Choose Your Oats Wisely
Oatmeal is a common breakfast cereal recommended for its fiber and nutritional content. All oatmeal varieties come from the oat groats or grains of the oat plant. Oatmeal made from raw oats and oatmeal made from instant oats differ in density, texture, flavor and cooking times
Raw Oat Groats
Raw oat groats are the seeds of the oat plant. The outer hull, which is too tough to eat is removed. The resulting oat groats are cleaned and packaged for sale as breakfast cereal. When prepared, the resulting oatmeal is dense, chewy and filling. A serving of raw oats provides up to 4 grams of fiber. This high fiber content helps keep you full until your next meal.
Oats are also low on the glycemic index, so they won’t cause your blood sugar to spike and crash which can lead to unplanned snacking. Since instant oatmeal is often sweetened and may contain add-ins like dried fruits, nuts or milk derivatives, using raw oats allows you to control the type of add-ins and amount of sweeteners, used in the end product. Preparing your oatmeal using raw oats also gives you the opportunity to control the overall calorie and sugar content of your bowl of oatmeal.
Instant oatmeal also comes from oat groats. To help them cook faster, they are lightly steamed then pressed into the ultra-thin oat flakes. When prepared, they lack much of the body and texture of oatmeal prepared from raw oats.
Instant oatmeal is often available in individual packets and may be purchased flavored in varieties like cinnamon and spice, apple cinnamon and maple flavored. The lighter texture of instant oats leaves you feeling less full and moderately decreases the fiber content, by up to 1 gram. Also, the flavored varieties of oatmeal often have added sugars and other ingredients, dried fruit, nuts and milk derivatives, that may negatively impact your diet plan. On the other hand, the typical packaging of instant oatmeal makes portion and control and calorie tracking easy; each packet generally contains on serving of oatmeal.
According to data on the USDA National Nutrient Databases, “regular and quick and instant” oats offer the same nutritional values when prepared with boiling water. This means that the nutritional offerings of the raw and instant oatmeal are generally the same in equal portions. Oatmeal provides significant amounts of fiber, iron, protein, minerals and B vitamins. You can always go to the directory to know the nutrient content of any food or product that you want to take. Also, with the aid of internet, you can easily get the information that you need about the nutrient content. But it is advisable to be careful when choosing the source or website. Always go to the reliable ones.
You can prepare oatmeal by boiling it in hot water or another liquid. If using another liquid, people generally cook the oats in some type of milk, dairy milk, soy milk or almond milk for example. Keep in mind that the type of milk used affects the nutritional value, calorie content, texture and general flavor of the resulting oatmeal. Preparation times for both types of oatmeal vary. It can take up to an hour for raw oats to cook versus a minute or less for instant oatmeal.