Oats consist of two types of complex carbohydrates: starch and fiber.
All carbohydrates are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Simple carbohydrates include monosaccharides, or simple sugars, and disaccharides, those formed by two monosaccharides. Complex carbohydrates, known as polysaccharides, are made from long chains of monosaccharides.
Monosaccharides – Glucose, Galactose, Fructose
Disaccharides – Sucrose, Lactose, Maltose
Polysaccharides – Starch, Fiber, Glycogen
Structure of a single glucose molecule – C6H12O6
Starch is composed of glucose, a simple sugar that your body can digest and convert into energy. Since starch is very complex, your body digests it slowly compared to simple carbohydrates. This explains why simple carbohydrates give you short bursts of energy, while complex carbohydrates provide long lasting energy. Unlike oats, most cereals are made of simple sugars, not complex carbohydrates, causing you to feel hungry sooner.
Additionally, oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which promote fullness. Each 1/3-cup of dry oats provides 2.7 grams of fiber, about 10% of the recommended daily intake.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water while insoluble fiber does not. Soluble fiber attracts water and creates a gel, which slows digestion, making you feel fuller longer. Insoluble fibers on the other hand speed up the passage of food and waste through the body, fighting constipation. These two types of fiber work together to achieve fullness while allowing the digestive track to function properly.
Most dietary fiber comes from plant materials and is composed of complex, nonstarch polysaccharides. The human body cannot digest these substances since it does not produce the proper enzymes to hydrolyze these polymers into their smaller components called monomers. Though soluble fiber dissolves in water, neither type of fiber actually reacts with the water. Instead, dietary fiber moves to the colon where fermentation occurs. Here, bacteria chemically breakdown the fiber, releasing energy for the body to use.
Oats contain a specific type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, a polymer of glucose. Beta-glucan successfully lowers cholesterol by binding with it and carrying it out of the body. It also controls blood sugar levels and lowers your risk for heart disease and cancer.
Of course, oats are also great for baking, adding texture to anything from cookies to muffins to crusts. These chocolate chip oatmeal cookies have just the right amount of oats to give these delicious, chewy cookies a little crunch.
The cookies start with basic ingredients: sugar, butter, and eggs.
Mix until smooth.
Oats and chocolate chips add great texture to the creamy dough.
The dough is a little sticky, so chilling it for an hour will make it easier to scoop out and roll.
Let the cookies brown just enough to give them a nice crunch on the outside.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
3 cups oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Combine the butter, sugars, and eggs, and beat until smooth. Mix in the vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly and the flour and oats. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover the dough and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Roll out the dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges and bottoms have browned.
Makes 48 cookies.
Thanks to these websites for all of the information!