Expert Blogs | Diet & Nutrition
7 Facts About Oats That Might Surprise You

As the weather gets colder, many of us will be turning to oats for a warm, comforting breakfast -- and that’s a good thing. Oats are a natural whole grain and rich in a kind of soluble fiber that can help draw “bad” lower LDL cholesterol out of your body. Soluble fiber also helps keep you full, which is why a bowl of oatmeal feels like an especially stick-with-you breakfast. But oats aren’t only a breakfast food; in fact, there’s a lot more to the humble oat than you might realize. Here are a few things that might surprise you:

The different varieties all have similar nutrition.

There’s a misconception that instant oats are somehow inferior and steel-cut are the most nutritious. But whether you choose quick, old-fashioned, or steel cut oats, they all provide roughly the same nutrition: about 4 grams of fiber, 4-6 grams of protein per serving, and similar amounts of vitamins and minerals. And they’re all 100% whole grain, containing all parts of the oat. So buy the kind you like best.

They can make meat stretch further.

Want to make ground meat go a little further when making tacos or pasta sauces? Add in 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked, steel-cut oats to the skillet while you’re browning the meat.

They’re a nutritious swap for breadcrumbs.

You’ll add in more fiber by using old-fashioned or quick oats in place of breadcrumbs in recipes for meatballs and meatloaf. Like breadcrumbs, oats act like a binder and add a tender texture.

They’re gluten-free.

Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free. But if you need to avoid gluten because of celiac disease or another reason, look for packages specifically labeled “gluten free”. That’s because oats may be processed in a facility that also makes gluten-containing products, and cross-contact can occur.

You can grind them into flour.

You can swap ground oats for a quarter of the all-purpose flour in recipes for muffins, quick breads, and cookies. To make 1 cup of oat flour, blend 1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats into powder in a food processor or high-speed blender.

They blend well into smoothies.

For extra thickness and fiber, add up to 1/2 cup oats to the blender when making your smoothie. (Stick to old-fashioned or quick oats for this instead of steel-cut.)

You don’t have to cook them.

Overnight oats have been trending on social media for a while. If you haven’t tried it, here’s how to make them: Add equal parts old-fashioned oats and milk (dairy or non-dairy) to a container, plus the fruit and sweetener of your choice. Stir, cover, and let them sit overnight, then eat cold straight from the fridge.

Tell us what you think of this post?
0 Like
0 Sad
0 Cheered up
0 Empowered
0 Care
WebMD Expert Blog © 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Registered dietitian

Sally Kuzemchak is a registered dietitian in Columbus, Ohio. An award-winning reporter and writer, Sally has been published in magazines such as Health, Family Circle, and Eating Well and is an Advisor to Parents magazine. She is the author of the book The 101 Healthiest Foods For Kids. She blogs at Real Mom Nutrition, a "no-judgments" zone all about feeding families.

Latest Blog Posts From Sally Kuzemchak, RD, MS

Best Foods To Prevent Constipation

Best Foods To Prevent Constipation

Constipation can make you feel sluggish, weighed-down, and cranky. Most people only experience it from time to time, but it can become chronic for others. It’s also more likely to happen as you age ...

Read more
15 Best Foods for Gut Health

15 Best Foods for Gut Health

It’s no secret that what you eat every day has a direct impact on your digestive system – and that some foods (hello, greasy takeout!) can make your belly feel worse than others. But certain foods have superpowers in the gut ...

Read more