Porridge Oats with Lemon and Honey

Instant Porridge at Breakfast Leads to Fewer Calories at Lunch

Key Takeaways 

  • Eating instant oatmeal (instant porridge if you're in the UK) makes you feel more full than a breakfast cereal with cold milk
  • This study showed those who ate porridge for breakfast consumed significantly fewer calories at lunchtime

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that a hearty bowl of instant oatmeal helped curb food intake at lunch better than a leading, oat-based, cold cereal - even when each bowl provided the same number of calories.

The Study

The randomized, controlled trial tested a 250-calorie instant oatmeal serving, against a 250-calorie serving of cold oat-based cereal. Both breakfasts used an additional 113 calories of skimmed milk.

Participants given the instant oatmeal had enhanced feelings of fullness and a reduced the desire to eat.

Four hours later, the researchers presented the participants with a lunch meal of their choice - turkey, ham, roast beef or vegetable patty sandwiches and a calorie-free or calorie-containing beverage, alongside potato crisps and cookies.

The lunches offered ranged from 2,600 to 2,800 calories and participants were told to "eat to satisfaction."

Total calorie intake was significantly lower following consumption of instant porridge compared to the cold cereal.

"The satiety benefits of instant oatmeal alone were important findings," remarked lead author Candida Rebello, MS, RD, of Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.

"When we took it a step further and evaluated the intake four hours post-breakfast, we found that after consuming instant oatmeal, the participants chose to eat significantly less at lunch compared to those who ate the oat-based, cold cereal."

After an analysis of the types of fibre in each cereal, the researchers suspected that the higher molecular viscosity of the beta-glucan in the instant oatmeal contributed to its satiating effect over the oat-based, cold cereal.

Authors stated that the processing of the cold cereal might lead to changes in the oat fibre that reduced its ability to enhance satiety.

wlr Says

You'll notice porridge coming up quite frequently in wlr diet plans because it's such a good start to a lower calorie day.

Making it easy and quick by using instant oats adds to the appeal. There are lots of choices from Quaker's Oatso Simple, to specialist brands like MOMA and supermarket own label.

And Instant is just as good for you according to the British Heart Foundation, though they do recommend going for unsweetened and adding some fruit rather than eating flavoured varieties which tend to contain a lot of sugar.

Start a Free Trial Today

You can access the Weight Loss Resources food diary and food database free, for 24 hours - you'll learn a lot about healthy eating, start your free trial here.

Take our FREE trial »

If you enjoyed this article, try our newsletter. It's free.

Receive the latest on what works for weight loss straight to your inbox. We won't share your email address. Privacy policy

Sponsored