Am I Buying the RIGHT Kind of Oats?

If you're an oatmeal lover, good for you!

Oatmeal is one of the healthiest power foods you can eat. It’s filled with vitamins and minerals.

Still, you’ve probably found yourself staring at all the different labels on the oatmeal boxes and wondering what the difference is between steel cut, rolled, and quick oats.

Let’s start with the basic understanding that most oatmeal is great but there are some you need to steer clear of too!

Oatmeal causes a slow rise in glycemic levels. That makes it the perfect food to boost fat-burning while we exercise. It’s also high in protein and contains a compound that cuts our appetites by boosting a hunger fighting hormone called Cholecystokinin.

Oatmeal has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and help us heal more quickly. It even has melatonin, which means it’s a great pre-bedtime snack that helps us get to sleep at night.

But What Are the BEST Type of Oats?

So with all of that goodness, should we be choosing steel cut or rolled? And what about quick oats? Are they less healthy?

Turns out that from a nutritional standpoint, all oatmeal is pretty much the same. It starts off as oat groats, which are the grains found on the oat plants. These are roasted at a low heat to give them a good flavor. Roasting also helps to preserve them.

After the oat groats are roasted they are processed, and that’s where the difference is made.

Different levels of processing make a difference in look and texture more than anything else. But the less processed oats are lower on the GI Index too.

  • Steel Cut Oats: These are the least processed oat groats. They are cut up into small pieces, and that’s pretty much it. They tend to be chewy and hold onto their shape after cooking. They also take the longest to cook, but when you're eating clean, these are your best bet.
  • Rolled Oats: These are the oats you probably grew up with, and the ones that make oatmeal raisin cookies. The whole groats are steamed so that they get soft. Then they are pressed into a flat shape. This helps them cook faster and absorb more liquid. These are Danette approved too!
  • Quick Oats: These are what you find in instant oatmeal. They are the most highly processed form of oats, as they are pre-cooked, then dried and pressed flatter than rolled oats. Sometimes they are cut into smaller pieces too. They cook very fast, but are often mushy. These are the ones to avoid.

In all forms, a ¼ cup of dry oatmeal packs a LOT of nutrition. It has:

  • 5 grams of protein
  • 27 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of fiber

My 1st choice is always steel cut oats with rolled oats as a great 2nd choice.

Be careful not to pick flavored oatmeals that are loaded with sugar.

Left in its natural state, oatmeal has virtually no sugar at all, and only 2.5 grams of fat. A serving gives you 10% of the RDA of iron too!

For an easy and nutritious way to eat oatmeal without having to fuss over it in the morning, try this delicious overnight oats recipe.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¾ Tbsp. chia seeds
2 T peanut butter or almond butter
1 T organic honey
½ cup rolled oats
sliced banana or berries

Add almond milk, chia, nut butter and honey in a bowl and stir.

Add oats and stir again, pressing down to make sure they are covered with the almond milk.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Top with sliced banana or berries.

Yours in Health,


P.S. Please share this with your friends and don't forget to leave me a comment below.