Doesn't it make sense to fuel your body with the healthiest foods you can find from the start of your day. One of my favorites is oatmeal because it's difficult to completely lessen their nutritional value no matter how they're prepared. Sugars are the foe these days and they can be hidden in nearly all of our processed foods as maltose, dextrose and lactose. Sugars are carbohydrates with little to no nutritional value although they can provide quick energy when needed.
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.
Lets shed some light about which oats are better for you. The chart below provides some comparison.
|Steel-cut Oats||Old-fashioned 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 scale. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel-cut oats rank lower than rolled oats on the glycemic index which ranks carbohydrate foods on the basis of how rapidly they affect blood sugar (glucose). The reason for this difference is that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces in turn slowing down their conversion to sugar. In contrast, high glycemic foods cause a spike in your blood sugar as well as insulin and that will cause you to crave even more sugary foods when your glucose levels drop. The best options are the steel-cut oats with rolled oats being a great second choice. They'll keep you feeling fuller longer, which will keep your energy levels up and help you lose weight.
You can be sure you’re eating a whole grain with a low GI ranking if you have to chew it or can see the grains or pieces of grains. The more your jaw has to work, the better.
Champ d'avoine (Oat Field) by Claude Monet 1890
Chart provided by popsugar.com