The best basic difference between rolled oats and instant oats

Are you thinking of a hearty and healthy breakfast? Go for a steaming hot bowl of rolled oats. This cereal grain is usually crushed or rolled to make oatmeal, and it is also grounded into fine flour for use in baking. A fibre-rich carb is low in fat and high in vitamins, protein, and minerals.

There are three types to choose from the list. These include steel-cut, rolled and instant-cooking oats. However, they differ in their processing methods and nutrient profile.

Oat groats are oat kernels with hulls removed. Tough outer shells, the hulls protect the seed of the oat plant. Be it steel-cut rolled and instant oats, all begin as oat groats. It is intended for human consumption, and oat groats are exposed to moisture and heat at low temperatures to make them more shelf-stable. These groats are processed in various ways to give different varieties that have distinct characteristics.

Rolled Oats:

Old-fashioned oats or Rolled oats are oat groats that have undergone flattening and steaming processes. They possess a soft texture and are mild in flavour. They take much less time to make than steel-cut oats because they have been partially cooked, and it takes 2–5 minutes to prepare a bowl of rolled oats. You can also add it with cakes, cookies, bread and muffins.

Steel-Cut Oats:

Steel-cut oats are also known as Irish oatmeal. They are most closely associated with the unprocessed, original oat groats. The groats are chopped into pieces with large steel blades to get steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats have a chewier and coarser texture, and they have a nuttier flavour than rolled or instant oats. They also take longer to prepare. Their average cooking time varies between 15–30 minutes. However, the cooking time can be decreased by soaking steel-cut oats beforehand.

Quick Oats

Quick oats or instant oats are rolled ones that undergo further processing to reduce the cooking time. They’re partially cooked by steaming, and then they are rolled even thinner than rolled oats. They get prepared within a few minutes and possess a mild flavor, and they are soft and have a mushy texture.

The cooking time between rolled and instant oats:

Whole-grain oats rolled oats have been steamed and pressed with a roller to flatten them, and they take about 5 minutes to cook. At the same time, instant oats, which are very thinly pressed rolled oats, on the other hand, are ready as soon as mixed in hot water.

While the extra pressing does affect the texture, the nutrition data of rolled oats don’t vary much from the instant oats.

Differ in Fat and Protein Content:

A 1/2-cup serving of rolled oats has 4 gm of total fat, whereas cooked instant oats have 3.4 gm of fat. But neither contains saturated fat — the “bad” type that can increase blood cholesterol levels, and bad fat also contributes to heart disease.

Astonishingly, oats have fat. But, like whole grains, they retain their endosperm, germ and bran, and all of these contain minerals, vitamins and essential fats.

While rolled oats offer nearly 7 gm of protein per serving, instant oats have 6 gm. Oats may not provide all of the essential amino acids. But as long as you incorporate a variety of foods throughout the day, like other beans or grains and vegetables, you should be able to meet your amino acid and protein needs.

Calories in rolled and instant oats:

Rolled oats offer 200 calories, while there are 170 calories in the same 1/2 cup serving of unflavored, plain instant oats. Even though the latter undergo a little more processing than the former, both are considered whole grains. 

While rolled oats have 5 gm of fibre per 1/2-cup cooked serving, instant ones offer 4.2 gm of fibre. The fibre in the oats aids in lowering cholesterol, and it may also decrease your odds of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is proven that women need at least 46 gm of protein per day while men should consume at least 56 gm.

Mineral content is rolled, and instant oats:

Both rolled, and instant oats are rich sources of other minerals and calcium. But the amount varies due to fortification. Another difference between both these oats is their sodium content. While rolled oats are naturally sodium-free, instant oats contain 122 mg of sodium.

It is recommended that the daily maximum sodium intake for healthy adults should be no higher than 2,300 mg. You should aim for less than 1,500 mg per day if you are at risk of high blood pressure or other related risk factors for heart ailment. 

Thus, it concludes the fundamental difference between all three types of oats. Choose the one that suits you the best.

Thank You!