Hi friends, happy Friday!
How is it going?
Today’s post is about oats but then, everybody knows about oats! The question is how much do you know? I have recently realized that many of us use oats in cooking often but still are unaware that there are different types.
One of my clients is a big oats fan and I am often amazed at how many things she makes out of oats, for her meals. I am definitely not complaining, oats is good for her and it helps me tremendously that she likes it already. The hardest part of my job is to convince people to make changes…and to keep them motivated and informed enough to stick to it, for good…for life!
Back to oats! Oats is a pretty versatile grain. It is used in making yummy oatmeal, in baking, in pet foods, in livestock feed etc. One can have it any time of the day, in any form…on its own or mixed up with other grains/flours.
Oats & Nutrition
Rich in fibre, low in fat, high in protein as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants…oats is one of the healthiest food for us. Oats have numerous health benefits:
- Rich in soluble fibre beta-glucan which is good for cholesterol management, digestion and satiety (feeling of fullness, after a meal)
- Helps in weight management
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents insulin spikes
- Aids in regular bowel movement
- Beneficial to the gut bacteria
- Gluten free so a great choice for people with gluten-sensitivity
Did you know that there are various types of oats?
There are. And it all starts with oat groats. The whole oat kernel has a tough outer shell which protects the seed of the oat plant. Once this outer shell is removed, we get the oat groat. This oat groat is then further processed in a few different ways to increase shelf-life, as well as to make them fit for human consumption.
- Steel-cut oats – The whole groats are cut into 2-3 pieces, by using large sharp steel blades. These are still considered unprocessed oats. These are also called as Irish oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are bigger in size, chewier with a coarse kind of texture. They take a longer time to cook however soaking them before cooking reduces the cooking time to a great extent
- Rolled oats – The whole groats are steamed and pressed flat with steel rollers. This process lessens the cooking time. Slightly milder flavored than steel-cut, these oats are soft in texture and take less time to cook as they are already steamed during the making process
- Instant oats – These are rolled oats which are further cut into many smaller pieces for even faster cooking. They are steamed and more flattened during the making process and they have a mild, soft texture
- Quick oats – These are very similar to Instant oats though they might contain additional flavors, sugar etc
Which oats are the best?
Nutrition wise, the difference is not much, to be honest. However, steel-cut oats are found slightly higher in terms of protein and fibre. They are also the least processed. They also have the lowest glycemic index of all three types and help with stable blood sugar levels.
In the end
Though steel cut oats are my personal favorite but then, I don’t cook with them as much as many others do. If it is convenient for you to use instant oats variety in your cooking to save up on time and energy, it is good enough. As simple as that.
So, while stocking up on oats, make sure to buy whichever type suits you better. No point buying steel-cut version when you find them time-consuming and end up not using them altogether! Just try to stick to unsweetened ones.
Use this highly nutritious grain in your cooking, in your baking, in your smoothies, salads and soups etc.
I hope that you found this post useful. Do join me on Instagram for more regular stories on health, fitness, nutrition among some other random stuff that moves and motivates me. If you like my weekly posts, you would love my stories too 😊
Till next Friday
Love, Health & Peace