In honor of National Oatmeal Day, I thought it was appropriate to help you decipher between the different types of oatmeal. There are so many out there that many people mistakenly think that they are eating a nutritious breakfast, when they are missing out on some of the most important nutrients that oatmeal can provide. Before you fill your belly with instant oatmeal for your next breakfast, think about these following facts.
Processing Means Less Nutrients
The more processed your oat grains are, the less nutrients you are receiving. Whole oat grains start out as nutritious as they get, but then each processing technique serves to strip those nutrients. Why would they be processed in the first place? In general it is to cut down on cooking time, because whole oats could take around an hour to cook. Breakfast is one of those meals that most people don’t have time for in the first place, so if I asked you to make oatmeal that took an hour to prepare, chances are you’d say, “No thanks.” But if I could show you an alternative to getting the nutrients that you need from oatmeal, you just might change your mind.
The Best Oats
Whole Oats – If you have access to a health food store, you will be able to find whole oats. These are oats in the purest and the most whole form; they provide the most nutrients. They are not stripped of anything except their hulls, which are not edible. These are the grains that take an hour or more to cook.
Steel Cut Oats – The next best thing to whole oats and the type that you will likely find much easier to locate in the store are steel cut oats. These are also sometimes called Irish Oats. What is the main difference between the two? Simply put, steel cut are grains that are cut with a steel knife into two or three particles. All of the nutrients are still in the grains; they are simply cut in order to make the oats easier or faster to cook because the water is absorbed into the grain a little faster than whole grains.
These are the two purest and best options when it comes to eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. So how does that help you when you are running around during your hectic mornings? Take the time on Saturday or Sunday to cook a large batch of whole or steel cut oats and store it in the refrigerator. Throughout the week, you can heat up the portion that you will eat. Guess what? You now have instant oatmeal with many more nutrients than the instant, boxed version that you have been eating all of these years. Now you are starting your body off with a satisfying and healthy start to the day!