This article discusses the steel-cut oats vs rolled oats debate specifically with regard to their healthfulness.
Oats, scientifically known as Avena sativa, are a whole-grain food mainly grown in temperate regions like Europe and North America.
In the past, they were primarily fed to livestock, but people developed a liking for them after discovering their nutritional benefits with time.
Dry oats have quite an impressive nutritional profile with many carbohydrates, proteins, fibre and fat. They are also a great source of B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium and zinc.
One of the best features of whole-grain oats is that they have zero sugar; this makes them amazing weight-loss food. Another reason for their popularity is that they are very versatile.
There are so many ways through which you can incorporate oats into your diet; you can make oatmeal out of them, eat them at breakfast alongside berries and milk, add them to your flour when making baked goodies like bread and scones, include it on your dessert recipes- the options are endless.
Oats are prepared from whole-grain oats, aka oat groats.
Preparation is done by steaming, flattening or slicing the groats in different ways, producing various types of oats available for human consumption.
Popular types include the old fashioned or “regular” oats, also known as rolled oats, quick or instant oats and steel-cut oats.
Even though all the oat types have plenty of health benefits, there’s always been a debate about the healthier oat type between steel-cut oats and rolled oats.
WHAT ARE STEEL-CUT OATS VS ROLLED OATS?
Popularly known as Irish oatmeal, steel-cut oats have a chewier, coarser texture and a nuttier flavour than rolled and quick oats.
In preparing steel-cut oats, groats are chopped into smaller pieces using large steel blades.
Because they are coarser, they take quite some time to prepare, with an average cooking time of 15-30 minutes.
On the other hand, Rolled oats are prepared by steaming and flattening the groats, which makes them quite different from unprocessed groats, unlike steel-cut oats.
They also have a milder, less chewy texture and take much less time to prepare than steel-cut oats since they are partially cooked during the steaming process.
A bowl of rolled oats takes about 2 to 5 minutes to prepare.
ARE STEEL-CUT OATS HARDER TO DIGEST?
Yes, they are. Steel-cut oats are harder to digest than rolled oats because they are thicker, making it harder for the body’s digestive enzymes to reach the starch in them.
STEEL-CUT OATS VS ROLLED OATS: WHICH ONE BURNS BELLY FAT?
Both steel-cut oats and rolled oats have dietary fibre, which can help you lose weight by keeping you feeling full, thereby preventing you from consuming more calories.
However, if you really want your belly fat gone, you’ll have to do more than eat oats.
Your daily diet must be on a caloric deficit for starters to allow your body to burn fat, including abdominal fat.
Secondly, you need to do exercises aimed at burning your belly fat.
IS IT OK TO EAT STEEL-CUT OATS EVERYDAY?
It is very much okay to eat steel-cut oats every day. As a matter of fact, it’s actually advisable that you eat any type of oats as regularly as you can.
Firstly, oats boast an impressive amount of fibre that keeps you full for a long time and reduces your caloric intake, helping you not gain weight.
According to studies, the specific type of fibre in oats, known as beta-glucan, can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Secondly, oats contain polyphenol compounds known as avenanthramides which increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide improves your blood flow by dilating your blood vessels.
A 2009 study suggests that oats contain more than 20 different types of avenanthramides, with strong antioxidation properties.
The avenanthramides found in oats also have the ability to fight inflammation in the body.
A 2010 study confirmed that this specific kind of polyphenols that fights inflammation is found exclusively in oats. If this isn’t a convincing enough reason to eat oats regularly, we don’t know what is.
As if there couldn’t be any more reasons to love them, oats contain iron and B vitamins which play a role in helping your body produce energy.
You’ll get to enjoy these and so many other benefits by eating steel-cut oats every day, or at least regularly.
WHICH IS THE HEALTHIER OPTION: STEEL- CUT OATS VS ROLLED OATS
Rolled oats have a bit more carbs and calories in general compared to steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats also have a slightly higher fibre content than rolled oats.
These slight differences are pretty much negligible concerning their benefits. There isn’t a conclusive scientific proof that these differences make either type way better than the other.
The bottom line is steel-cut oats and rolled oats are pretty much similar both in terms of nutritional profiles and health benefits.
However, here are a few features that may give steel-cut oats an edge, albeit slight, over rolled oats;
STEEL CUT OATS RANK LOWER ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
The glycemic index assigns foods a numerical value that tells you how it affects your blood sugar level when you consume them. The lower the food ranks in the glycemic index, the better for your body.
Steel-cut oats are one of those foods that do not cause much of a spike in blood sugar level when they are eaten.
Since it takes longer for your body to digest them, it also takes longer to convert them into sugar.
This makes it ideal for people interested in watching their blood sugar level, such as diabetics.
Because they get digested slowly, they are also likely to increase your satiety and chances are you will not feel hungry after eating them.
This can be a plus for you if you are watching your weight or looking to lose weight.
THEY MAY BE BETTER FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Since steel-cut oats are coarser and chewier in texture, they take a longer time to chew before they are ready for swallowing.
Chewing food for a long time gives your body adequate time to notice that you are full. Therefore, chewier foods can help you consume fewer calories which will help you prevent weight gain.
STEEL-CUT OATS HAVE A SLIGHTLY HIGHER FIBER CONTENT
Though slight, the fibre content difference between steel-cut oats and rolled oats can be of significance if steel-cut oats are eaten in large volumes.
Apart from increasing your satiety, dietary fibre also helps lower your cholesterol levels, clean your intestines, reduce the risk of constipation, and control your blood sugar level.
THEY ARE THE LEAST PROCESSED OF THE TWO
Unlike rolled oats prepared by steaming and flattening, the only thing done to steel-cut oats during preparation is chopping which doesn’t really amount to a lot of processing.
As much as this may not make much of a difference in their nutritional value, it is advisable to eat whole foods or at least those that are only minimally processed to avoid missing out on the nutrients that may be lost during processing.
Steel-cut oats vs rolled oats, which is the best? The simple answer to this is neither. None of the two is significantly better than the other.
The steel-cut oats vs rolled oats debate have time and again proven futile since these two oat types are similar in more ways than they are different.
They both have numerous benefits, e.g. they keep you satiated for a long time, they have antioxidative properties, provide you with essential vitamins, etc.
A piece of advice, though: make sure to check the nutritional profile of that box of oats before dropping them in your shopping basket to avoid taking the ones with added sugars.
You may also want to stop adding high-calorie toppings such as sugar and syrup to your oatmeal if you don’t want to gain extra weight. Opt for lower-calorie toppings like berries and nuts instead.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]