The Truth About Oatmeal

Experts weigh in on the benefits of this popular breakfast item.

Many people have questioned if there’s a nutritional difference between steel-cut, rolled, and instant oatmeal. These categories simply refer to different methods of preparing hulled oats. Steel-cut oats are groats that have been sliced up into smaller pieces. In contrast, rolled oats are groats that have been steamed and smashed flat. Instant oatmeal typically is made up of rolled oats that have been further flattened, steamed, or pre-cooked. Joanna Slavin, a professor of food science and nutrition, reported to TIME, “All types of oatmeal are considered whole grains, and all should be more or less equal in terms of their basic nutritional properties.” So regardless of which you choose, you still will enjoy the health benefits oatmeal has to offer.

Experts have agreed that eating oatmeal is a good choice as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Shengmin Sang, a professor of food science and human health states, “Eating whole grain oats can prevent diabetes and lower cholesterol levels, which could prevent cardiovascular disease and inflammation related to chronic disease.” Oatmeal contains a high amount of soluble fiber and is an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin E, and minerals that create a balanced and nutritious meal. As long as you avoid sugar and other additives, oatmeal will still be beneficial to your health. Be cautious when buying instant oatmeal because of the potential added sugars and preservatives.

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