Get Healthy Loads: Different Types of Oats

Most Common Types and Health Benefits of Oats Grains of all types surely have lots of things in common but not all of them are equal in nutritional value per serving. Some are missing a …

different types of oats

Most Common Types and Health Benefits of Oats

Grains of all types surely have lots of things in common but not all of them are equal in nutritional value per serving. Some are missing a nutrient that is present in the other, and vice versa. But there’s one type of grain that stands out among others—it’s oats. All types of oats contain essential nutrients that help us achieve a healthy and balanced diet.

If you want to learn about the different types of oats, their health benefits and what foods you can make from oats, this article will help you do so.

Most Common Types of Oats
 Rolled Oats
  Old-fashioned Oats
   Foods Made of Old-fashioned Oats
  Quick Oats
   Foods Made of Quick Oats
  Instant Oats
   Foods Made of Instant Oats
 Steel-cut Oats
  Foods Made of Steel-cut Oats
Health Benefits of Oats

Different Types of Oats

Before dwelling on the specific types of oats, it is important to know that oats are categorized into two: rolled oats and steel-cut oats. You will know further below:

1. Rolled Oats

These are made by toasting, hulling and steaming whole oats and flattening them with giant rollers. This process makes a drastic change in the texture of the oats, shortens cooking time, and extends their shelf life. Rolled oats are considered one of the most popular types of oats. There are three (3) types of oats that are usually available in supermarkets: old-fashioned oats, quick oats and instant oats.

a. Old-fashioned Oats

Also called the traditional oats, are steamed for a short period of time and then rolled. Oats are steamed then rolled using steel rollers, and then flattened to make them into flakes and then dried afterward. Cooking time for rolled oats runs from 5-20 minutes if using a stove and 2-5 minutes if using a microwave.

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats:

Foods Made of Old-fashioned Oats

This type of oat is commonly used to make oatmeal, oat milk, pancake, and granola bars to name a few.

b. Quick Oats

As the name implies, this type of rolled oat cooks faster. Production-wise, oats are steamed longer and rolled thinner to produce quick oats, thus, they are softer, smoother and less chewy when cooked. Cooking time for quick oats is about 1-2 minutes. 

Foods Made of Quick Oats

Mostly used to make smoothies, pancakes, granola, cookies and other baked goods

c. Instant Oats

These are the most common type of oats we usually find in groceries, sold in sugar-flavored packets. Instant oats are the fastest to cook. They are pre-cooked, steamed, and dried and are prepared by mixing them in a bowl of hot water. 

Foods Made of Instant Oats

Instant oats only take 30-90 seconds to cook. They are mostly eaten as porridge and can go along well when mixed with fresh or dried fruit such as blueberries, cranberries, raisins, and bananas or apples.

Instant Oats:

2. Steel-cut Oats

Steel-cut Oats

These are made of the entire oat kernel that is sliced into smaller pieces with a chewy and nutty texture. Instead of being rolled, steel-cut oats are chopped into rough nubs using steel blades.

Although the difference is just minimal, steel-cut oats are said to be healthier than rolled oats, since they are not too processed.

Foods Made of Steel-cut Oats

Cooking time for steel-cut oats runs about 25 to 30 minutes. Steel-cut oats have similar cooking uses and food products with other oats like porridge and as an ingredient used in baking pastries.

Steel-cut oats:

Health Benefits of Oats

Most dieticians or health experts would suggest for grains specifically, oats, be part of one’s diet. Apart from it being easy to prepare, all types of oats contain fiber, especially beta-glucan, and are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which helps in reducing the risks of heart diseases.

Health Benefits of Oats

Another important health benefit of oats worth taking note of is that it plays a role in your digestion and general metabolic health. As they are high in fiber, they can help reduce constipation and keep the gastrointestinal tract in place. It is said to improve satiety (the feeling of fullness) thus reducing hunger and leading to a lesser desire for food intake.

According to, oats are gluten-free which also provides fiber, complex carbs and other essential nutrients. Gluten is known to be present in some grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Hence, oats are safe to be consumed by those who have gluten-sensitivities, including celiac disease.


There might be several types of oats but they all are almost similar in taste and the way they are eaten. Their differences in appearance, texture and cooking time still won’t outweigh their similarities when it comes to the nutritional value they can provide to us.

But the key takeaway here is that, for you to know what type you shall use for a specific purpose or dish you want to make, out of these different types of oats.