Types of Oats
Oats are one of the few whole grains you’ll find many varieties of on the grocery shelf, making them an extremely versatile ingredient. With such a wide selection available, choosing the right oat for your recipe might be a little challenging. Use this quick guide to the oats you’ll find at the store to make your decisions a little easier, and perhaps you’ll be tempted to give them each a try!
All-natural and delicious, oats – in all their forms – are a terrific way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-protein to any diet. Here’s what to look for at the grocery store:
Steel cut oats
These are coarsely cut groats with a sharp steel blade. The nutritional profile & Glycemic Index of this kind remains the same as the whole groats. The cook time of this is slightly lesser than the whole groats as they are cut.
Whole oat groats
These are hulled oat kernels meaning the outermost layer that is inedible is removed from the whole grain oats. These are chewy and go great in salads, slow cooked stews and pilafs. The cooking time of oat groats is quite long as much as 50 to 60 mins apart from the soaking time. Not all oat varieties have low glycemic index, but these have the lowest Glycemic Index among their counter parts since these are least processed.
The whole groats are stone ground to coarse meal, great to make porridge and stews. Cooking time is about 15 to 20 mins.
Regular or Rolled oats
These are made similar to the Indian Poha. They are steamed and then rolled to flatten them. So they can be eaten as such without cooking. They also cook quite fast. It is always good to use these organic since we do not rinse them and are consumed directly.
Quick cook oatmeal
These are steamed for longer and pressed more to make them flakes than the previous kind. The nutritional profile of this kind is almost the same as the rolled variety. These have a high glycemic index and must be consumed in moderation. It is good to use these too organic.
If you are striving to prevent or manage diabetes, then the best kind is to use whole groats or steel cut oats and the next choice should be rolled variety. Quick cook or instant variety are more processed and is almost similar to any processed food and is good to avoid them.
Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, lower cholesterol levels, improved immunity, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes are some of the health benefits that come just with the consumption of 1 bowl of oatmeal regularly. But most of us may not prefer to eat a porridge regularly.