Rolled Oats Oatmeal the Difference between Oatmeal and Rolled Oats
To roll or not too roll, that is the question. There is no doubt that oats are an extremely popular and versatile food source. They can grow in harsher conditions than other crops and contain many vital nutrients and vitamins and harbour a whole host of health benefits.
The health benefits that you can expect from a diet that includes adequate intake of oats, include; lowered Cholesterol, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, decreased risk of heart failure, enhanced immune response to infection, lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and a decreased risk of certain cancers. There are many more health benefits to oat consumption, but the ones mentioned are widely reported.
So, what is the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal?
Both rolled oats and oatmeal come from the same cereal grain known scientifically as ‘Avena sativa.’ The difference between the two stems from the way they are processed for later distribution and use.
Oatmeal and steel cut oats are both cut into smaller pieces. Oatmeal is cut into the finest pieces. This means that oatmeal cooks the quickest and is much more convenient for some people. This is why instant breakfast oats are a popular choice for those in a hurry. Oatmeal will cook in around 5 minutes.
Rolled oats on the other hand are steamed and flattened. This means they are much larger. This means that rolled oats take longer to cook at around 20 minutes.
What other differences are there between rolled oats and oatmeal?
In today’s health conscious world many of us are concerned that we are making the right choices when it comes to picking between certain foods.
Is there really a difference between the two?
The main difference between rolled oats and oatmeal is the look. Rolled oats are much larger while oatmeal is much finer. The second difference is to do with the initial taste and texture. Oatmeal has a nuttier, earthy flavour that rolled oats lack. Some have suggested that this could be to do with the steaming that rolled oats go through during processing. Interestingly this word processing makes most health conscious individuals run a mile, but steaming does not really affect the quality or nutritional value of the oats as it still contains the wholegrain part.
In conclusion, the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal is in the initial processing. The difference really is quite minimal. As for which you should eat, I would leave this to personal choice, as the health differences are also pretty minimal. If you like oatmeal stay with it, if you prefer rolled oats then have those. Stick with what makes you happy. After all, happiness is fundamental to good health, right?