All types of oatmeal are made from groats, or ground oats that have been hulled, or dehusked. Traditional, old-fashioned oatmeal — the kind most commonly seen in cereal, granola, and muesli — is made from groats that have been steamed, rolled flat, and then flaked. Quick-cooking rolled oats, sometimes called quick oats, are cut into small pieces before being steamed and rolled. Irish oatmeal is my personal favorite; also known as steel-cut oatmeal, it is made up of groats that have been chopped into small pieces instead of flattened. It has a chewier texture and takes longer to cook. Instant oatmeal is precooked and then dried.
The nutritional profile across all varieties of oatmeal is the same — although certain types are often portrayed as nutritionally inferior. Instant oatmeal, for example, is still a whole grain, but it has a higher glycemic index and is more likely to contain sweeteners or sodium.
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