Oatmeal is made from the whole oat grain. Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating 3 or more daily servings of whole grains to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and colorectal cancer.
Steel-cut oats (“Irish oats” or “Scottish oats”) are made by running toasted oat grains through a steel mill to chop them into pieces. They are chewier and have a slightly nuttier taste than rolled oats, but ordinarily take 25–30 minutes to cook.
Rolled oats (“Old-fashioned” oats) are grains that are steamed and run between rollers to flatten them into flakes. 5 minutes to cook.
Quick-cook oats are steamed and rolled into even thinner flakes that absorb water more quickly. 3-4 minutes to cook.
Steel-cut, rolled, and quick-cook oats are all made from whole oats, and possess approximately the same nutritional content. All contain no cholesterol, no sodium, and are low in saturated fat.
One serving (1/2 cup) has 85 calories,
3 to 3.5 grams of protein, and
2 to 2.5 grams of fiber.
The soluble fiber in these oatmeal/ can help to lower LDL (“bad) cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels steadier.
Your choice of steel-cut, rolled, or quick-cook oats is mainly a matter of texture and taste preference, but if you are diabetic you may prefer steel-cut oats for their slightly lower glycemic index (how quickly blood glucose increases after eating.)
Instant oatmeal should be avoided. It is precooked and dried so it only needs hot water added to “cook” it. Most brands also contain sugar, salt and other flavouring ingredients, so compared to other oats it may contain less fiber, and more salt, sugar and additives.
Try rolled oats as breading for chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or in place of bread in meatloaf or in chicken and fish patties.