- Steel cut oats are better than rolled oats
- Factories shouldn’t be part of the digestion process
- Do you always have to choose steel cut oats?
Find out why small changes, like choosing steel cut oats, make a big difference.
I wanted to write this post because the difference between succeeding and failing is often down to choices we make early. Decisions can trigger a series of events. Understanding why one option is superior to another makes it easier to put your energy behind choices that set you up for success.
Steel cut oats: My story
Steel cut oats? I just heard about them recently.
Until a few weeks ago I ate rolled oats (aka porridge) a few times a week for breakfast. I stirred in some cinnamon and dried cranberries before microwaving them for one minute.
Meanwhile I’d cut up an apple to throw on top. Add a latte (made of 2% milk) and I thought it was a pretty good, roughly-balanced breakfast made mostly of whole foods, as recommended by the Eatwell Guide.
Dairy and alternatives: 2% milk (now I drink 3.25% milk)
Oil and spreads
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat and other proteins
Fruit and vegetables: apple & cranberries
… though I was always surprised how quickly I felt hungry after this meal.
Last month I went to the grocery store. I was making sure I spent enough to get the offer; I take the loyalty points program seriously 🙂 Steel cut oats were on sale, so I threw them into my basket and headed home.
A couple days later I got ready to make a quick breakfast. But when I read the instructions I was surprised to see that steel cut oats need twenty minutes to cook! That was the start of me understanding how rolled oats are different to steel cut oats.
Steel cut oats vs. rolled oats
The main difference is that rolled oats are more processed than steel cut oats. Rolled oats (similar to quick oats or instant oats) are precooked, dried and then rolled. This process removes the roughage.
Roughage is a fibrous material found in food that’s indigestible. Fiber aids the passage of food and waste products through your body.
Processed foods cook faster, you digest them faster and you feel hungrier faster. Then you can either eat more food or be preoccupied by hunger pains. Each decision we make triggers a positive or negative series of events.
Another option is to choose steel cut oats. Set off a healthy domino effect! Steel cut oats are considered whole foods because they’re very close to their natural state.
Steel cut oats aren’t processed in a factory so:
- they still contain roughage
- your body needs to do all the work (whole foods take longer to digest)
- energy and nutrients are released slowly
When energy and nutrients are released slowly, you stay full longer.
I don’t believe in counting calories now (but for the 10 years I was overweight, I obsessed over them.) Talking about calories here, however, demonstrates an important point. 200 calories of quick oats and 200 calories of steel cut oats affect your body differently. After eating quick oats you’ll feel hungry faster.
Whole foods, like steel cut oats, simply go further. They take longer for your body to break down and extract energy, which keeps you full longer. I also prefer the taste and texture of steel cut oats.
If you change your eating habits to include more whole food (beans, rice, vegetables and fruit), then you’ll eat less.
– Roy Walford, doctor
Whenever possible, I choose an orange over orange juice, brown rice over white rice and steel cut oats over rolled oats. Choose natural foods over factory foods. Let your body do the processing!
If 20 minutes is too long for your morning routine, cook your steel cut oats the night before, while you’re cleaning up after dinner. Then add a bit of water the next morning, give them a stir on the stove and breakfast will be ready in less time than quick oats! You’ve likely heard this idea before:
Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old …
Don’t get lost in the details
I didn’t understand there was a difference between rolled oats and breakfast grains like steel cut oats or Red River Cereal until recently. Yet I’ve been a healthy weight for 18 years.
The goal of this post is not to say never eat rolled oats! Or to suggest you’ve ruined your day if you eat rolled oats. As I write this post I’m actually eating a rolled-oat-raison-coconut cookie I bought yesterday when visiting a loved one in the hospital. I’m also eating an orange and drinking a milky coffee to make it a more balanced snack that includes some whole foods.
My objective is to explain how our bodies work. Then it will make sense to introduce more whole foods while you start eating more balanced meals and snacks. Choices get easier when you recognize why they’re a good idea.
When I was trying to lose weight I had no idea how our bodies work. I got so lost in the details. Every choice was a struggle. Now that I simply focus on eating balanced meals and snacks made mostly of whole foods, every choice is simplified.
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
- are eating tons of processed foods
- have never cooked for yourself
- been trying to exist on diet pop and rice cakes (a very processed food)
Cut down on processed foods! Work toward eating balanced meals made mostly of whole foods.
Having a strategy for change also helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. Sign up (below) to receive the best strategy I learned.
Sedona by Houdmouth
Have you “flipped the script and shot the plot?” Are you ready to change your story? Take control of your health. Start including some whole foods in your meals and snacks instead of processed foods.
Sharing what I learned makes those 10 years worth it
What whole food have you substituted for a processed food?