Oats are one of the most commonly consumed whole-grain foods due to their high nutrition value. Oats are highly fibrous and consist of all essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, and more. However, many people are still unaware of the nutritional benefits it holds and the variety of food it can be a part of. This article aims to provide you a food guide for oats and oatmeal to savor the delicacies that are tasty and healthy at the same time.
Oats are whole grain and can be added to any dish to increase the health quotient. They are grown in cold and wet climates and were a staple food in countries like wales, Germany and Scotland. Oats can be used to make oatmeal which is of various types depending on their grain size namely pinhead, which is the coarsest and the largest form of grain, next is rough which is coarse and medium in size followed by fine and superfine size grains. Each of the varieties is used for different dishes according to the requirement.
Oats are also categorized based on their texture and flavor. In this article, we provide you with a brief description of each type of oats to make it easier for you to choose and start trying and experimenting with your oatmeal.
- Groats: They are whole grain berries similar to rice or wheat berry that has the bran and germ still attached, making them highly nutritious and fibrous. Since they are too coarse, they cannot be used as oatmeal, instead, they are consumed in salads. Since they are protected with the bran, this type takes up the most water and time to cook.
- Steel-cut oats: They are primarily groats that have been chopped into pieces. Like the groats, they also contain the bran and the germ and are therefore high in essential nutrients. They generally take lesser time to cook than groats and are creamier in texture. Steel-cut oats serve as a great alternative to porridges and other breakfast grains.
- Rolled oats: They are whole grain oats that are steamed, rolled flat, and dehydrated to form flakes. The cooking process is much faster since they get partially cooked by the steam itself. Although they go through a tough process to be manufactured, they retain most of their nutrients and fibers. Like other oats they can be served as a breakfast porridge and can be included in bread, muffins, and other baked items for a good texture.
- Quick Oats: They are similar to rolled oats; however, they are cut into much smaller pieces before the dehydration step. These smaller pieces make them the fastest to be cooked. Since they go through a more intensive manufacturing process, they are not able to retain much of their nutrients. Quick oats form the base for instant oats which require only the addition of hot water to cook. Because of the creamy texture, quick oats are also used in the skin treatments
Oatmeal is known to have various benefits for human health. The presence of a fiber called beta-glucan is known to improve insulin levels in the body, resulting in improved blood sugar. Therefore, oats are highly recommended for patients suffering from diabetes. Along with this the fiber also helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels stimulating weight loss. Thus, anyone looking for a breakfast or a healthy snacking option to be included in a diet can surely opt for oats as the perfect option.