OATS

Be it summer, winter, rains, lockdown or no lockdown – Oats always remain king of the Breakfast table. Oats can be had in various forms – Oats porridge with milk, Oats Upma, Oats dosa, Oats Dhokla, Oats fruit yoghurt smoothie, Pancakes, Energy bars etc.

Oats are most preferred in diet for preventing diseases like Cardiovascular problems , Diabetes & Blood pressure. Oats are loaded with beneficial compounds which include ANTIOXIDANTS & Beta-glucan, a type of SOLUBLE FIBER which has many health benefits. The soluble fibre helps in lowering Cholesterol. It also helps slow digestion, increasing feeling of fullness after consuming oats & this leads to gradual spike in blood sugar. The difference between the varieties of oats is simply how much the Oat groat has been processed.

Oat Groats

Groats are the hulled kernels of cereal grains : in this case, oats. Groats are whole: they include the cereal germ, the bran, and the endosperm of the grain. They are very nutritious, but often require soaking prior to cooking, and remain somewhat chewy. They are best used in porridges and stews.

Oat Bran

Oat Groat but without the germ, or the endosperm. It can be prepared very similarly to oatmeal, but will cook much faster (in about 3 minutes). Additionally, while it is nutritious, it is not a whole grain.

Instant Oats

One of the most well-known, Instant oats are the most processed of the three. These oats are pre-cooked, dried, rolled, and then pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats. They cook faster than the others and have a more soft and mushy texture. They are super simple to prepare and dress up with spices and toppings.

Rolled Oats (Types are Old fashioned oats and Whole oats)

These oats are steamed as whole grains to soften and then pressed with steel rollers. Because they are rolled thinner, it cuts down cook time and gives them a more supple yet substantial texture. Unlike instant oats, they are able to hold their shape fairly well and are used in cookies, energy bars, muffins , breads & also made into porridge or upma , dhoklas, dosa’s etc. Most of the time what people buy in Mumbai are Rolled Oats. Eg Quaker

Steel Cut Oats/Irish/Scottish oats are all, more or less, interchangeable terms referring to whole oat groats that has neither been pre-cooked nor rolled but has been cut into several pieces. These are not flat; they look like small, irregular pellets.The shape and size of steel cut oats make for a longer cook time (about 15-20 Minutes), and in the end, have a completely different taste and texture. Used in soups & stews to give texture, creaminess & thickness.

Article By : Kajal S Khaturia (Clinical & Sports Dietitian)