How to replace cereals with oats

Types of oats, how to buy oats and how to consume it

What type of oats is best to buy?

Consultation of a reader:

Hello, I am considering introducing oats to my breakfasts in substitution of typical commercial cereals (Kellogs Special K, Wetabix, etc.), but I have nothing clear how to do it.

I am not certain what format to choose from the different presentations I find in the market: oat flakes, whole oat flakes, sprouted oat flakes,, oat bran, instant oatmeal, organic,…

My idea is to use the oats in the same way as my current cereals, that is, to heat the milk and then pour the cereals, stir a little to soften and eat them directly. I do not know if this can be done with oats.

Another question I have is whether is it necessary to soak or boil it. Some say that you can eat raw, others that have to be left to soak all night, others that have to be soaked and also boiled…

In addition, after reading the contraindications of oats I am afraid of intestinal obstructions. I would only consume it at breakfast and in recommended amounts.

A greeting and thanks for what you can tell me.

What type of oats is best to replace breakfast cereals?

The change proposed to replace industrial cereals with oats is very healthy, since oats have less sugar, more fiber, and do not raise blood sugar so much.

They are also very nutritious because they are rich in energy (in the form of complex carbohydrates), proteins, magnesium, calcium, iron and some B vitamins (except B12).

In short, oats are a perfect food to get energy in the mornings, that lasts until lunchtime without starving between hours.

Here is a detailed list of all the questions you ask: what type of oats is best, whether it is necessary to hydrate it or soak it, and so on.

What type of oats is the best to replace breakfast cereals with oats?

The best oats you can buy are thin oat flakes (sometimes called soft flakes or instant oats), which are thinner than whole flakes. You can find them in most conventional and ecological supermarkets at an affordable price.

Being thin flakes, they are easily hydrated and do not need to be soaked. They can be used as commercial breakfast cereals, without prior preparation. It is preferable to consume them without sugar. You can mix them with raisins, walnuts, almonds, etc.

fine oat flakes

Photo with some common types of oats that can be bought in the markets. The easiest to consume them is by means of thin oat flakes (also called soft flakes or instant oats)

Is it necessary to put oats to soak or boil them?

Whole oat flakes can be somewhat harder to chew than fine grains, so it is often recommended to soak them in water, milk or kefir for about 30 minutes before consuming them.

In many countries it is common to eat porridge. For example, it is a very typical breakfast in the United States. For this reason, you can read on many websites that the way to prepare the oats is heating it with milk to form a kind of lumpy porridge. But as we have said, it is not necessary to always consume it with soaking or boiling, although it is a very rich recipe, if you want to try it.

You do not need to soak it if you buy thin flakes. If you buy normal or thick flakes, it may be harder to chew if you do not soak them.

Other recommendations for buying oatmeal

All oats are “whole-grain”, ignore the case of trademarks that put “whole oats” as an advertising claim. As there is white rice whole grain rice, this difference is not found in oats, because, because, due to the grain structure of the plant, it is always removed its outer husk and it is not refined like rice. All oats are rich in fiber (30 g of oat flakes contain 3 g of fiber).

Organic oats have the advantage that no unauthorized pesticides have been used in organic farming during their cultivation and processing.

Do not buy oat bran, which is difficult to consume and too fibrous.

*More information:

Contraindications of oat bran

Properties of oat flakes

Where to buy oatmeal

Oatmeal can be purchased at most grocery stores, markets, health-food stores, supermarkets, etc

How to buy oatmeal

When you buy oatmeal, make sure it is well packaged, look at the expiration date (do not take too long on the shelf), read the ingredients (it should only have oats) and if it is transparent, note that the flakes are thin.

Can uncooked oats be eaten considering the subject of antinutrients?

Oats contain few antinutrients, in comparison, for example, with legumes. It is not worrisome its content in protease inhibitors, nor its content in phytates or other types of antinutrients, since the consumption of these substances does not produce nutritional deficits.

Therefore, thin oat flakes can be consumed uncooked, although logically it is better (more digestive) to cook it, especially in case of diarrhea, stomach pain or digestive problems.

*Related information: Antinutrients of cereals and seeds

punto rojoMore information on oats.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 March, 2023

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