Different Types of Oats in India | Comparison, Benefits And More

For healthier and nutritiously growing food preferences, Oats are largely recommended by the topmost dieticians and nutritionists. Oats are the quintessential healthy food and make for an excellent and highly nutritious meal or even a snack. Being considered a superfood with an abundance of dietary fibres, beta-glucan, and several essential nutrients, Oats have become an everyday partner of every health-conscious individual. However, not everyone is familiar with the different kinds and types of Oats, having different generics, available in the market. Goodness and Wellness are the two common essences amongst all the different variants. Let’s have a better understanding of the different types of Oats, their key features, and nutrition components.

Types of Oats

Comparison Between Different Types of Oats

ParametersOats GroatsSteel-Cut OatsRolled OatsQuick OatsInstant OatsOat Bran
Manufacturing ProcessHulled kernels of whole grain oatsHulled oats cut once or twice with a steel bladeHulled, steamed and rolledHulled, steamed and rolled into thinner flakesPre-cooked, dried, cut and rolledThe outer layer of groat, removed before processing
Cooking Time30-45 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes1 minute2 minutes
TextureThick, uneven textureChewy textureSoft textureFiner textureFine textureGrainy texture
Health BenefitsReduce the risk of type 2 diabetesPrevent a spike in glucose levelsLower the cholesterol levelsReduce the risk of heart diseasesReduce the risk of cardiac arrestHelps in weight loss

1. Oat Groats

Oat Groats

Oat Groats is the purest and the rawest form of oat available in the market. They are the hulled kernels of whole grain oats and include the germ, bran, and endosperm. They also have the longest cooking time, and since they are the most intact form of this whole grain, they can be an excellent substitute for rice and other whole grains.

Key Features:

  • They have the longest cooking time.
  • They are super chewy.
  • They have a hint of nutty flavour.
  • They are the most intact form of oats.

Nutritional Analysis:

Oat Groats are highly nutritious, mostly because they are the rawest form of the whole grain and retain its natural nutritional elements. Beta-glucans present in oats help in blood sugar control, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. They also keep you full for longer and are gluten-free.

2. Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats or Irish Oats are a type of whole oats, hulled oats that have been cut once or twice with a steel blade. Since the pieces are relatively large, they take a longer time to cook. They are also the most common breakfast cereal. Due to their large flakes, they are not preferred for baking applications.

Key Features:

  • They have a long cooking time.
  • They have a nutty flavour.
  • They have a chewy texture.
  • Once cooked they become creamy and have a thick consistency.

Nutritional Analysis:

Because the grain pieces are thick the body breaks them down slowly, hence keeping the body running for a longer time. The thick flakes also reduce the glycemic index, which allows for more controlled blood sugar levels. Since the body breaks them down slowly, it also prevents a dramatic spike in levels of glucose in the body.

3. Rolled Oats

Rolled Oats

The most regular type of oats, these old-fashioned oats are known as rolled oats. Oats are toasted, hulled, steamed, and then rolled by passing them through large rolling mills. A small portion of these oats goes a long way in satiating your hunger.

Key Features:

  • These oats absorb a lot of liquid.
  • Their cooking time is low.
  • They have a mild taste and a soft texture.
  • They retain their shape once cooked.
  • They stay fresh for a more extended period.

Nutritional Analysis:

Rolled oats are rich in soluble fibre, which helps in lowering the cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol. They are complex carbs and thus keep you full longer than simple carbs. They are also rich in protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

4. Quick Oats

Quick Oats

Quick Oats are just a rolled oat available in different thickness. The manufacturing process of these oats is the same as that of rolled oats. They are toasted, hulled, steamed, and then passed through the rolling mill, except they are rolled into thinner flakes. Thus, their cooking time is even lower compared to rolled oats.

Key Features:

  • They have a softer and finer texture.
  • They absorb water quickly.
  • Their cooking time is lower.
  • They have a mild flavour.

Nutritional Analysis:

Quick oats aid in weight loss and help in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. Thanks to the beta-glucan present in the oats, their digestion takes longer, making you feel full for a longer period. They are also rich in antioxidants and fibre-packed.

5. Instant Oats

Instant Oats

Instant oats are flavoured oats which are available in single-serving oatmeal packets. Instant oats are pre-cooked, dried, cut, steamed for a longer time, and then rolled into thin flakes for instant preparation. They are a fast and convenient way of getting the benefits of oats without spending too much time.

Key Features:

  • Their cooking time is just 1 minute.
  • They absorb water instantly.
  • They have a fine texture.
  • Sometimes, they can be grainy, like a fine powder.

Nutritional Analysis:

Instant oats are low in fat, more precisely saturated fats, which reduces the risk of heart problems or cardiac arrest. They are rich in protein, carbs, and fibre.

6. Oat Bran

Oat Bran

Oat Bran is the outer layer of the groat and is made from the hulled oat kernel. Since this is part that is removed before oats are processed further, rolled, quick and instant oats lack oat bran. These Oats are used in bakeries for quick bread, pancakes, to keep them light and as a binder.

Key Features:

  • A common ingredient in baked goods.
  • Rich in insoluble fibre.
  • It can be prepared as a hot meal.
  • It can be used as garnishing to increase the nutritional value of other meals.

Nutritional Analysis:

Oat Bran is particularly rich in insoluble and dietary fibre, protein, and iron. These are also low in cholesterol and sodium. They are also a rich source of Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese, and Selenium.

Conclusion

Oats are one of the most popular healthy food items, and while all the different types of oats pack a plethora of health benefits, you can always choose a particular type of oat based on your requirements.

FAQs

1. Can you eat instant oats raw?

Yes, one can eat instant oats, and you can enjoy it either cooked or raw. Instant raw oats can be enjoyed as a topping or as a snack.

2. How much oat bran should you eat a day?

Eating oat bran is a great option for people with digestive and stomach issues. Approximately 60 grams of oat bran is ideal to consume on a daily basis.

3. Can you eat uncooked oat bran?

Yes, one can definitely eat uncooked oat bran and use it in several recipes for an extra dose of crunch and taste. Uncooked oat bran is also very high in fiber and supports better bowel function.

4. Can you eat rolled oats like cereal?

Rolled oats can be consumed in cereal style. All you need to do is soak the oats in milk/water for a few hours before eating them.

5. Is it OK to soak steel cut oats overnight?

It’s completely OK to soak steel-cut oats overnight. Soaking oats overnight makes them tender and easier to cook. Also, this way, the oats are much easier to digest.

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