Instant Oatmeal: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, September 14, 2010

oatmeal

Oats are definitely healthy eats, but instant oatmeal often gets a bad wrap.  A bowl of classic oatmeal packs a hearty dose of vitamins, protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.  So, what about the packets? We’ve got the facts on this convenience food.

Instant Whole Grain Goodness
Instant oatmeal is partially cooked and dried for fast preparation. Contrary to popular belief, instant oats have the same nutritional benefits of regular oats. The biggest problem with instant varieties? All those flavored options bursting with sugar! Your typical flavored brand will set you back at least 3 to 4 teaspoons of added sweeteners. Some brands may also add sodium as a preservative, but there are brands out there without it.

Shopping for Instant Oats
Priority number one: choose plain instant oats. Check ingredient labels carefully, and get a brand with minimal ingredients and the least amount preservatives. Arrowhead Mills is a smart choice.

It’s fine if you want to sweeten up your plain oats. Add 2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey, brown sugar or agave for a sweet breakfast with half the sugar. A little fresh fruit will also up the fiber content.

Rolled Vs. Instant
Some food for thought: Regular rolled oats can cook up on the stovetop in as little as five minutes, or closer to 2 if you follow microwave directions. Oats (rolled or steel cut) can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for easy morning prep in the microwave.  The “instant” stuff isn’t all that much quicker. Buying a large container of rolled oats also saves you money, plus many prefer the texture of the non-instant variety.

The packets can come in handy, though. When I’m traveling, a few pouches, some trail mix, and a piece of fresh fruit means an easy and healthy breakfast in the hotel room.

Bottom Line: Instant options can be handy and healthy, if you choose the unsweetened kind. Making the real deal ahead of time can be just as simple.

Tell Us: How do you take your oatmeal?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Grab-and-Go Sport Snacks

Being a recreational athlete means you take your sport and training seriously, but you have other priorities as well, such as work, family, and friend...

Comments (58)

  1. I have to disagree with most of the other feedback mentioned right here, but concurrently I actually do respect them since every single individual need to have their very own personal opinion. We appreciate you writing an article with this subject.

  2. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  3. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  4. kaufen trx says:

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  5. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  6. v44wnn2uk says:

    According to my study, after a property foreclosure home is marketed at a sale, it is common for the

  7. v44wnn2uk says:

    According to my study, after a property foreclosure home is marketed at a sale, it is common for the

  8. v44wnn2uk says:

    According to my study, after a property foreclosure home is marketed at a sale, it is common for the

  9. Appreciate you sharing, great post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  10. James says:

    I love to eat oats and the flavour of it loves me a lot. http://lungcancersymptomsx.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>