A cardiologist has sparked controversy on TikTok for claiming oatmeal has ‘no nutritional value’ and ‘is just propaganda.’
Dr Jack Wolfson, who practices in Arizona and goes by the Natural Heart Doctor on social media, posted a video earlier this month about why he never recommends eating oatmeal.
The video, which has gained more than 4.6 million views, received backlash from numerous doctors and dietitians who claimed Dr Wolfson is spreading misinformation and ignoring oatmeal’s health benefits.
‘As a cardiologist, I never recommend eating oatmeal, certainly not every day as so many people do,’ he told his 448,000 followers.
‘Our ancestors did not eat oatmeal. Neither should you.’
Dr Jack Wolfson, a cardiologist in Arizona, has sparked controversy for claiming oatmeal has ‘no nutritional value’ and ‘is just propaganda’
Dr Siyab Panhwar, a cardiologist at NYU Langone in New York City, posted a response to Dr Wolfson’s video on Monday with a caption urging users not to ‘listen to alternative health influencers on social media for health advice’
Dr Wolfson went on to say oatmeal has ‘no nutritional value’ and ‘contains a lot of anti-nutrients’ but did not provide any examples. Instead, he urged viewers to opt for eggs at breakfast rather than oats.
However, oatmeal is high in fiber and several minerals, which have been shown to ward off chronic health issues like diabetes.
DailyMail.com reached out to Dr Wolfson’s team but did not receive a response.
‘There’s been a lot of propaganda over the years about the benefits of oatmeal, and I think all of that really is just from the support of industry- Nabisco, Quaker Oats, Kellogg’s- about promoting us to eat oatmeal and oatmeal over eggs,’ Dr Wolfson said.
Dr Wolfson specifically said people should eat eggs instead of oatmeal. Eggs are rich in vitamins A, B5, B12, D and E, as well as vital nutrients like calcium and protein.
‘An egg is a cocoon for a baby chicken. An egg contains all the nutrients, the vitamins, the minerals, the fats, the proteins, that a chicken needs to come to life.
‘You can’t raise a chicken on oatmeal. You can’t raise a healthy human on oatmeal,’ Dr Wolfson continued.
However, experts criticizing him said there’s no reason to have to choose between eggs and oatmeal.
Dr Siyab Panhwar, a cardiologist at NYU Langone in New York City, posted a response to Dr Wolfson’s video on Monday with a caption urging users not to ‘listen to alternative health influencers on social media for health advice.’
‘There are plenty of health benefits of eating oats,’ Dr Panhwar said. These include fiber for digestive health, as well as minerals like manganese, which support brain health
Dietitian Abbey Sharp (left) and eye surgeon Dr Brian Boxer Wachler (bottom right) both posted responses to a previous video from Dr Wolfson with the same claims. Both said that oatmeal has several health benefits, including lowering heart disease risk
‘I’m a board-certified cardiologist here to tell you that that is garbage,’ he said.
‘Nobody should be listening to this person for any sort of cardiac or health advice whatsoever.’
He pointed to studies that have shown oatmeal can have lasting heart health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar.
A review in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found antioxidants in oats could lower blood pressure by producing more nitric oxide gas. This helps widen blood vessels, leading to better blood flow.
Abbey Sharp, a dietitian and content creator, responded on TikTok to a video Dr Wolfson made last year with the same statements regarding oatmeal’s health benefits.
‘No, just no,’ she said.
‘Oats are actually rich in a unique antioxidant (avenanthramide) that may actually reduce blood pressure and is a prime source of the fiber beta glucan, which has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels, slow the insulin response, and support feelings of fullness.
‘So not only are oats clearly not bad for heart health, they’ve actually been proven…to be quite good.
‘Here’s a crazy idea: why not have eggs, coffee, and oats for breakfast? That right there would be a balanced heart-healthy meal,’ Ms Sharp said.
Fiber counters the effects of sugar spikes and helps regulate the digestive system. One cup of prepared oatmeal has about 4 grams of fiber, about 20 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for women and 10 percent of the intake for men.
This fiber is also filling, which promotes weight loss because it doesn’t take as many calories to feel full.
Additionally, a half cup of dry oats has nearly two-thirds the daily recommended intake of manganese, a trace mineral that the body needs to regulate blood sugar and maintain normal brain function.
‘There are plenty of health benefits of eating oats,’ Dr Panhwar said.
He also pointed out Dr Wolfson’s statement about ancestors not eating oatmeal ‘is just plain wrong.’
A study from researchers at Washington University in St Louis found oats have been traced back approximately 32,000 years ago, to the Paleolithic Era.