FoodChoosing the healthiest oatmeal: why all flakes are not created equal

Choosing the healthiest oatmeal: why all flakes are not created equal

Oatmeal - Deliciousness
Oatmeal - Deliciousness
Images source: © Canva | Mizina
5:08 AM EST, January 29, 2024

Oatmeal is a breakfast that merits much praise. Entire books could be written about it, not only due to its health benefits but also because of the wide variety of types of flakes from which it can be prepared. Oatmeal offers endless possibilities for variations and modifications, and most chefs (and celebrities) who prepare this dish agree on one point: the healthier, the better. Therefore, oatmeal isn't just oatmeal; it also includes fruits and nuts that are often added to it. It's hard to find a healthier combination.

All oat flakes are not created equal

If you're an oatmeal enthusiast, you've probably realized that oat flakes are available in at least three different forms. What's the distinction between normal, mountain, and instant oat flakes? To start with, they differ in the content of trace elements beneficial to our health.

All the types of oat flakes mentioned stem from the same source, namely oat grains. The kind of flakes we choose depends on their preparation methods.

The first characteristic that distinguishes these flakes is their boiling time. Normal flakes require approximately 10 minutes of boiling, mountain flakes take 2 to 5 minutes, and instant ones only need to be drenched with warm milk or water. Each variety of oats contains a similar amount of protein and fat, and all excel compared to other breakfast products. However, it's crucial to remember that some changes occur during the flakes' production process, affecting their vitamin and mineral content.

Oat flakes
Oat flakes© Wikipedia

Which flakes are the healthiest?

The healthiest flakes are undoubtedly those that are least processed. These are the normal flakes that hold the most nutrients. If you're concerned about the health benefits of oatmeal, you should opt for these flakes.

Another factor that gives normal flakes an edge, and renders instant ones inferior, is the glycemic index. After cooking, it's 53 in normal flakes, and shoots up to 83 in instant flakes.

Oatmeal with many calorific additives can lead to additional pounds.
Oatmeal with many calorific additives can lead to additional pounds.© Getty Images | Iuliia Bondar
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