Oats: Steel cut or Rolled?


Steel cut oats healthier than rolled oats?

In terms of nutrition, they both are pretty much the same. They are whole grains, derived from oat-groats, the raw oat kernels good for heart and overall health.

Both are good sources of fibre. They have identical calories and protein for equal-size serving weights. Their biggest difference is the way in which they are processed.

The oat groats chopped into 2 to 3 pieces with a sharp blade is called the steel-cut oats (pinhead oats) or Irish oatmeal (coarse oat meal).  The traditional stone-ground oats, called Scottish oatmeal are bits and pieces of various sizes. Both have a nutty flavor & chewier in texture and low in GI.  They take about 20-30 minutes to cook and also takes longer time to digest that makes you feel fuller when compared to the same portion of rolled oats.

Rolled oats are oat groats, steamed and rolled into thin flakes that enhances the shelf life and gets cooked in 3-5 minutes.

The quick and the instant rolled oats are steamed longer and rolled into very thin flakes to cook faster, instantly. Instant flavored oatmeal can be loaded with sugar, so it is wise to read the label before adding to your cart.

If you are watching your weight, the chewier textured steel-cut or stone-ground oats smart breakfast will promote a greater sense of fullness that will sustain you until lunchtime. Eating breakfast will boost alertness and concentration and help reduce the cholesterol control.

Health benefits of Oats:

  • Boost nutrition profile of gluten-free diets
  • Increase appetite-control hormones
  • Beta-glucan in oats improve immune system
  • A powerful laxative
  • Help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Help reduce blood cholesterol
  • Help control blood pressure

Oats cookie

Baked Oatmeal (Source: Mayo Clinic)

Serves 8


  1. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. Egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs, or 4 egg whites
  5. 3 cups uncooked rolled oats
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 cup skim milk


In a good-sized bowl, stir together oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Add dry ingredients and milk. Mix well.

Spray a 9-by-13 baking pan generously with cooking spray. Spoon oatmeal mixture into pan. Bake uncovered at 350° F / 188° C for 30 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving

  • Calories 196
  • Total carbohydrate 33 g
  • Sugars 8.5 g
  • Protein 7 g
  • Total fat 4 g
  • Saturated fat 0.5 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0.5 mg
  • Dietary fibre 3 g
  • Sodium 105 mg

Oats a complete pre-workout food for those who hit the gym in the morning. It keeps you satiated for longer time by slowly releasing the sugar into the  blood stream. Top your oatmeal with  berries and nuts for additional nutrients to balance the energy.