Eating Well With Kim: Hot Cereal: Oatmeal is King of the Aisle

By: Kim Beavers
By: Kim Beavers

I don’t know about you but I did not grow up loving oatmeal. Times have changed and I am a big fan now. It also appears that other people are loving oatmeal, at least if the variety of oatmeal in the grocery is any indication. So how do you choose the best oatmeal among all the choices?

I’ll be quick with my answer --- buy the plain oatmeal and season it yourself.

Irish cut oats are great but so are rolled oats (rolled are technically more processed but the nutrient profile is unaffected they are simply just processed to make them quicker to cook~ they are flattened out to increase surface area).

Beyond that we have to evaluate the additives in oatmeal and when talking about store brands that means dried fruit, sugar, artificial sweetener and sometimes salt or sodium. To choose the best one for you consider your health goals and taste buds.

Plain is best, adding in your own mix-ins assures quality control.

Finding the oatmeal with the least amount of added sugar is also great.

Try Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli with only 5g natural sugar from dates.

Other sweetened oatmeal traditionally contains 12g added sugar, which is 3 teaspoons. The recommendation for women is 6 teaspoons added sugar each day and for men the number is 9 teaspoons.

Note: You should not avoid oatmeal just because you like it sweetened simply eat the least amount of added sugar you can with your oats.

Some low sugar varieties contain artificial sweetener ~ my view on artificial sweetener is: “It is a personal choice if you want to consume them or avoid them.” For blood sugar control artificial sweeteners can be very helpful in moderation.

Typically instant oats have more sodium (75-150mg) than old fashioned (0gm). However there are a few instant varieties that have 0mg sodium (Private selection Organic, and Bob’s Red Mill quick cooking).

Great mix-ins for plain oatmeal!

  • Almonds with dried apricots
  • Diced apple, cinnamon, and raisins
  • Golden raisins and sunflower seeds
  • Dried mango and shredded coconut
  • Diced pear, walnut and nutmeg
  • Chopped dates and pecans

Until next time: Eat well. Live wellJ

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