Steel-cut, old-fashioned rolled, the Scottish way, or oats prepared instantly.
What are Oats?
A whole-grain cereal grown in North America and Europe. Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and minerals, this humble grain found in not-so-appealing porridge bowls has now transformed into a dietician’s favorite megastar ingredient.
While the ingredient remains the same, processing makes a lot of difference in oats.
Steel-cut oats, also known as Irish oats, are made when the groats are cut at least three times by a steel blade, thus making the kernel smaller. They are the least processed, therefore, higher content of fiber. These minimally processed oats have a very different flavor profile, i.e., a nuttier and chewier one.
Old-fashioned rolled: Once the groats are steamed, they are rolled as well as lightly toasted. These cook faster and stay fresh for a longer period of time.
Scottish: Coarser than flour, finer than rolled ones. The stone-ground groats have a porridge-like texture when cooked.
To make quick oats, simply process the old-fashioned ones a bit longer, and voila! They are usually confused with instant ones, but that is not the case. Further process the Quick and the final and the finest version of available is referred to as Instant oats. Both varieties absorb water very quickly.
What is the fuss about consuming oats?
Consumption of oatmeal can help in the reduction of cholesterol levels and high blood sugar levels, and it is a major source of proteins. Having high content of soluble fiber can treat problems like constipation as well.
It has also proven to be excellent as well as a sustainable pre-workout meal. Having oatmeal after a workout can help build muscle.
Best time of the day for consumption: Morning
According to nutritionist Gurveen Toor, “Not only does it keep a person full for a long time but is also a storehouse of energy. Have it in the morning for breakfast and you’re good to go. I would highly recommend pregnant women to include it in their regular diet for it provides just enough calories and carbohydrates to keep them going for the entire day. Also, steel-cut specifically oats have very high levels of B complex vitamins.” One can have it with fruits and enjoy a good hearty meal.
Oats have been proven to be excellent immunity boosters and have also gained popularity because they are anti-carcinogenic. It is also very good for the skin and can soothe inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. Including oats in the diet regime, can give both men and women glowing, healthy, and beautiful skin.
By aiding weight loss, the consumption of it can bring down high LDL levels, thus preventing cardiovascular diseases. It can be beneficial for those suffering from Celiac disease. Oats are included under the category of gluten-free foods, so they have proven to be a good alternative.
Is it meant for everyone?
“Instant is not suggested to people with high sugar levels for the glycaemic index (GI) score is 87. Smart choices have to be made, so one must read the list of ingredients at the back of the package. They are sometimes flavored artificially, and that can be very harmful to them and will cause a sudden insulin spike. They are also not recommended for those who are on a low-carb diet. “If anyone is on a keto diet, for instance, it is not the best option.” added nutritionist Toor.
Nevertheless, she also added that “people who are diabetic can definitely go on steel cut because the glycaemic index (GI) is relatively low, i.e., 53. Also, the old-fashioned oats minimise the absorption of sugar by the body.”
It can prove to be a much better source of nutrition than many other staple grains. As opposed to whole wheat flour or even maida, it can be an excellent alternative for everyone from all age groups. It is vital to understand that cooking time or texture cannot take priority over the nutritional benefits. Therefore, smart choices must take priority over pleasing taste buds.