Rolled oats sound healthier for you than quick oats because they’re less processed, right? So if steel-cut oats are even less processed than rolled oats, they’re the healthiest of them all, right? If you’re not even sure what the different types of oats are, the explanation below should clear things up.
To shed some light about which oats are better for you, check out the chart comparison below.
|Steel-cut oats||Old-fashioned (rolled) oats||Quick oats|
|Description||Also called Irish or Scotch oats, these are cut, not rolled. They look like chopped-up rice, take the longest to cook, and have a slightly chewy consistency.||Sometimes called rolled oats, these look like flat little ovals. When processing these oats, the kernels are steamed first, and then rolled to flatten them. They take longer to cook than quick oats but are quicker than steel-cut oats.||Also called instant oats, these oats are precooked, dried, and then rolled. They cook in a few minutes when added to hot water and have a mushy texture.|
|Typical Serving Size||1/4 cup dry||1/2 cup dry||1/2 cup dry|
|Total Fat||3 g||3.5 g||3 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.5 g||0.5 g||0.5 g|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg|
|Sodium||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg|
|Carbs||29 g||32 g||27 g|
|Fiber||5 g||5 g||4 g|
|Sugars||0 g||1 g||1 g|
|Protein||7 g||7 g||5 g|
Surprised? It looks like they’re pretty similar, but one thing that sets them apart is how they compare on the glycemic index. The less-processed steel-cut oats have a much lower glycemic load than higher-processed quick oats. Low-GI foods slow down the rate that glucose (sugar) gets introduced into your body, and in contrast, high-GI foods cause a spike in your blood sugar as well as insulin, causing you to crave more sugary foods when your glucose levels drop. The best option then are the steel-cut oats, with rolled oats a great second choice. They’ll keep you feeling fuller longer, which will keep your energy levels up and help you lose weight.
If you’re obsessed with this grain, here are some fun tips and recipes to help you enjoy it even more.
- If you love steel-cut oatmeal, try freezing single-size servings.
- For cake-like oatmeal, try this microwaveable banana peanut butter recipe.
- Make these chocolate peanut butter overnight oats to save time in the morning.
- For a grab-and-go snack, make these chocolate almond oatmeal protein bars or these three-ingredient protein balls.
- Spice up your basic bowl of oatmeal with these under-400-calories flavor combinations.
- For a creamy, drinkable form of oatmeal, try this high-protein banana overnight oats smoothie.