Not all Oatmeal is Alike




Doctors have been telling people for some time now that it’s a good idea to start your morning with a bowl of oatmeal. The grain is a complex carbohydrate and it helps to keep you feeling satisfied longer. And more importantly for some people, daily oatmeal consumption may lower cholesterol due to its high soluble fiber content.

Not all oatmeal is the same. There are some aspects you might want to consider next time you’re out shopping for this cereal. You can buy oatmeal in various flavors and different textures. The important considerations for you to consider may be the glycemic index, and whether the oatmeal is Genetically Modified Organism free (GMO), organic, kosher, nut free, or gluten free.

  • Glycemic Index (GI) – Instant oats and rolled oats are digested quickly into the body and they have a high GI rating, while steel-cut oats are digested slower and have a low to middle GI rating.
  • Genetically Modified Organism – According to the World Health Organization, “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.” If the product is GMO it means that the plant has been genetically altered to achieve a specific outcome; i.e. insect resistant, or virus resistant. The potential human impact on health from GMO foods is unknown.
  • Organic – You will have to do some searching for organic oatmeal. None of the companies listed in the chart below are organic.
  • Kosher Certified – Not all companies are OK Kosher Certified.
  • Nut Free – If you are concerned about this you should call the company. Some companies are nut free and some are not.
  • Gluten Free – All of the companies that I contacted for this article say that the product may contain traces of gluten.

(The companies were reached through their contact phone number and they provided the information used in the chart. You may contact the company to verify the information.)

Brand GMO Free Organic Nut Free Kosher Gluten
Quaker Oats  No No Yes Yes May contain traces
Dan-D-Pak Gogi Berry Quick Oatmeal Yes No No No May contain traces
Coach’s Oats Yes No Yes Yes May contain traces
McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Yes No Yes Yes Less than .05%

Others factors to consider when buying oatmeal are your taste and cooking time preferences.

  • Instant Oatmeal – Soft texture, and it cooks in 90 seconds.
  • Rolled oatmeal –Medium chewy texture. The cooking time is 5 minutes.
  • Steel Cut – Granular texture with a chewy bite. It cooks in 30 minutes; however, the cooking time can be reduced to 9-12 minutes by soaking the grain in water overnight.

An exception to the above types of oatmeal is Coach’s Oats, which is a patented process that involves toasting and cracking the oats. The texture is closer to steel-cut texture, and the cooking time 5 minutes.

Conclusion and Personal Preference – Eating a bowl of oatmeal is an excellent way to start the day. Next time you’re in the store shopping for oatmeal, there may be more for you to consider than the taste and texture. Read the label and contact the company if you have questions about the product. After I take into consideration the price, taste, cooking time, and health benefits, my own preference is Coach’s Oats

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