Meatless Monday

There is a lot of talk about steel-cut oats and how they’re healthier than rolled oats. I wanted to find out if this was true. Do you prefer oatmeal made from steel-cut oats? If so, why?



 1. What is a Rolled Oat?

Rolled oats originate from something called groats, which are the hulled cores of the grains. The oats are then formed into flakes via a rolling mechanism. You can easily recognize rolled oats by their flat, flake-like shapes.

2. Study Steel-Cut Oats

Upon a quick glance at a bag of steel-cut oats, you’ll see that they are noticeably smaller than rolled oats and are similar in appearance to cut-up pieces of rice. A whole-grain oat, the steel-cut variety, is made of the inner kernel (groat) and has been split in two to three sections. Other names you might encounter for such oats include coarse cut, Irish and pinhead.

One primary difference between the two foods is that it takes longer to cook the steel-cut oats than the thinner, rolled flakes. Understand that cooking such oats will take at least 50 percent more time than it would with the flakes. Still, this does depend on the cut of the oat and the recipe you are following.

3. Understand the Uses for Both Oats

You can make oatmeal with both rolled and steel-cut oats. Some people prefer steel-cut oats in their recipes because they have a more substantial texture or a bit of a crunch. Additionally, steel-cut oats have a nuttier flavor over rolled or regular oats. This can lend a toasted quality to an otherwise ordinary bowl of oatmeal.

As far as the nutritional content of rolled and steel-cut oats is concerned, you’ll find that they are both healthy. Oats possess vitamin E, iron and a wonder antioxidant known as avenanthramide. As published in “The Journal of Nutrition,” this unique oat compound helps to prevent damage to LDL cholesterol, making it a very heart-healthy choice.

As of late, it’s been the popular opinion that steel-cut oats have more health benefits than rolled oats. However, experts say that these grains have equal amounts of fiber and nutrients. In a nutshell, both add to a healthier diet and can help lower your cholesterol. Simply put, the primary difference between these two oats rests more in what you use them for and what taste you prefer.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kathryn on February 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    All oats contain phytate, which binds minerals and prevents their absorption. You’re better off staying away from all grains.


  2. Posted by Pat on February 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Thanks for such a great article. I am happy to hear that both are healthy but will look to find the steel-cut oats to compare them. Thanks again!


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