Inexpensive and easy to make, oats are a nutrient-dense whole grain and are adaptable to a variety of sweet and savory flavors. Plus, in their least processed form, oats are known as oat groats – now that’s fun to say!
Whole Grain Groats
All oatmeal begins with oat groats. Through processing we arrive at a variety of unique products but, for the most part, each remains a whole grain option – delivering comparable nutrients in whatever form you enjoy.
Oats remain a whole grain through processing. In addition to being a good source of fiber and protein, oats contain zinc, magnesium, and thiamine(1), which helps produce energy in our bodies. Furthermore, oats have been found to be beneficial to heart health(2) and whole grains are a great addition to a daily diet.
However, there is a distinction between instant oats and flavored packets of instant oatmeal, which often have added sugar and other ingredients. If you want to stick to a nutrient dense oatmeal, look for oats without added ingredients or flavors. Adding your own nuts and fresh fruit is a great way to boost flavor without unnecessary ingredients.
(1) USDA Food Composition Databases
(2) Effect of Increased Consumption of Whole-Grain Foods on Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Healthier Middle-Aged Persons: A Randomized Controlled Trial