HE/GRAINS Washington Post Studio DATE: December 7, 2007 PHOTO: Julia Ewan/TWP  For grains story - Old Wessex Ltd. Instant Oatmeal.  (Photo by Julia Ewan/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Reason Instant Oatmeal Is Slightly Less Nutritious Than Regular Oatmeal
It's hard to beat oatmeal for breakfast or a quick work lunch, and nutritionists rave about how oats can positively affect the whole body, from the heart to the gut and more. More protein is found in oatmeal than in most other grains, and it is also full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber; however, not all oats are created equal.
While grabbing a pack of instant oatmeal is definitely convenient, instant oats lack some health benefits, since the oats are processed to be thinner and smaller; flavorings can also add extra sugar and sodium. Regular oats, AKA rolled oats, are thicker and have more fiber than instant, while steel-cut oats are the least processed and have the most fiber of all.
It’s best to start with rolled oats and then add your own toppings, such as dried cranberries and applesauce for sweetness, and yogurt, nut butter, or pumpkin seeds for an added protein kick. Add in some chia seeds or ground flax for more fiber, or for a more indulgent bowl, go above and beyond by adding steeped tea to your oats.