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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

Overnight oats: Tastes like dessert but make no mistake this is a great fitness food!

Are you looking to lose weight, get healthier, and expand your repertoire of healthy foods options without spending too much? Check out easy to make overnight oats! These oats are very high in protein and fiber to help build lean muscle, lose weight, and help keep you full all morning long. Most importantly this recipe is super fast and easy to make for busy people on the go. Just dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and leave overnight and that's it! The oats cook themselves so next morning you will have a light, tasty, and masterful delight. Check out the recipe and other health benefits of Smart and Easy Health's overnight oats.

Watch the video on how to make overnight oats!

Ingredients (serves 2)

1. Oat bran or oatmeal, 1 serving = 1/3 cup, 40 g (150 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 26 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 7 g protein). You can also use regular oatmeal but I prefer bran due to higher fiber content.

2. Non fat plain yogurt, 1 serving = 1 cup, 225 g (120 calories, 0 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 6.5 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 24 g protein). You can use more or less yogurt depending on how creamy you want it to taste. Don't use Greek yogurt as this will produce a more sour taste.

3. Flax milk or similar milk like almond, walnut, etc. (1/2 cup, 240 ml = 13 calories; 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 0.5 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein). Flax milk high in omega 3 fatty acids and low calories. Use any other low fat non- dairy milk you like.

Ingredients 1-3 (above) make up the base of the overnight oats then you add other ingredients:

4. Optional: (preferred) almonds, chopped, 1/8 cup 15g (90 calories, 8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 3 g protein).

5. Optional: (preferred) banana, 1 medium (100 calories, 3 grams of fiber).

6. Optional: (preferred) agave sugar or similar low glycemic index sweetener (1 tablespoon = 60 calories) or use stevia (1-2 droppers = 0 calories). Stevia has zero calories but some people don't like the slightly bitter aftertaste.

7. Optional: collagen peptides ( 2 scoops, 20 g = 70 calories; 18 g protein, 110 mg sodium). I usually add this to significantly increase protein content. Collagen peptides are also great for hair, skin, and nail health.

8. Optional: ground flax seed (1 table spoon, 6 g; calories 35, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber, 1.5 g protein). Adds fiber, heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

9. Optional: add protein powder (nutritional content varies).

10. Optional: Add other fruits, nuts, etc. to make it your own and add any ingredient you want to customize your overnight oats!


1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl or container then mix well for a minute.

2. Put the container in the fridge overnight (10-12 hours).

3. Remove from the fridge the next morning and enjoy cold.

Nutritional contents

Calories per serving: 266 Calories, 5.75 grams fat (good fats), 0 mg cholesterol, 16.5 grams of carbohydrates, 5.75 grams of fiber, 17 grams of protein.

What's the bottom line?

Oats are rich in fiber which has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes (1), cholesterol (1, 2), and #heartdisease risk (2). Also, oats have a high fiber content will likely lead to significantly improved bowel movements. Oats have also been shown to reduce the risk of obesity (3) partially owing to it's effect on decreasing hunger (4). Also increased fiber intake is associated with lower risk of certain #cancers (5, 6).

What's the difference between oat bran and oatmeal?

The oat grain is processed to removed the inedible outer hull leaving the oat groats (7, 8). Oat bran is the outer layer of the oat groats (7, 8) which is prepared by passing the groats between rollers which crush and flatten them (8). The remainder of the flattened groats is the oatmeal (8). I prefer oat bran since it has significantly more protein and fiber than oatmeal (8). Also, oat bran has a smoother texture and it's easier to prepare than oatmeal. Find oat bran in any oatmeal isle.

Yogurt, a fermented dairy product, is high in protein and has several health benefits including #weightloss (9,10). Studies have shown that yogurt consumption decreases risk of #diabetes, #metabolicsyndrome, and #heartdisease (10). Furthermore, several studies have shown that consumption of yogurt and other fermented foods may improve intestinal health, reduce infections, and enhance #immunity and anti-inflammatory responses (10). The microorganisms present in yogurt is suggested to contribute to these health benefits (10).

Almonds (and walnuts) are are a great addition to overnight oats as they provide a crunchy texture and numerous health benefits including #cholesterol reduction (11,12), reduced diabetes risk (11,12) reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (11) and reduced risk of obesity (12).

Overnight oats is a simple, delicious easy to make breakfast packed with vitamins, minerals, and many health benefits. I encourage you to experiment with adding any healthy ingredient to this recipe to make it your own! The Smart and Easy Health overnight oats recipe is simply an example of a larger concept of adding beneficial ingredients into your favorite foods to boost the nutrient value and decrease calories to not only lose weight but benefit your overall health. Explore other possible ways to improve your health without radically changing your diet at:


1) Sang S, Chu Y. Whole grain oats, more than just fiber: Role of unique phyto-chemicals Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jul;61(7).

2) Wu JR, Leu HB, Yin WH, et al. The benefit of secondary prevention with oat fiber in reducing future cardiovascular event among CAD patients after coronary intervention. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):3091.

3) O'Neil CE, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL, DiRienzo MA. Cooked oatmeal consumption is associated with better diet quality, better nutrient intakes, and reduced risk for central adiposity and obesity in children 2-18 years: NHANES 2001-2010. Food Nutr Res. 2015;59:26673.

4) Rebello CJ, O'Neil CE, Greenway FL. Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(2):131–147.

5) Egeberg R, Olsen A, Loft S, et al. Intake of wholegrain products and risk of colorectal cancers in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study. Br J Cancer. 2010;103(5):730–734.

6) Chan JM, Wan F, Holly EA. Whole grains and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Nov 15;166(10):1174-85.

7) Healthline. 9 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Oat Bran. Accessed February 9, 2020.

8) What's the Difference Between. What is the Difference between Oat Bran, Oatmeal, and Porridge. Accessed February 9, 2020.

9) Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long- term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011; 364: 23922404.

10) Car Reen Kok, Robert Hutkins, Yogurt and other fermented foods as sources of health-promoting bacteria, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 76, Issue Supplement_1, 1 December 2018, Pages 4–15.

11) Kamil A, Chen CY. Health benefits of almonds beyond cholesterol reduction. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(27):6694-6702.

12) Li SC, Liu YH, Liu JF, Chang WH, Chen CM, Chen CY. Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 2011;60(4):474-479.


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