Why Oatmeal Is Good For You

Health Benefits of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is hands down, my favorite breakfast food. It comforts me, is satisfying and keeps my taste buds from wanting the wrong types of food. Oatmeal has long staying power to keep me full and supplies me with the energy my body needs. You can find me diving into a bowl of steel cut oats 5 to 6 days a week using a variety of my favorite healthy fruits along with some cold almond milk.

As I congratulate myself for the nutrition I am giving my body, I caution myself to remember to limit my serving to one or maybe two servings every once in awhile. Oatmeal has been proven to lower cholesterol, is high in fiber and low in fat. It is also high in iron. Wonderful!

A healthy bowl of hot oatmeal with fruit.  Plenty of fiber and good source of protein.
A healthy bowl of hot oatmeal with fruit. Plenty of fiber and good source of protein. | Source
Berries are wonderful on oatmeal and are packed with antioxidants.
Berries are wonderful on oatmeal and are packed with antioxidants. | Source

Rolled Oats vs. Steel Cut Oats

There are several different types of oatmeal available. My favorite is steel cut. I was introduced to Steel Cut oatmeal one day watching a television show about health and nutrition. I decided to try it out and absolutely loved it. I have been hooked on it ever since.

Some people swear that the steel cut oats are healthier than rolled oats. I personally think that an oat is an oat whether it is rolled or cut. The thing that makes the difference, health wise, has to do with the ingredients added to the oatmeal.

For instance, whole milk will contain more fat than skim milk and almond milk may be healthier than regular milk. Adding a heaping tablespoon of sugar on your oatmeal is less healthy then using fruit, or the herbal sweetener stevia.


  Quaker Steel Cut Oatmeal
Quaker Steel Cut Oatmeal
Irish Oatmeal (Steel Cut)
Irish Oatmeal (Steel Cut)

The Three Basic Types of Oatmeal

Oats come in three basic types:

Old fashioned rolled oats – which are whole oats rolled flat.

Quick Oats – these are rolled oats that are ground up more than old fashion oats

Steel Cut – the difference with this type is that the whole raw oat is cut into smaller pieces

Rolled oats and steel cut oats are basically the same, just cut differently.

The Major Differences in Oats

Rolled Oats are different in appearance than Steel Cut. While rolled are flat looking, steel cut are more like a wild rice.The difference in taste is much different. The steel cut has a more nutty taste and a chewier texture which I find appealing to the palate. Steel Cut oats require a longer cooking time than rolled or quick oats. However, you can now find a "quick" version of Steel Cut oats.

Small grains extension, Oats
Small grains extension, Oats | Source
Oats
Oats | Source
Sea Oats
Sea Oats | Source
Chopping Oats
Chopping Oats | Source
Sea Oats
Sea Oats | Source
Oats ready for harvesting
Oats ready for harvesting | Source

Easy Oatmeal Recipe

I have written out the printed label for oatmeal. Always read the label on the foods you buy to avoid additives and preservatives. These are the "bad guys".

Nutrients 1/4 cup of Quaker steel cut oats:
Calories – 150
Fat – 2.5g
Carbs – 27g
Fiber – 4g
Sugar – 1g
Protein – 5g

1/2 cup of Quaker old fashioned oats and quick oats:
Calories – 150
Fat – 3g
Carbs – 27g
Fiber – 4g
Sugar – 1g

Protein – 5g

So you can see that the only difference is a slight increase in fat in the old fashioned and quick oats.

A couple of more things to consider is (1) steel cut is pricier and more difficult to find, (2) it is not processed which is healthier for you.

Steel Cut Oatmeal – Standard Recipe
1 cup steel cut oats
4 ¼ cups water
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup dried blueberries (or strawberries, bananas, peaches)


Combine oats and water in medium saucepan and bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.

Add salt (I omit this step).

Once 30-40 minutes of total cooking time has elapsed, you need to watch the oatmeal, stirring occasionally for the next 5-10 minutes. I prefer mine just a little more on the “crunchy” side so I only cook mine for about 25 minutes. I also add about 2 tablespoons of wheat germ during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Remove from the heat when the oatmeal has reached the consistency that you like (thinner or thicker); 10 minutes should give you a medium thickness. If you like yours very thick, continue cooking for an extra five minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. I found that it took me a couple of times making oatmeal to really get it all down.

After scooping oatmeal into a serving bowl, sprinkle a little flaxseed over the top.

Top with any of the following:

Fruit

Syrup

Sugar, honey or stevia

Butter

Add milk (or not). I prefer almond milk. I love the taste and I try to limit all dairy.

If you decide that the steel cut oatmeal takes too long, then go with the quick oates. But please, avoid the “instant” oatmeal as it is filled with sugar and preservatives.

If you're thinking that I may go a little overboard with nutrition, well, you are right. I am hoping to live to age 102. And if I should meet my soul mate on this beautiful journey, 102 won't be long enough!

So eat healthy and live a long and wonderful life.

Which Type of Oatmeal Do You Prefer

See results without voting

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

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Comments 54 comments

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I love oatmeal in the fall and winter - with a little milk, a little butter, some raisins, cinnamon, and Splenda!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I love oatmeal and eat it on a daily basis. Great information. thanks :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I love oatmeal. It really sets up for the day. I must have been a horse in my previous life


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

habee - your suggestion for adding raisins and cinnamon sounds delicious. I do prefer using stevia over splenda because stevia is an herb and has no preservatives. Thanks so much for commenting.

katiem2 - Thank you for taking time out to read and comment on my hub. Glad to see you also take care of your health by eating oatmeal for breakfast.

Hello, Hello, - Your comment gave me my laugh for the day. I love it! Thanks for reading my hub.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

I've never really liked oatmeal. I prefer Creme of Wheat for some reason but I know oatmeal is good for you. I could eat flavoured oatmeal like Maple Walnut (or something like that) but not plain oatmeal.

Good Hub!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Oatmeal, good to clean out those arteries. Thanks for sharing your information. Another great hub!


drcrischasse profile image

drcrischasse 6 years ago from NH/Foxboro

Irish oatmeal is the best! I am a huge fan!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

kalptosyd - Oatmeal is not for everyone, however it is the healthiest cereal. I, too, like creme of wheat, which is a good choice for those allergic to oats. Thanks for your comment.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

drchrischasse - Ah ha! Now we know the reason that you look young, vibrant and healthy. Oatmeal. Thanks for commenting.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

dallas93444 - Thankyou, my friend for your comment. Appreciate it.


CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

Thanks for your hub. I am all for oatmeal and whole grain cereal in the morning. I notice a distinct difference in my energy level if I don't eat oats or whole grains in the am. I love oat bread too!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

How marvelous cmcastro, that you feed your body healthy foods. I, too, experience a higher energy level with oatmeal, especially when I add flaxseed and wheat germ. Thank you for your comments on my hubs.


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Thank you for this very informative article--we too eat oatmeal for breakfast maybe twice a week.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

juneaukid - It's so nice to have you stop by and leave a comment. I know it takes time out of your busy day and I appreciate it very much. Looking forward to reading your hubs and posting my comments as well. Have a super and healthy day!


Cassidella profile image

Cassidella 6 years ago

Oatmeal is definitely a comfort food for breakfast in the wintertime for our family. Nice info here. Also, thanks for answering a question I posed a while ago about best tips for nutrition in diabetics. Much appreciated.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Cassidella - I am happy to answer any questions you have about diabetis. I have many helpful tips to share with you. Thanks for your comments. I do feel comfort when I eat my oatmeal. :-)


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

VocalCoach, Great informative hub! Nice Healthy tips on ways to enjoy oatmeal! I must try it with the flaxseed! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

DeBorrah - Flaxseed is high in omega3 and this is a good way to get a little extra. Nice to see you enjoy oatmeal. It is one small way to thank God for our bodies. Thank you.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Has anyone asked Mr. Ed if he like steel or regular? It's got to be good! Look at horses!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

"if he like" -I just started writing!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Ha Ha Ha Mickey - I thought that was so funny. Made my day! Thanks and thanks again.


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

The old-fashion oats is my fav. Now I know why I should avoid the quick-cooking one. And take note, I'll enjoy my oats the way I enjoy this hub, Audrey. You'll surely make my day a fun-filled day! Thanks!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Lita - I just love you! Smiling - I am smiling because you have such a way with words. I would like to write as well as you. Mahalo for the comments. :-)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

I serve oatmeal to my family every other day. I couldn't imagine not doing that! I have not had success in locating steel cut oats in my local market, but after reading this, I'm going to start my hunting with greater intensity. :) Thank you for the recipe and great research!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Beth100 - You are a good person, to serve oatmeal to your family. Very healthy for them. I noticed since my hub that more markets are now beginning to carry steel oates. Hope you can locate them. Thanks so much for commenting.


Betty Reid profile image

Betty Reid 6 years ago from Texas

Hi vocalcoach. I had oatmeal this morning. I mix the dry oatmeal with water and fruit, and then microwave for 2 minutes. I am so glad to find out the difference between steel cut and rolled and quick oats! They all seemed the same to me before.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Betty - Like you, I had oatmeal this morning too. I prefer steel cut, but never turn down any type of oatmeal. I like your microwave recipe which would work great when I'm in a hurry. Thanks so much, and stay healthy.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 5 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

I love oatmeal and eat it every morn. Thanks for the great info


amybradley77 profile image

amybradley77 5 years ago

Couldn't agree more, voted way up!! I have always been a big pusher for oatmeal in my life and those who I love for this very reason, and because I enjoy it so much anyway. Thanks for sharing this page! A.B.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Wow Amy! All I can say is thank you for visiting all my hubs. What a loyal fan you are. Are you a friend or what?

Peace and joy to you amy.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Healing Touch - Isn't oatmeal just the best? Just to know its nutritional value is great, but it also is so yummy. We are on the right track - good for us! :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! Who would have thought there was so much to learn about oatmeal. Funny that I should read this hub tonight...I've made plans to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow and already pulled the pot and quaker oats out on the counter.

Great job reaffirming my wise breakfast selection, LOL Voted useful and awesome. Yum.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Denise - Great minds and all that! There just isn't any other breakfast food that is as good for us as oatmeal. If you haven't tried the "steel cut", see if you like it because if you do you will never go back to regular oatmeal. Thank you my beautiful friend~


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Audrey...yes, I eat the steel cut and prefer that over the 'regular'. It is richer in taste and it is more satisfying and fullfilling.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Denise - I have steel cut almost every morning and add a tablespoon of wheat germ to it. Thanks for commenting. Have a beautiful moment, just for you!


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

Hi Vocalcoach, this is a cool hub on oatmeal. I'm an oatmeal fanatic. Thanks


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Brinafr3sh - I am right with you on oatmeal. I could have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner - and come to think of it, I have. :) Thank you, my new friend.


saif113sb profile image

saif113sb 5 years ago

Very nice and great hub. thanks


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

saif - So nice to see you here. Thanks for your welcoming comments. Have a great day.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

I agree oatmeal does make a great breakfast, good for your health as well as tasty. I like mine with fruit as that way I am not tempted to add too much sugar to it.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Oatmeal is very good with fruit and is a healthy way to eat it. I can tell, by mid-morning the big difference between other breakfast food and oatmeal. I feel mosre energy with oatmeal. Thanks.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Oatmeal is probably my go-to breakfast. Not only is it quick- it's filling and like you said very versatile. And I hope to remain healthy eating it.


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I had heard about the steel-cut oats, but was surprised at the price difference compared to rolled oats. But after reading your hub and seeing the video, I think I'll give it a shot and see if I like them.


shampa sadhya profile image

shampa sadhya 4 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

Voted up and useful!

I have never tried oats but your article inspires me to try it. Thanks for writing an article which is very informative. Sharing and pinning.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Wonderful hub on a very healthy food, Audrey. You have written it in a very compelling way which will certainly make many people go for this nutritious and healthy food.

Voted up/useful/interesting and shared.


TycoonSam profile image

TycoonSam 4 years ago from Washington, MI

Excellent Hub Audrey! I love oat meal too. I also add flax seed and honey to mine and more often than not I'll add raisins, chopped roasted almonds and a tea spoon of cinnamon. I give oat meal major credit for lowering my cholesterol.

Voted up and useful


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Wonderful hub and the last bit made me smile.

Voted up, useful and beautiful. Sharing!

Thank you for sharing your ideas!


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Great hub! As a kid I hated oatmeal and my mama made me eat it. I would gag and if we had of owned a house dog you can bet some of that foul tasting oatmeal would have somehow found it's way under the table. I now love my oatmeal but I doctor it with fruit and brown sugar. Great for our bodies and the health benefits derived from the oats.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Alecia - Oatmeal is really filling which I need in the morning. I've heard it's also one of the view things that can be eaten before bedtime too. Thanks, my friend.

Your Cousins - I'm glad to hear that you are going to try the steel cut oats. I sure hope you like them. Once I tried them, I never went back to regular oatmeal. The steel cut takes a little longer to cook. Let me know how you like them.

thanks.

shampa sadhya - Steel cut oatmeal is really delicious with milk or cream and sweetner. I toss a few fresh blueberries in mine from time to time. Thank you so much!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

rajan - Hello my friend. Thank you for your support and taking the time to read my hub. I wish that children, especially would change from sugary cereals to oatmeal. They need to eat a more substantial breakfast. Oatmeal is much better for them. Thanks again.

TycoonSam - It's wonderful to hear that oatmeal helped to reduce your cholesterol. I also add flaxseed and nuts to mine. I like the sound of the cinnamon too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving great comments.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

livingsta - Thank you for being here! And I'm smiling right now because my last paragraph brought you a smile too. Really appreciate your voting and sharing!

Fiddleman - Well hello there and where have you been? Gee it's great to see you. I love the story of your oatmeal experience as a kid. Good thing you didn't have a dog. He would be healthier than you:) Thanks so much and take care!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I picked blueberries this week and put them in baggies in the freezer for this very thing!


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 4 months ago from New Delhi, India

Excellent hub about the important health benefits of Oatmeal!

I include it in my breakfast almost regularly and have tried it in many different recipes. It tastes really good in cookies and smoothies with fresh fruits.

Thank you for sharing this useful, informative and well presented hub!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 months ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Rebecca

Thanks so much for taking time to read my hub on oatmeal. It's so convenient to store blueberries in the freezer. I often add them to my smoothies.

ChitrangaSharan

One of my favorite cookies are oatmeal with chocolate chips and blueberries. I also love them in my smoothies. Thanks my friend and healthy days to you.

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