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Types of Oatmeal: What's The Difference?
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Types of Oatmeal: What's The Difference?

Estimated time to read 5 minutes

Ever had one of those mornings when you’re feeling bleak, famished, and just run down? We’ve been there, too! And something that can really help ease those feelings is getting a good morning routine down–such as squeezing in a workout, meditation, and cup of hot tea before taking on the day.

Caramel pecan date oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

Another habit that can build good morning routines is getting a solid breakfast in, such as oatmeal! With so many variations though, you may be unsure which oatmeal to turn to.

That’s why we’re breaking down the different types of oatmeal in this blog post–buckle up!

How oatmeal can improve your health

First, we’d be remiss to not point out the many many health benefits of oatmeal. So let’s dive in and share some fun facts about oatmeal!

Boosts energy

Oatmeal is filled with complex carbohydrates, which means that it’s a slow burning source of energy. Oats also naturally boost serotonin levels, which help you feel calmer. Serotonin can also assist with managing stress, enhance learning, and improve memory functions. 

Provides heart-healthy benefits

There are many pieces of research that claim oats support heart health. And once again, soluble fiber is the hero! When part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, soluble fiber from whole oats may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Research studies found evidence supporting the effectiveness of oats in lowering LDL cholesterol when consumed regularly with a low saturated fat diet.

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Benefits gut health

Some studies indicate oat bran can help reduce digestive issues, partly due to the levels of probiotic fiber! Oats contain a unique type of fiber that nourishes and restores healthy gut bacteria.

This makes oats an awesome food choice to eat every day and they are a particular favorite for breakfast.

Includes minerals, vitamins, and plant-based protein

Oats are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! They’re particularly high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, and zinc. Oats are also the only dietary source of powerful antioxidants called avenanthramides.

Oats are also a solid source of quality protein and typically include higher protein content than other grains.

Helps you feel full

Oats are high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria, and increases feelings of fullness.

Eating filling foods like oatmeal may also help you eat fewer calories, and in turn, lose weight over time! By delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty of food, the beta-glucan in oatmeal may increase your feeling of fullness.

Beta-glucan may also promote the release of a hormone produced in the gut in response to eating. This “satiety hormone” has been shown to lead to reduced calorie intake and may decrease your risk of obesity.

Apple cinnamon oatmeal - Eat Proper Good

The different types of oats explained

Okay, so now that we know about the MANY health benefits of oats, what types of oats are out there? Steel-cut oats? Irish Oats? The answer is simpler than you may think. Let’s research the different types of oats!

Groats or whole grain oats

Groats are the whole-grain kernels of various cereal grains, like barley, wheat, rye, and oat. As  whole grains, groats retain the germ, bran, and endosperm after being hulled through a process that removes its outer covering.

While all three parts of the whole grains make groats nutritious, they also give them a harder, chewier texture than most grains. For this reason, dry oats can’t be eaten without first being steamed or soaked, although the cooking time varies based on the grain.

Groats of all kinds are the healthiest form of the grain because they contain all three parts of the grain and have undergone no form of processing, such as rolling or pressing.

Steel-cut oats or Irish oats

Steel-cut oats come from chopped whole oat groats, which is the inner kernel of the inedible hull of the grain stalk. They are cut into pinhead-sized pieces by steel blades, which helps give cooked steel-cut oats a thicker texture than rolled oats.

Of all of the varieties of oats, steel-cut oats are processed the least, leaving much of the bran intact, resulting in a coarse texture. Steel-cut oats require nearly half an hour of cooking time on the stovetop.

Steel-cut oats also retain more of their nutty flavor compared to rolled oats.

Rolled oats

Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming and flattening process. They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take much less time to cook than steel-cut oats because they have been partially cooked.

A bowl of rolled oats takes 2–5 minutes to prepare. Rolled oats can also be added to goods like cookies, cakes, muffins and bread. Although steel-cut oats contain a bit more fiber and are lower on the glycemic index, don’t count rolled and quick oats out!

All three types of oats are nutritious and excellent sources of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to choose an oatmeal that fits best with your lifestyle.

How to cook oatmeal? 

Luckily for you, we’re juuuuust a little obsessed with oatmeal and wrote about how to make oatmeal here! Depending on the type of oats and your personal preference, oats can be made on the stovetop, in the microwave, or enjoyed cold!

We’d recommend experimenting with all three methods to see which best suits your taste and lifestyle.

Proper Good ready-to-eat steel-cut oatmeals

While it is occasionally nice to make oatmeal from scratch, the fact is that sometimes you just need a little help. There are busy days when you’re commuting to work, rushing to a child’s sports game, or meeting up with a friend for a hike.

That’s where Proper Good comes in! Our ready made, steel-cut oatmeal blends never shy away from flavor and always leave you feeling satisfied!

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Our fruit-filled steel-cut oats meal blends satisfy your sweet tooth without the sugar rush! Try Banana Bread, Apple Cinnamon, or Blueberry Coconut.

Pumpkin Pie, Choc Peanut Butter, and Mint Choc Chip are the perfect mix of comfort flavors and healthy, wholesome ingredients!

Our oatmeals made with steel-cut oats are packed with 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber–sure to leave you feeling satisfied and smiling! Eat oats and get a nutritious meal!

Did you learn something new about oatmeal and steel-cut-oats? We sure hope so, and we hope you’re excited to try some of the oatmeal variations and flavors shared here today.

Learn how long does oatmeal last on this blog post

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