Can you eat oatmeal with Gastroparesis?
In this brief guide, we will answer the query “Can you eat oatmeal with Gastroparesis?” Additionally, it presents relevant information regarding some oatmeal health benefits, and alternatives to oatmeal in a Gastroparesis diet.
Can you eat oatmeal with Gastroparesis?
There is controversy if you can eat oatmeal if you have Gastroparesis (1,2). Oatmeal is high in fiber (40 g of oatmeal provides 4g of fiber), which could make all symptoms of Gastroparesis worse (1,3).
However, some studies have used 1 package of instant oatmeal (40 g) prepared with hot water a day with no adverse effects (2,4).
In most gastrointestinal diseases, the inclusion of certain types of foods is determined by tolerance. So the best advice is that if you want to try oatmeal, don’t forget to consult with a nutritionist, and always use instant (and cooked) oatmeal (1,2).
Are there specific types of oatmeal that are better tolerated by individuals with Gastroparesis?
According to clinical trials, it seems that cooked and instant oatmeal is better tolerated compared to raw oatmeal (2,4). Even if there is no explicit information about why instant oatmeal is better tolerated, here are some possible reasons.
The instant oatmeal is normally ground, so the particles of oatmeal are small. In your mouth, your saliva secrete an enzyme known as ⍺-amylase which is responsible for digesting carbohydrates like starch (5,6).
Therefore, the tiny particles of instant oatmeal have more contact with your ⍺-amylase and the oatmeal arrives pre-digested to your stomach (6).
Additionally, the hot water hydrates the starch of oatmeal, which can start the hydrolysis of this carbohydrate (starch) into smaller molecules with easier digestion (7).
What are the benefits of incorporating oatmeal into a Gastroparesis-friendly diet?
Incorporating oatmeal into your diet could bring some health benefits like (8):
- The soluble fiber in oatmeal is helpful to regulate your digestion and prevent constipation, plus it could help regulate your glucose blood levels and insulin sensitivity.
- Fiber is also a good nutrient for preventing colon cancer.
- Oatmeal has minerals like selenium and magnesium, which have strong antioxidant properties to keep you healthy.
- There are other antioxidants in oatmeal like polyphenols, these are good for preventing cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
What are some potential alternatives to oatmeal for individuals who cannot tolerate it with Gastroparesis?
The best alternatives to oatmeal are potatoes (without skin), pasta, white rice, white bread, crackers, pancakes, and waffles; those are rich in energy and are easy to digest because they have low fiber content (9).
Why is fiber not allowed in a Gastroparesis diet?
Fiber is normally not allowed in a Gastroparesis diet because it makes the stomach emptying slower. In individuals with Gastroparesis, the main problem is that the stomach has a delayed empty, which produces abdominal pain, inflammation, and vomiting (1, 9).
Moreover, fiber usually produces satiety and induces us to eat less food. Normally, individuals with Gastroparesis do not eat the adequate amount of food due to the discomfort after eating, or they lose a lot of nutrients and energy due to vomiting. Therefore, providing satiety with fiber is not a good strategy (1, 9).
In this brief guide, we answered the query “Can you eat oatmeal with Gastroparesis?” Additionally, it presented relevant information regarding some oatmeal health benefits, and alternatives to oatmeal in a Gastroparesis diet.
- Limketkai BN, LeBrett W, Lin L, Shah ND. Nutritional approaches for gastroparesis. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2020;5(11):1017–26.
- Tseng P-H, Wu Y-W, Lee Y-C, Cheng M-F, Tzen K-Y, Wang H-P, et al. Normal values and symptom correlation of a simplified oatmeal-based gastric emptying study in the Chinese population: Oatmeal-based gastric emptying study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2014;29(11):1873–82.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 2023 May 17]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/410008/nutrients
- Ziessman HA, Okolo PI, Mullin GE, Chander A. Liquid gastric emptying is often abnormal when solid emptying is normal. J Clin Gastroenterol, 2009;43(7):639–43.
- Christian Erickson, Carlyn Johnson, Abigail Grancorvitz, John Dahlin. Effect of instant oatmeal reconstitution methods on gastric emptying results. J Nucl Med, 2019;60(supplement 1):2039.
- Freitas D, Le Feunteun S. Oro-gastro-intestinal digestion of starch in white bread, wheat-based and gluten-free pasta: Unveiling the contribution of human salivary α-amylase. Food Chem, 2019;274:566–73.
- Butt NA, Ali TM, Hasnain A. Rice starch citrates and lactates: A comparative study on hot water and cold water swelling starches. Int J Biol Macromol, 2019;127:107–17.
- Tang Y, Li S, Yan J, Peng Y, Weng W, Yao X, et al. Bioactive components and health functions of oat. Food Rev Int, 2022;1–20.
- Wytiaz V, Homko C, Duffy F, Schey R, Parkman HP. Foods provoking and alleviating symptoms in gastroparesis: patient experiences. Dig Dis Sci, 2015;60(4):1052-1058