Oatmeal is a heart healthy food! It’s a great source of soluble fiber-  that’s that type that helps to lower your cholesterol levels. The problem is, there are so many different types of oatmeal to choose from, how do you know you’re buying the right kind?

  • Instant Oatmeal

This oatmeal has been rolled and pressed to be as thin as it can so that it can cook quickly. Much of the nutrients in the oat is lost during this process. However, it is very common that instant oatmeal is fortified with vitamins and minerals. On top of some of the nutrients they put back in, they also add unnecessary salt and sugars. Be especially careful of the flavored instant oatmeal. The chemicals added are not worth it. If you must eat the instant variety, go for the plain flavor and add a teaspoon of real maple syrup or slice your own apples and sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
  • Quick Oats

Much like instant oatmeal, these have also been rolled and pressed so that they are more convenient and quick to cook. They cook in about three minutes.

  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
If I’m in a rush, this is the type of oatmeal I eat. The oat is steamed, rolled and pressed (but not flaked or slivered)  in order to speed up cooking time. Much of the nutrients stays in the oat. I also think this is the best type of oat to bake with. Rolled oats take anywhere from one to five minutes to cook.

  • Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal
This is my number one choice of oatmeal. In fact, I eat it almost everyday. In this case the oat has simply been hulled and cut      (with steel) to make the pieces smaller and easier to eat. All the nutrients, minerals and vitamins stay right where they should and you get the benefit of them in their most natural form – directly from the oat. Steel Cut Oats are high in soluble fiber and won’t spike your insulin when you eat them (as long as you don’t add mounds of sugar!) – keeping you feeling full for a longer time. These take about 30 minutes to cook. I know 30 minutes in the morning is a LONG time, but for the taste and health benefits, they are worth it!
  • This is what I do:
  1. The night before I pour 4 cups of water and 1 cup of Steel Cut Oats in to a pot and bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. I let it boil for three minutes and then I turn the stove off and leave the pot on the burner.
  3. I wake up in the morning and I have perfectly cooked oatmeal ready to eat. I warm up a serving in the microwave with some fresh banana slices and strawberries!
  4. I store the rest in the refrigerator for the next few days!
1/4 cup dry = 1 serving
About 1 cup cooked = 1 serving

* Nutritional Information: – 1 Serving Steel Cut Oats

Calories Carbohydrates Protein Fat Fiber
150 26 4 4 2

  • 9230 Steps.

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13 Responses to “Understanding the Different Types of Oatmeal”

  1. Grand Pooba says:

    Hey Jess!

    Do you have a recipe for using the steel cut oats with egg whites? you know a la Hugo’s? I seem to remember you figured out to make that delicious frittata ( sp?) type meal…
    Please post if you get a sec. Lovin’ the blog!



  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks! I am working on it! I will try to perfect it this week and post ASAP! For now, sometimes I warm up my steel cut oats with 2 egg whites in the microwave or on the stove top. It really adds a delicious nutty flavor! Hopefully that will tide you over until I can figure out Hugo’s secrets. It really is a delicious!

  3. Anonymous says:

    What are your thoughts on microwaving things killing all of the nutrients?

  4. Jessica says:

    To be honest, I’m not really sure on that one. I use the microwave out of convenience. I know it’s probably not the best, but it’s fast and easy. I no longer put plastic in the microwave, but in terms of the microwave killing all the nutrients- I’m not sure. I think that overcooking veggies by any method will kill much of the nutrients in the vegetable.

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  6. [...] for kids, some are great for adults and some are great for both! 1. Start your day with a bowl of steel cut oatmeal and berries or a high fiber cereal. 2. Cut up a piece of fruit for a mid morning snack. [...]

  7. [...] Instead of my usual Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, I was planning on making the quick kind. I bought Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. These take 3 – 5 minutes in the microwave. They are less processed then the super quick [...]

  8. [...] a container of the oatmeal you made the night before and a banana. Heat it up at work! You may want to grab an apple for the [...]

  9. [...] Steel cut Irish oatmeal with sliced banana ( Can be made the night before!) [...]

  10. [...] a container of the oatmeal you made the night before and a banana. Heat it up at work! You may want to grab an apple for the [...]

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