Are Steel-cut Oats That Much Healthier Than Rolled Oats?
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. 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 Calories 170 190 150 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 Calcium 2% 2% 0% Iron 10% 15% 10% 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 long Continue reading >>
Glycemic Index And Glycemic Load For 100+ Foods
Measuring carbohydrate effects can help glucose management The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Also known as "blood sugar," blood glucose levels above normal are toxic and can cause blindness, kidney failure, or increase cardiovascular risk. Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly. Low GI foods tend to foster weight loss, while foods high on the GI scale help with energy recovery after exercise, or to offset hypo- (or insufficient) glycemia. Long-distance runners would tend to favor foods high on the glycemic index, while people with pre- or full-blown diabetes would need to concentrate on low GI foods. Why? People with type 1 diabetes and even some with type 2 can't produce sufficient quantities of insulin—which helps process blood sugar—which means they are likely to have an excess of blood glucose. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods is helpful in keeping blood glucose under control. But the glycemic index of foods tells only part of the story. What it doesn't tell you is how high your blood sugar could go when you actually eat the food, which is partly determined by how much carbohydrate is in an individual serving. To understand a food's complete effect on blood sugar, you need to know both how quickly the food makes glucose enter the bloodstream, and how much glucose it will deliver. A separate value called glycemic load does that. It gives a more accurate picture of a food's real-life impact on blood sugar. The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the grams of a carbohydrate in a serving by the glycemic index, then dividing by Continue reading >>
Is Instant Oatmeal Really That Bad?
Open this photo in gallery: The question For time and convenience, I often have instant oatmeal for breakfast or morning snack. Am I missing out on the benefits of oatmeal by having the instant oatmeal versus the regular oatmeal? What are the differences? The answer All types of oatmeal are a great source of soluble fibre, which lowers elevated blood cholesterol. Oats are also a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin E whether they're instant, quick cook, large flake or steel cut. But that's where the similarities stop. All oats start out as oat groats, the whole grain of the oat, with only the outer hard husk removed. The degree to which oats have been processed determines how long they need to be cooked. Steel-cut oats are whole oat groats that have been chopped into two or three pieces. They require more time to cook than other oats. Rolled oats (old fashioned oats) are oat groats that have been steamed, rolled and flaked for easier cooking. Quick cooking oats are rolled oats that have been chopped into small flakes and take only three to four minutes to cook. Instant oats are basically powdered oats and take literally no time to cook. Although they're convenient, most brands of instant oatmeal have added salt and sugar. Look for a brand that's low in sugar - ideally unflavoured or no added sugar - and low in sodium. Choose brands that contain less than 6 grams of sugar and no more than 250 milligrams of sodium per serving (1 pouch). You can find some products today that are both sugar and sodium free. I recommend these over others. The other difference between instant and large flake or steel cut oats is the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-rich food raises your blood glucose level. Foods Continue reading >>
What Is The Glycemic Index Of Oatmeal?
Thanks to its soluble fiber content, a simple bowl of oatmeal offers plenty of sustained-release energy. Depending on the processing and preparation of the oats, oatmeal has a low to moderate effect on your blood glucose level and insulin production. Eating foods high in soluble fiber such as oatmeal on a daily basis may help stabilize your blood sugar and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, says the American Diabetes Association. Video of the Day The glycemic index, or GI, ranks the effect of a carbohydrate-containing food on your blood glucose level on a scale of one to 100. The higher the GI, the more quickly a food can elevate your blood sugar. The GI of a grain product may vary according to the way the grain has been processed and prepared. A 250 g serving of oatmeal -- a 9-oz. bowl -- has a GI of 58. A bowl of instant oatmeal has a GI of 83. The process of milling grains, such as oats or wheat, removes some of their fiber content, which accelerates digestion and raises the food's GI. If you want to reduce the GI of your oatmeal, avoid the instant varieties and try coarser, minimally processed oats. Oats have a lower GI than other grains because they provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. Unlike insoluble plant fiber, which does not dissolve in water, soluble fiber absorbs water and turns viscous. Rather than passing straight through the digestive system, foods with soluble fiber digest slowly, releasing the sugar content of a food at a gradual rate. Apples and beans are also high in soluble fiber. The Glycemic Index Foundation calls old-fashioned oats "slow carbs," because their soluble fiber content slows the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion. Foods with a low GI help stabilize blood glucose levels, which keeps your insulin production within a normal Continue reading >>
What You Need To Know About Instant Oatmeal And Your Health
As a kid, I loved instant oatmeal. The quickness. The sugary globs of fruit. Sometimes I wouldn’t stir up the mix, so I could get all that sweetness in one bite, which sounds a bit gross now, but I loved it. And even as we get older, something about oatmeal is comforting and enjoyable. Even better, we’re told this breakfast choice is a good one, a healthy one. So we continue to eat it. And often we grab the instant kind because, like, we’re really busy, right? I know. Especially when you hear that steel-cut oats take 30 minutes to cook on the stove. That’s a long time! But, yes, those instant packs are often stuffed with too much sugar and salt and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. And you can actually make regular oatmeal much quicker than you might think. Some things you need to know about instant oatmeal (including truly healthy product picks) … What is instant oatmeal? First, let’s start with oat groats. These are the whole grain form of an oat, but rarely are they sold as is. Instead, you find steel-cut, rolled or instant oats, and all are pre-cooked to some degree. Steel-cut oats = oat groats cut into pieces. Rolled oats = the same thing as longer cooking oats but are steamed longer and rolled a bit thinner. Instant oatmeal = rolled oats that are cut into small pieces and pre-cooked by steaming. Is instant oatmeal a healthy choice? Oats are one of the healthiest grains you can choose, so they can be a healthy choice. They are high in fiber, which can reduce bad cholesterol and help you stay full longer. They also enhance the body’s immune response and stabilize blood sugar; plus, they’re gluten free. But consuming oats comes with some problems, too. When most people eat oatmeal, they aren’t eating it plain, especially not the instant kind. P Continue reading >>
Is Instant Oatmeal Just As Healthy As Traditional?
I recently learned that my total cholesterol and triglycerides are very high, and my doctor recommended oatmeal, which I do not like. I did find a way to make it palatable, though. It's such a pain to make it every day. My question is this: If I make a large batch of it at once, will it lose its benefits by reheating? And what about instant oatmeal? Are the benefits the same? Hi, Andrew. This is an excellent question that I get asked quite often. Oatmeal is a terrific source of heart-healthy whole grains, and I commend you for making the effort to include oats in your diet on a regular basis. To answer your questions, slow-cooked oatmeal can be reheated without losing any nutritional benefits, so that is certainly a good approach if you like the taste of slow-cooked oats. According to Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, instant oatmeal, which is often portrayed as nutritionally inferior, is also a whole grain. In fact, in the USDA nutrient database, instant oatmeal possesses the same nutritional profile as regular or quick-cooking oatmeal. The only difference lies in the glycemic index, which is a measurement of how quickly a food increases your blood sugar within a two-hour period. Because instant oatmeal has been processed to cook more quickly, it is also broken down and digested more quickly by your body, giving it a higher glycemic index. Eating a lower glycemic index diet may help improve your cholesterol ratios. To lower the glycemic index of instant oatmeal, all you have to do is combine it with a little lean protein (add low-fat or fat-free milk or a half-scoop of protein powder after cooking) or healthy fat (top with a tablespoon or two of chopped nuts, which are also good for lowering cholesterol). In addit Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Guide To Oats
Confused about all of the kinds of oats you see on the store shelf? You're not alone. My own confusion motivated me to do some research and share what I learned in this post. I'll explain oat types, nutrition, uses, and recipes. Everything is summarized in a printable table for you, too. PROCESSED isn't always a dirty word. In fact, a degree of processing can be beneficial, particularly with oats. We wouldn't be able to eat oats at all without the inedible hull removed. Oats are dried to extend their shelf life and make them available to us year round. Some are steamed and rolled to reduce the time required to cook them, and that means busy people can include these healthy grains in their regular diet. I'll explain how each of the oat varieties is processed and which are best. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here's my OAT COMPARISON CHART that concisely summarizes some of the information explained in the post below. You may want to print it and keep it with your cookbooks for handy reference. Continue reading for more detailed information about the different kinds of oats, important nutritional guidelines, and heart-healthy oat recipes. Groats are the whole oat kernel with the inedible hull removed. With a nuttier flavor and chewier texture, they are good for hot breakfast cereal, pilafs, and stuffing. (These are my personal favorite for making hot breakfast oatmeal.) They have the longest cooking time (approx. 1 hour stove top), making them less popular than other oats. That makes them a good choice for overnight slow cooking. I'll be sharing my easy Overnight Slow Cooker Groats recipe in an upcoming post. 1/4 c. dry: 130 calories, 3g fat, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4 Not as Continue reading >>
Nutrition Faceoff: Quaker Quick Oats Vs. Instant
If instant oatmeal is a breakfast staple at your house, have you ever wondered how close the microwaveable packets of oatmeal come to the actual oats? Nutrition Faceoff: Quaker Quick Oats vs. Instant Original Quaker Quick Oats Quaker Instant Oatmeal – Original Serving Size: 1 oz (30 g) 1 packet (28 g) Calories: 113 kcal 100 kcal Fat: 2.3 g 2 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g 0 g Protein: 3.8 g 4 g Total Carbohydrates: 20.3 g 19 g Fiber: 3 g 3 g Sodium: 0 mg 75 mg Vitamin A: 0% DV 25 % DV Vitamin C: 0 %DV 0% DV Calcium: 0% 10% DV Iron: 8% DV 40% DV Thiamin: 8% DV N/A Phosphorus: 12% DV 10% DV Magnesium: 19% DV 8% DV Cooking time (microwave): 1 minute 1.5 minutes Price per serving: $0.13 $0.24 Dietitian’s Take: Quaker Quick Oats vs. Instant Original At the same serving size, the calories, carbohydrate, fat, protein and fiber contents are basically the same between the two versions of oats. Money-wise, the quick oats are way cheaper: almost 50% less than the instant version! A closer look at the nutritional information and ingredient lists also reveals some noticeable differences: Quick oats contain zero sodium. This is because quick oats are basically rolled oat flakes and nothing else. Instant oats have added salt. The instant oats have higher levels of Vitamin A and the minerals iron and calcium. Why? A look at the ingredient label shows that the following additives are included: Vitamin A palmitate, calcium carbonate, and reduced iron. The quick oats contain more thiamin and magnesium than the instant. While the amount of fiber is the same in the two oat versions, the instant oatmeal has guar gum as an additive. Guar gum acts as thickener and is high in soluble fiber, so there is no telling how much of the fiber from the instant oatmeal came from the actual oats vs. the gu Continue reading >>
Why I Don’t Like Steel Cut Oats
Okay that title is a bit harsh and perhaps misleading. Let me explain. A number of years ago a client told me she didn’t eat oatmeal because of not having time to make steel cut oats. She had heard—by an ill-informed friend—that if she couldn’t eat steel cut oats not to bother. Reason number one I ‘don’t like’ steel cut oats—someone not eating a nutrient-rich food like oatmeal because she was told if she couldn’t eat steel cut not to bother. I absolutely love oats as part of a healthy breakfast. It has a ‘stick to your ribs’ quality that you just don’t get with cold cereal. More than 75 percent of fiber in most cold cereal is insoluble fiber—good for you without a doubt. It’s what gives bulk to stool. However roughly half the fiber in oatmeal is soluble fiber. This beta-glucan type of soluble fiber gives it a gummy consistency which effectively makes it helpful at lowering cholesterol. That’s why oatmeal can bear a cholesterol-reducing claim. But all fiber—soluble and insoluble—is great at helping to manage weight. I had another client tell me why he didn’t eat oatmeal. He also was ill-informed by a well-meaning friend (maybe they had the same friend) who said steel cut was the only way to go because it was healthier. But my client didn’t like the chewy consistency. He just didn’t like the way steel cut tasted. I’ve heard that before. Reason number two I ‘don’t like’ steel cut oats. Some don’t like the taste and others incorrectly believe steel cut oats are better for you. Nutritionally steel cut and rolled oats are no different. The difference is in the processing and therefore texture. From least to most processed here is a snapshot of oats: whole oat grains or kernels (oat groats) – oats are harvested and the outer Continue reading >>
Is Steel-cut Oatmeal Really Better?
All of a sudden, steel-cut oatmeal is everywhere. Within blocks of MoJo‘s San Francisco headquarters, it’s sold at upscale touristy cafes and chain places like Starbucks and Jamba Juice. Hard to resist, since I a) am a sucker for fancy toppings (warm apple compote, anyone?) and b) find the texture and flavor of steel-cut oatmeal far superior to that of the boring quick oats I keep at my desk: Steel-cut oatmeal is chewier and, to my taste, slightly toastier than the instant stuff. The problem is that the prepared version is pricey and overpackaged: usually around $3 for a small paper container with a lid. Dry steel-cut oats are cheaper and require less packaging, but they take 20 minutes to cook, which isn’t really feasible at the office. Looking for an excuse to indulge in the tasty stuff once in a while, I decided to do some research: Is there any evidence that steel-cut oatmeal is more nutritious and/or better for the planet than instant rolled oatmeal? Proponents of diets based on the glycemic index often claim that steel-cut oats have a lower glycemic load than rolled oats, meaning they’re less likely to cause a blood-sugar spike. But this side-by-side comparison of 40 grams of Quaker steel-cut and rolled quick oats would suggest that nutritionally, the two are pretty identical (though mysteriously, the quick oats have slighly more fat than the steel-cut oats). On the environmental front, things get a little more complicated. Obviously, the take-out packaging is a major concern. But let’s say I stop being lazy and wake up early enough make my own steel-cut oats at home: Quaker Oats spokeswoman Candace Mueller explained to me that the only difference in how the two kinds of oats are produced is in the very last step: Once they’re cleaned and dehulled, the Continue reading >>
Oatmeal And Diabetes: The Do’s And Don’ts
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that affects how the body either produces or uses insulin. This makes it difficult to maintain blood sugar, which is crucial for the health of those with diabetes. When managing blood sugar, it’s important to control the amount of carbohydrates eaten in one sitting, since carbs directly affect blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association’s general recommendation for carb intake is to consume 45-60 grams per main meal, and 15-30 grams for snacks. It’s also important to choose nutrient-dense types of carbohydrates over refined and processed carbs with added sugar. This means that what you eat matters a great deal. Eating foods that are high in fiber and nutrients but low in unhealthy fat and sugar can help maintain a healthy blood sugar level, as well as improve your overall health. Oatmeal offers a host of health benefits, and can be a great go-to food for those with diabetes, as long as the portion is controlled. One cup of cooked oatmeal contains approximately 30 grams of carbs, which can fit into a healthy meal plan for people with diabetes. Oatmeal has long been a common breakfast food. Oatmeal is made of oat groats, which are oat kernels with the husks removed. It’s typically made of steel cut (or chopped), rolled, or “instant” oat goats. Oatmeal is cooked with liquid mixed in and is served warm, often with add-ins like nuts, sweeteners, or fruit. It can be made ahead and reheated in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast. Because oatmeal has a low glycemic index, it can help maintain glucose levels. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes, who especially need to manage their blood sugar levels. Oatmeal in its pure form may reduce the amount of insulin a patient needs. Oatmeal can also promote heart health, Continue reading >>
Oatmeal Vs. Quick Oatmeal
People often skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight. This can lead to hunger later in the day, coupled with a binge on unhealthy fare. Oatmeal is a staple breakfast food that can prevent this unwanted occurrence. It also works well as an ingredient in cookies, muffins, scones and granola bars. Regular and quick oats are two closely related types that have subtle differences. Choosing between them revolves around how you want to incorporate them into your diet. All forms of oatmeal derive from oat groats, which are whole, unbroken oat grains. Regular oats are also known as rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. They are produced by sending groats through a rolling machine, where they are flattened. This produces thick flakes of oatmeal. Quick oats, also known as quick-cooking oats, go through this same procedure, except they are pressed into thinner flakes. This type of oatmeal often gets confused with instant oats, but they are not one in the same. Instant oatmeal is finely pressed, which can cause it to take on a powdery consistency. Cooking Time Because quick oats are smaller and thinner, they cook faster than regular oatmeal. This makes them good breakfast options if you are in a hurry in the morning. Regular oats can take 15 minutes or more to prepare, while quick oats cook in about four or five minutes. Instant oats take even less time. In most cases, all you have to do is add hot water to a bowl of instant oats and mix thoroughly. Calories and Macronutrients Knowing the caloric and macronutrient breakdown of oatmeal is important when you are choosing which one is better for you. Regular and quick oatmeal are nutritionally similar. A 1/2-cup serving of each contains 27 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 150 calories. It also contains 4 grams of Continue reading >>