When it comes to oatmeal, you have options! Some are totally healthy and others...not so much. This post will share what's the healthiest type of oatmeal, along with tasty recipes along the way.
I think it's safe to say that oatmeal is the healthiest breakfast-in-a-bowl. Many people love it (including yours truly). Why? It's creamy, easy to make, filling, and also tasty. And you can put so many delicious toppings on it! The more creative the better.
And while most oatmeal is healthy...some types of oatmeal are really healthy.
If you find yourself thinking, "OK then, what's the healthiest type of oatmeal?" I'm glad you asked! This post will answer that question in depth and provide delicious recipes along the way (like these Blackberry Cobbler Easy Overnight Oats).
From quick mix, to steel-cut, to rolled, you're going to learn all the good stuff about oatmeal. Put a pot of water on the stove and let's get started. All aboard the oats express!
Can I Eat Oatmeal Every Day?
Because oatmeal is full of nutrition, and is good for you and your digestive health, it's absolutely OK to eat oatmeal every day. It's actually encouraged! It is important that you read the label of any prepackaged oatmeal. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, you may not want to eat it every day. Less processed the better!
Oats contain soluble fiber (it's called beta glucan), providing tons of health benefits. Eating oatmeal every day will help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. And did you know that oats have minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper? Yep, they are SO good for you.
How Are Oats Processed?
Oats go through various levels of cleaning, purification, and preservation. Let's begin at the origin. The untouched oat is surrounded by a hull (outer shell). These are indigestible and need to be dehulled after harvest. The oats are then exposed to heat to add flavor, prevent harmful bacteria growth, and increase the shelf life. In this form, they are called groats (whole grain oats)!
It doesn't always stop there! Here are the 3 other types of oats we're looking at today...
Steel Cut Oats: Chopping your groats into 2-4 pieces will leave you with these minimally processed oats.
Rolled Oats (Old Fashioned Oats): Rolling and steaming the groats will result in this variety.
Instant Oats: These oats are put through even more steaming and are pre-cooked, essentially.
Can I Lose Weight By Eating Oatmeal?
Including oatmeal in your weight loss plan is a great idea and doing so is a reliable part of weight management. Because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, oatmeal will be a great support in managing your weight. Good digestive health is really powerful!
My approach to weight loss involves making sure all of my systems are functioning well. And I steer clear of any diets that are super restrictive. Oatmeal helps fuel my body for the day and it keeps me balanced!
If you feel aligned with this approach, you might find a lot of value in my 30 Day Healthy Program. It's got meal plans, shopping lists, support, and more!
What's The Healthiest Type Of Oatmeal?
The healthiest type of oatmeal is determined by the oats you use. We're going to look at 4 popular options and discuss what makes them healthy and extra good for your morning oatmeal. Let's do this!
Whole Oat Groats
Oatmeal made with whole oat groats (or groatmeal) is a very healthy choice. The healthiest, in my opinion! Grouts are minimally processed and loaded with nutritional value. They've got magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Along with multiple B-vitamins and vitamin E.
Groats also have the lowest glycemic index (which is beneficial for those that want to manage their blood sugar levels.) Don't even get me started on the fiber and trace mineral content! Groats have got it going on and I highly recommend them for your oatmeal.
Steel Cut Oats
Steel cut oats have a higher fiber content versus rolled oats and instant oats. They are rich in protein and keep you fuller for extended periods. Steel cut oats are harder and thicker than rolled oats, so it takes them longer to cook...but also gives them a chewier texture. Which I happen to love!
*If you want a recipe that'll make your morning great, check out this Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal recipe!
Rolled oats (or old-fashioned oats) are softened through a steaming process, flattened on a roller, and dried. They absorb more water and cook faster than the other two above. And are used often for pancakes, cobblers and granola bars. Rolled oats are healthy because they contain lots of fiber and protein.
While instant oats sometimes get a bad rep, they can still be considered healthy. Research shows that individuals who ate instant oats for breakfast were fuller longer and better able to curb cravings vs those who ate oat-based breakfast cereals. Like the other types of oats, instant oats have a lot of fiber and can help reduce bad cholesterol.
The key difference between healthy instant oats vs. unhealthy instant oats comes down to the added ingredients. It's important that you take a look at the label and try to avoid added sugar, sodium, and any artificial stuff.
*If you want help spotting hidden sugars, check out this blog post on 6 Easy Ways to Spot Hidden Sugars in Foods.
What Are Some Healthy Oatmeal Toppings?
Healthy toppings can boost the nutritional content of your oatmeal, and keep things interesting! Here's what I like best on my oatmeal:
- Chia Seeds: These tiny but mighty seeds are packed with omega-3s (which reduces inflammation) and are full of fiber. I recommend chia seeds for anybody hoping to improve their digestive health. Two tablespoons of protein have almost 5 grams of protein. Talk about power packed seeds!
- Berries: I don't know about you but I like my breakfast to look good, taste good, and feel good. A few berries on your oatmeal adds a beautiful pop of color with next to no calories. You're getting extra fiber and a bonus kiss of sweetness.
- Nut Butter: I especially enjoy almond butter on my oatmeal, while the kids usually love organic peanut butter on theirs. Speaking of, I made these chocolate peanut butter overnight oats that I'm sure you and your kids will love!
- Avocado: Similar to oatmeal, avocado will help keep you full so you can have great concentration hours into your morning. And did you know a medium avocado has about 10 grams of fiber?
- Coconut Flakes: Unsweetened coconut flakes on your oatmeal can add some crunch and sweetness to your bowl of oatmeal too! Try combining it with some coconut milk for an extra tropical bowl.
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