Are you shopping for oats and realised there are different types to choose from? Most commonly seen on the market shelves are quick-cook or instant oats and rolled oats. Wait, what? They’re not the same? Some of you may have bought either thinking they’re the same. Did you buy quick oats? Well, the term “quick” oats, seem sensible to buy especially for you who are in the morning rush. However, wouldn’t you like to know how different rolled oats are? I have heard and read many times the benefits of eating oats every day. Probably you have, too. Thus, knowing the difference between rolled oats and quick oats will help you understand how to choose oats for your healthy oatmeal breakfast.
What are the Different Types of Oats
Quick oats and instant oats are rolled oats. Confused? Simple explanation, the difference between these three is in the process itself producing the end product.
In brief. there are 3 categories of oats and they’re oat groats, steel-cut oats and rolled oats. And there are 3 types of rolled oats. Let’s go through them all individually.
1. Oat Groats
Groat explained on Wikipedia is the hulled kernels of various cereal grains. In this case, oat groats are the hulled oat kernel, which includes the cereal germ, the bran and the endosperm of the grain. Meaning, when the husk is removed from the oat grain, it is called an oat groat.
Can you eat oat groats? Certainly can. This is among the healthiest varieties because there are the least processed and have a lower glycemic index.
However, oat groats are not easy to find in every grocery store. Furthermore, it takes a much longer time to cook compared to other types of oats. It is about 30 minutes on the stove-top. You don’t want this in the morning, do you? Not when you’re in a rush.
Did you know the oat groats are further processed to create steel-cut, rolled or quick oats? That’s true and all of which have their own characteristics. Read on.
2. Steel-cut Oats
Steel-cut oats are also known as Irish oats or Scottish oats.
To produce steel-cut oats, the groats are cut into pieces using steel-blade thus the name says.
Compared to rolled oats, steel-cut oats are coarser hence a tough texture and chewier but nuttier in flavour. Coarser means it takes longer to cook but not as long as oat groats. The cooking time varies between 15-30 minutes.
3. Rolled Oats
Rolled oats are commonly called old-fashioned oats.
To produce rolled oats, the oat groats are steamed and pressed flat with steel rollers. This shortens the cooking time as they absorb more water and cook faster than steel-cut. You’ll be able to enjoy your bowl of oatmeal in about 5-10 minutes depending on the consistency you prefer.
With an additional process, rolled oats are made into quick-cook and instant oats.
Quick-cook oats are rolled thinner and cut into smaller pieces beside going through the same process that is steamed and pressed.
They cook within a few minutes and have a mild flavour and a soft, mushy texture.
Instant oats are even thinner and more finely cut than quick-cook oats. This makes instant oats cook almost instantly and they are the most processed compared to other oat types.
Instant oats can sometimes be mushy and gummy. This explains why some people say oatmeal is yucky, including me, until I found rolled oats.
Is Rolled Oats Healthier than Quick and Instant Oats
Even though quick and instant oats are processed more, it does not make them less healthy.
There aren’t any major differences in nutrients as all three are produced from whole oat groats.
Oats are well-known for helping lower blood cholesterol, particularly LDL “bad” cholesterol (1). Other health benefits include reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood sugar and help relieve constipation.
Are you a weight watcher? You’ll like this – oats are a complex carbohydrate and high in fibre so they’ll keep you full longer. Hence, reducing the urge the eat between meals.
Oats also provide you with important minerals and vitamins such as manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and thiamin (Vitamin B). On top of that, oats are rich in antioxidants.
Rolled oats, quick or instant oats and steel-cut oats all have the same nutrients. The differences are only in shape, texture and cooking time. Which to choose depends on which of these three elements is important to you.
I would say shape doesn’t really matter. The cooking time may be a major concern. Surely you want to prepare your oatmeal breakfast and consume them almost immediately. While some of you may love the smooth texture of quick-cook or instant oats, some may like a chewier texture. I prefer the latter.
If your mornings are always in a rush, consider making overnight oats. Soak your oats at night and have them in the morning, without fuss. You can use quick oats for the smooth texture or rolled oats that give you a bit of chew.
In a Nutshell
Consuming oats is a healthy choice as they are known for helping reduce cholesterol level, manage blood sugar and weight loss. Also, helps reduce the risk of heart diseases.
The nutrients found in rolled oats and quick-cook or instant oats are generally the same as all are produced from oat groats.
The difference is the way they’re processed and rolled oats are less processed. I know some people tend to avoid processed food, choosing whole food. In this case, the best would be oat groats but oat groats are not easily available and may be pricier. Furthermore, the long cooking time may discourage you from eating oatmeal. Besides cooking time, the texture may also influence your preference.
You know what? Oatmeals do not have to be oats only. That’s boring. Muesli and granola are made using oats and these are more exciting and nutritious with added components such as nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Read related articles – link below.
I hope this article has helped you understand the differences as well as the similarity of different kinds of oats. So then, you’re aware of what you’re buying.
Now that your question – are rolled oats same as quick oats answered, which would you buy? Tell us in the comments section below. Knowing rolled oats and quick oats give you the same nutrients, which you choose is base on your preference in the texture and cooking time, yes? I’m curious to know which. Tell us.
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Let’s Get Started
For US Shoppers, Shop on Amazon. There are plenty of choices to choose from.
I found a few you may be interested ↓
You prefer thicker rolled oats, try this. Buy on Amazon.
Don’t skip your breakfast! Beat the morning rush with Instant Oats. Buy now on Amazon.
For my fellow Malaysians, shop on Shopee. Since I normally buy Australian Rolled Oats from my neighbourhood store, I recommend and found Australian Rolled and Quick Cook Oats on Shopee. Check it out!
Happy shopping & thanks for reading.
Me YourHealthy Corner – Stay in Good Health, Healthy Eating Habits
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Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. The material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.