Are Steel Cut Oats Healthier?

Does it matter what kind of oatmeal you eat? Find out how steel cut, regular, and instant oatmeal stack up nutritionally.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #140

What Is the Serving Size of Oats?

And, of course, portion size is also a very big factor in the glycemic load of foods. A serving of oats is one third of a cup of rolled oats, one quarter of a cup of steel cut oats, or about three quarters of a cup of cooked oatmeal.

Are Oats a Healthy Choice for Breakfast?

As far as breakfast cereal goes, any type of plain, unflavored oat cereal is a good choice.  All are made from minimally processed whole grains and, unlike most of the options in the cereal aisle, have no added sugar.  Although a bowl of oatmeal contains four or five grams of protein, it’s mostly carbohydrates. As I talk about in my book, Secrets for a Healthy Diet, adding more protein to your breakfast, such as some eggs, milk, nuts, or yogurt, is another way to make breakfast go a little farther.

Which Type of Oatmeal is Best?

The biggest differences between steel-cut, stone-ground, and rolled oats are in the texture and the cooking time. So, it really just comes down to which type you prefer—and how much time you have to cook them.  If you like a very hearty, chewy cereal, you might enjoy steel-cut oats.  But you’re not losing out on anything nutritionally by choosing old-fashioned rolled oats instead.

Keep in Touch

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Have a great week and remember to eat something good for me!


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Oats  (Former Fat Guy Blog)
Nutrition Facts for Oatmeal (NutritionData.com)

Glycemic Information for Oatmeal (GlycemicIndex.com)

Steel Cut Oats image from Shutterstock


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.