Oats are a great addition to anyone’s diet. A 1-cup serving costs 20 cents or less, has only 150 calories, and is a rich source of soluble fiber which helps lower your risk for heart disease.
Groats are the least processed. They are the husked whole oat kernel and need at least 40 minutes to cook. Groats can be substituted for brown rice or wheat berries.
Steel-cut oats are toasted oat groats cut into smaller pieces. They need 10 to 20 minutes to cook but quick-cooking steel cut oats are now becoming more available. They have a firm, chewy texture and a nutty flavor.
Rolled oats, the most common, known as old-fashioned or 5-minute oats, are groats that have been steamed, flattened and dried. Quick oats are rolled oats cut into smaller pieces to reduce the cooking time to as little as 1 minute.
Instant oats resemble quick oats in taste and texture but they have been partially cooked before they are dried so that they can be cooked (reconstituted) by simply adding boiling water.