too. With occasional homemade cinnamon rolls alongside.😉

  • Darkos9 months ago

    I need to go back to my oatmeal happy meals Thank you for this article !

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    Raisins, pinch cinnamaon, all sorts of nuts, honey: is my preference. Kelsey and Faith I would happily try. The others would be touch and go. This was very informative and full of great ideas. Thanks D.

  • E.L. Martin2 years ago

    Love this! Such helpful information! I usually add a serving of pecans, raisins or dried cranberries, a dash of cinnamon and occasionally a tsp. of maple syrup or honey to my oatmeal. I didn't know about the health benefits of maple syrup previously so I'm glad you added that to this article! Oatmeal was one of my go to foods when breastfeeding as it aids in milk production as well. 😊

  • I am SO going to try some of these! Well written too!

  • Heather Hubler2 years ago

    Not only did I love your expertise shining through in this article but also the chance to get a glimpse of how people from other areas of the world eat. This was informative and fascinating, great work :) PS I put nuts on mine, sometimes dried fruit and a little bit of brown sugar or agave for sweetness.

  • Bri Craig2 years ago

    Definitely will have to try some of these! I'm also in the states, and currently, my preferred oatmeal topping are cinnamon, nuts, and a side of toast!

  • Lena Folkert2 years ago

    Okay... like... YUM. i love oatmeal. Now I have to try all of these!! Well done!!🥰🥰😋😋

  • C. H. Richard2 years ago

    Really helpful information. I'm going to keep coming back to this story as I try different toppings.

  • Gary Wade2 years ago

    Awesome writing! It was super informative and well written!

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Fantastic, informative with fabulous suggestions. Lots to consider and digest. Loving this!😊💖💕

  • Dana Stewart2 years ago

    So informative! You've given me some fresh ideas to spice up my oatmeal and be healthy too! I use only butter, but will mix it up now!

  • Misty Rae2 years ago

    This was so cool and so interesting. I'm Canadian and we top ours with fresh fruit. Hubby adds brown sugar, I don't.

  • Talia Devora2 years ago

    This was amazing and interesting!

  • This article is very informative!

  • Maple syrup, pecans, and strawberries are my go-to. But the savory ones sound delicious! Great article.

  • I make a smoothie with oatmeal. I use bananas and blended. My father loves porridge oatmeal with cinnamon. It is really good for your health. I like this journal.

  • Wow! Quite a panorama of options here!

  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    Love the international feel of different oatmeal dress up and taste.❤️🥰

  • So many different options as my porridge is cooking, your nutrition articles are all excellent.

  • Brayan Moreno2 years ago

    Wow im always looking for new ways to add flavor to my oatmeal and through here i learned so many combinations i didnt even think possible! Love oatmeal and loved this article

  • jacki fleet2 years ago

    I love the way you outlined the benefits of the additional ingredients and suggestions for replacements.

Dharrsheena Raja SegarranWritten by Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

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