Why The Type Of Oat You Eat Isn't As Important As You Might Think

When you sit down to breakfast, what type of oats do you like to chow down on? Those who are looking for an easy meal may find that they often reach for quick oats. Meanwhile, if you're a lover of all things sweet, you may be partial to the strawberry-flavored instant variety. But if you prefer the classics, you probably like them rolled or steel cut with a pinch of salt and your own fruit mixed in.

With so many types to choose from, it really does seem like anyone could find an oat variety that would suit their taste. But does one type of oatmeal reign above the rest in terms of nutrition?

Some people certainly think so. Men's Journal deemed steel oats as the most health-focused way to start your day — which seems to be a pretty common consensus in the health world. For example, Dr. Ann Kulze, a physician, made an entire youtube video dedicated to why people should eat more steel-cut oats. However, despite what the internet may make you think, you really don't have to be that concerned about what type of oats you buy from the grocery store.

All oats have almost the same nutritional value

According to WebMD, no matter the type of oats, the nutritional content is almost exactly the same. No matter which oats you choose for breakfast, it will likely provide you with "about 4 grams of fiber, 4-6 grams of protein per serving, and similar amounts of vitamins and minerals."

So, you'd be getting nearly the same benefits from a pack of instant oats as you would from a bowl of the old-fashioned variety (though Food Network does note some instant varieties tend to have a lot of added sugar). That being said, it's best to align your choice of oats with your cooking goals and individual taste. For example, rolled oats are usually the preferred way to make at-home oat flour (per Love and Lemons). Meanwhile, steel oats can help you make a batch of perfectly chewy breakfast cookies (via My Plantiful Cooking). But most importantly, don't stress the details and remember that no matter what oats you choose, you're setting yourself up for a nutrition packed-meal.