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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 Oats, their key features, and nutrition components.
Comparison Between Different Types of Oats
|Parameters||Oats Groats||Steel-Cut Oats||Rolled Oats||Quick Oats||Instant Oats||Oat Bran|
|Manufacturing Process||Hulled kernels of whole grain oats||Hulled oats cut once or twice with a steel blade||Hulled, steamed and rolled||Hulled, steamed and rolled into thinner flakes||Pre-cooked, dried, cut and rolled||The outer layer of groat, removed before processing|
|Cooking Time||30-45 minutes||20 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes||1 minute||2 minutes|
|Texture||Thick, uneven texture||Chewy texture||Soft texture||Finer texture||Fine texture||Grainy texture|
|Health Benefits||Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes||Prevent a spike in glucose levels||Lower the cholesterol levels||Reduce the risk of heart diseases||Reduce the risk of cardiac arrest||Helps in weight loss|
1. 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.
- 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.
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 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.
- 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.
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
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.
- 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.
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 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.
- They have a softer and finer texture.
- They absorb water quickly.
- Their cooking time is lower.
- They have a mild flavour.
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 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.
- 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.
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 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.
- 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.
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.
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.