5 Different Types of Oats. Are All Oats Created Equal

Different Types of Oats, Explained

Oats are grains from the cereal plant, Avena Sativa, and once harvested are processed for use in animal feed, skin products or food. For food use, oats are milled, steamed, heated and cooled in a kiln, which brings out the flavor. The oats are then rolled, cut or ground to produce flakes, oatmeal or flour.

Why are oats an important of your diet?

Oats are important for your diet in many ways:

  • Helps lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease.
  • Contains soluble and insoluble fiber which can help with bowel regularity
  • Helps you feel full
  • Gives long lasting energy
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Can be prepared in a variety of interesting recipes
Whole Oats GroutWhole Oats Grouts are whole grains that include the cereal germ and the fiber-rich bran portion of the grain. They are the least processed of the grain.
Steel Cut OatsSteel cut oats are sliced oat grouts. They are sometimes called Irish Oatmeal
Rolled OatsRolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, are created when oat grouts are steamed and then rolled into flakes.  Rolled oats cook faster than steel-cut oats since they have a larger surface area.
InstantAlso referred to as quick oats, instant oats are the most processed of the three oat varieties. They are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled and pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats. They cook more quickly than steel-cut or rolled oats, but retain less of their texture, and often cook up mushy.
PorridgePorridge is a mixture of any grain, cereal, or legume boiled in water, milk, or broth. It is served hot and made from a variety of cereals such as oats, maize, rice, corn, wheat, and barley. Oatmeal is a type of porridge made from ground, rolled, or flattened oats

Nutritional Content of Oats

Oats contains vitamins and minerals:

  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper
  • B vitamins
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc.

Are oats gluten free?

Oats are naturally gluten free.  However, they can come in contact with barley and wheat in the field and factories.  If gluten free is a concern for your diet, there are gluten free labeled oats that specifically say gluten free.

Quaker does make specially made Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats, Gluten free Old Fashioned and Gluten Free Quick 1-minute Oats.

When are oats not good for you?


Oats can cause intestinal gas and bloating especially if you are not used to eating fiber containing cereal.  If eating a more fibrous diet is new to you, start slowly and gradually increase.  Be sure to drink plenty of water.

Best types of oats


All types of oats are good for you.  The least amount of processed oats is ideal, but all oats are a good choice for a healthy diet.  What is especially important is to limit the added sugar and swap the sugar for healthy fruits, nuts, and flavors.

Oats are not just for oatmeal!


Oats can be used in

  • Smoothies
  • Overnight Oats
  • Cookies
  • Oatmeal energy balls