Eating oatmeal pancakes became popular in the 1980s and 1990s as the "whole grain" movement in the food industry became more prevalent. The addition of oatmeal elevated the simple pancake to superstardom, adding nutrients, cutting fat and lowering cholesterol. Adding oatmeal to instant pancake batter fortifies the mix and adds texture and nutrition to what might otherwise be boring, old white pancakes.
Instant Pancake Mix
Most instant pancake mix is made from processed white flour with the addition of sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Making the pancake mix into a batter involves adding eggs and either water or milk. Processed white flour is stripped of the nutritious outer layers of the wheat, providing little overall nutrition.
Oats come in a variety of cuts, including old-fashioned oatmeal, quick oats, steel cut oat, oat groats and rolled oats. Each has a slightly different texture depending on the preparation method. Adding oats to instant pancake mix provides bulk and texture, turning the pancakes into a hearty, "stick-to-your-ribs" meal.
The MayoClinic.com explains that oatmeal may reduce cholesterol levels. Oats contain soluble fiber that works to lower the LDL or bad cholesterol numbers. Soluble fiber makes the blood more resistant to absorbing low-density lipoproteins, or LDL. Adding 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal to an instant pancake batter adds 6 grams of fiber to help reduce your cholesterol.
Because oats are also high in dietary fiber, their addition to a simple white flour instant pancake mix increases your digestive health. Dietary fiber, or roughage, includes all the portions of plants that are not digested or broken down by the body. Fiber passes through your digestive tract helping to clean and remove waste. A serving of a well-known instant pancake mix provides 1 gram of dietary fiber and little else aside from sodium. Adding 1/2 cup of oatmeal to the pancake batter provides an additional 4 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber without adding extra sodium, notes the Quaker website.
Oatmeal is often included in a diet for diabetics because it helps manage blood glucose levels, regulating the production of insulin, according to Pennsylvania State University. Researchers note that oatmeal helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels for a greater period than other foods and grains. This may occur due to the high levels of soluble fiber, which digests more slowly and prevents fluctuations in blood sugar.