Home Gains outside the gym Diet & Nutrition Nutritional Difference Between Old Fashioned Oats vs. Quick Oatmeal

Nutritional Difference Between Old Fashioned Oats vs. Quick Oatmeal


When you say healthy eating you can’t ignore the oats. This staple food for breakfast gives you energy for the day and a good load of starch (complex carbohydrates). However, the options may be confusing. Let’s stick to the basics though: regular and quick oats. What are the differences between these? Is one better than the other?

Regular oats and quick oats – the basic difference

Regular oats are simply the rolled oat grains. If you look closely, you’ll actually see that these are flattened grains that seem like flakes. The quick oatmeal is also flattened oats originally. The only difference is that the flakes are very thin, to make them easier for cooking. They’re not exactly instant oats, either. This latter type actually looks like powder, it’s that finely pressed. When mixed with water, it turns into a meal almost instantly.

At a first sight, quick and regular oats seem to be the same thing, with the only significant difference being that of the cooking time. There is more to it, however. The nutrition factors are not the same.

Oats and quick oatmeal are vastly similar nutritionally. A half cup serving has 27 grams if carbs regardless of the oats type. Normally, there are about 4 grams of fiber, 5 of protein and a total of 150 calories. These are different when it comes to the glycemic index: there is a GI of 66 for the quick oatmeal, while the regular variety stands at 55. The latter one is low, while the 66 value is medium to high.

Are you aware of this fact?

Old fashioned oats can keep you full for much longer and also has a nicer texture that many people prefer. The body doesn’t break these down quickly as it does with more processed options, especially with instant oatmeal. All these versions discussed here have the whole grain and soluble fiber as well. Digestion, however, differs greatly in terms of duration.

Here comes an important warning and this is what really makes a difference!

You should be careful with the quick and instant oatmeal variations, as opposed to the plain type. This is because these are already cooked, to make it easier for you to prepare your quick meal. When a food is precooked, it will not have all its nutrients intact. A lot will be wasted in the water it is boiled in, for example. Also, the quick options may have some additives for taste. There could be sugar or other sweeteners in those oats, to improve the way it tastes. These types have flavorings and oftentimes the buyer doesn’t even know what this is about. It could add many extra calories to the mix. Therefore, if you happen to buy a fancier type of oatmeal, be careful, since it may contain a few other things that change its nutritional profile.

Regular vs quick oats – Which one to choose?

To know exactly what you eat, your best bet would be to buy plain oats, with no additives. You may then have these however you want: with yoghurt, sugar, honey, fruit, spices etc.

Buy high quality oats here.

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