Steel Cut Oats - the10principles

  • Steel cut oats are healthier 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.

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.

Eatwell Guide - the10principlesthe10principlesPotatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates: rolled oats

the10principlesDairy and alternatives: 2% milk (now I drink 3.25% milk)

the10principlesOil and spreads

the10principlesBeans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat & other proteins

the10principlesFruit and vegetables: apple & cranberries

… though I was always surprised how quickly I felt hungry after this meal.

Steel Cut Oats at Shoppers

This is a reenactment.

Last month I went to the grocery store. I was making sure I spent enough to get the offer; I take loyalty points 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 take twenty minutes to cook! That was the start of me understanding how rolled oats are different.

Steel cut oats vs. rolled oats

Both types of oats are full of roughage. The main difference is that rolled oats are more processed than steel cut oats. Rolled oats are precooked, dried and then rolled—just like quick oats (aka instant oats).

What’s roughage?
Roughage is a fibrous material found in food that’s indigestible. Fiber aids the passage of food and waste products through and out of your body.
Steel Cut Oats vs Rolled Oat

After extensive auditions for this photo shoot, I chose this rolled oat (L) & this steel cut oat (R).

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 that’s closer to its natural state is steel cut oats. The grain kernel is simply cut into 2 or 3 pieces by a thick metal blade so that water can penetrate the smaller pieces more easily when they’re cooked.

Steel cut oats keep you full longer because they take longer for your body to process.

Set off a healthy domino effect!

Steel cut oats are a healthier choice because:

  • your body does all the work (vs. a factory!)
  • whole foods take longer to digest
  • energy and nutrients are released slowly

When energy and nutrients are released slowly, you stay full looonger!

Steel Cut Oats vs Rolled Oats

Rolled oats (left) and steel cut oats (right).

Steel cut oats keep you 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.
If you change your eating habits to include more whole food (beans, rice, vegetables and fruit), then you'll eat less.— Roy Walford, doctor
Whole foods 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.

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!

Trouble shooting:
Steel Cut Oats -20 minutesIf 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,
Peeease porridge in the pot
Nine days old …
Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast

Steel cut oats with cinnamon, dried cranberries and apple slices.

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 20+ years.

The goal of this post is not to say never eat rolled oats! (One of my favorite snacks is this great banana muffin top recipe made with rolled oats.) And I’m not suggesting 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 this morning when visiting my dad 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.

You CAN snack between meals and reach a healthy weight naturally. Here’s some of my favorite snacks.

Steel Cut Oats Ingredients

Whole foods help you eat less and stay full longer, naturally—which helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight. And get on with your life.

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 ROUGHLY balanced meals and snacks made MOSTLY of whole foods, every choice is simplified.

Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.

Next Steps:

Whether you:

  • 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) like I did for years

Focus on cutting down on processed foods! Work toward eating ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods.

Having a strategy for change also helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. But first… you need to fix the BIGGEST weight-loss mistake. Are you making it? Sign up below and find out in 60 seconds.

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.

What whole food have you substituted for a processed food? Let me know in the comments below!

Or… What’s your go-to healthy breakfast? I’d love to know.

PS These days I have 1/4 cup of steel cut oats and 1/4 cup of Red River Cereal. Love all the grains! (Measurements are pre-cooking.) I also add a spoonful of almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sesame seeds for protein. Then this meal is more balanced.

Note on Cinnamon

Be careful not to exceed 1 tsp of cinnamon per day. This is an FDA recommendation because too much cinnamon can cause liver damage. I can’t taste cinnamon very well so I used to really over do it. Now I’m careful to just add a 1/2 tsp to my steel cut oats.



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