When choosing oatmeal for breakfast to lower your cholesterol and maintain your waist-line are you really eating a processed food rather than a healthy one?
Rolled oats, the kind that look like cereal – flatter, puffier and more oval, are processed in such a way it makes them easier to cook and quicker to digest. They’ve been washed, steamed, flattened and toasted to bring out their nutty flavor and make your breakfast quick and easy. This is technically processing a food product. Some brands have no additives or preservatives added to the rolled oats when packaged and shipped, but they are partially cooked to ensure your breakfast is fast.
Steel cut oats are the “groat” of the oat, the internal kernel after the husk is taken off. Once the husk is off the groat oat is chopped into smaller pieces and is ready to sell and enjoy. Rolled oats are the “groat” of the oat BUT, like previously mentioned, they are steamed, dried and toasted.
When you buy or eat anything that has already been partially cooked or processed you can guarantee that some of the nutrients; the proteins, vitamins and minerals, are already gone. The nutrients have already decomposed due to their exposure to the “elements”; heat, water, agitation and additives. Processed foods have less nutrients than un-processed foods.
Think about an apple. The second you cut it, the apple begins to spoil. And so do the nutrients. When a food is processed you loss essential nutrients.
There’s a difference when cooking steel cuts oats vs rolled oats; the steel cut oats take a few minutes longer and need more water-because they’re less processed but the rolled oats cook evenly and quickly. When baking, rolled oats take up more space making your Oatmeal Muffins larger and fluffier BUT steel cut oats can still be used. Partially cook the steel cut oats so they swell in size and the water (or milk) you cook them in adds to the moisture of the dish.
When you’re baking and looking to add some soluble and insoluble fiber to your diet, you should immediately think of adding oats; in oatmeal cookies, oatmeal muffins, scones, breads and more to make the dish heart healthy. Eating oats daily is perfectly acceptable and a great way to add vitamins like niacin, thiamin and riboflavin-B vitamins that help your nervous hum along nicely and minerals like iron, which helps build blood cells and magnesium, which, like vitamin D and calcium, works to build strong bones. Oats also contain protein, not all 9 essential amino acids, but oats can provide the protein needs to supplement vegetarian diets.
How can steel cut oats enhance your workout? Well ¼ cup of steel cut oats is 150 calories and 7 grams of protein. There’s no added sugar to steel cut oats so the carbohydrates are natural and will be used for energy rather than stored as fat. The B vitamins are literally energy makers in the body so get ready for focus and drive like you’ve never seen. Use steel cut oats as breakfast to fuel your body naturally before that long run or intense weight session. You won’t be disappointed.