Whole steel cut oat calories are possibly the healthiest kind that you can get from a grain. Not only are they high in fiber, low in fat, and free of basically all sodium and sugars, they are also delicious. Because they are minimally broken down, they have a satisfying, hearty consistency and a great flavor that is slightly nutty tasting.
One concern that people often have when switching from faster cooking oats to the whole grain version is how many calories there are in the healthier version. A lot of people erroneously believe that the more natural version is higher in calories.
How many calories are in a cup of cooked steel cut oats?
The serving size of these oats is ¼ cup dry grain. When cooked with the recommended water portions (usually about a cup), you end up with roughly 1 whole cup of a finished product. Because the water obviously adds no caloric value, there are roughly 170 calories in one cup of cooked steel cut oats (the same amount of calories in ¼ cup, uncooked).
Whole oat nutrition versus instant oatmeals
Steel cut oats are by far and large nutritionally superior to instant oatmeal. Instant or rolled oats have been altered from their original form and they lose much of their nutritional value in the method used to make them faster cooking.
Steel cut oats are oats in their most natural form and they offer the greatest hunger fighting benefits because they are not already basically predigested when consumed, unlike the overly processed instant or rolled oatmeals.
The calories are basically the same as those in instant. The biggest difference is that when you choose instant over the whole grain form, you’re likely to be hungry again in the next 45 minutes, whereas the lesser processed grain will take your body longer to digest, and do a much better job at holding off any growling of the belly.
Instant oatmeals are basically a nutritional mockery of the healthful grain that they started out as. The nutrition lost when they are rolled and turned into flakes (or often even a near powdered consistency) is one thing, but all of the additives put into those little convenient packs are another health issue all together. Artificial sweeteners are frequently used to make the oat flakes sweet without adding extra calories. Read the ingredients in those little oatmeal packets and you should be justifiably concerned about what foreign ingredients you are consuming in a food that is posing as a healthy snack or meal.
Ways to flavor your oats without adding too many calories
Switching from an artificially flavored instant oatmeal to the more natural version can be a bit of an adjustment. All of those additives in the instant oatmeal are kind of like drugs for your taste buds! But try it and you will likely find that even completely plain whole oats have a nice flavor; the texture makes the consistency palpable and they have a natural, delicious, subtly sweet and nutty flavor.
If you want to spice up your grains without negating any nutrition benefits or adding many calories, here are a few healthful additives to bump up the flavor:
• Vanilla extract
• A tablespoon of honey
• Add a half cup of fruit to the top; blueberries, strawberries, apples, mangos or peaches are all excellent options
• A tablespoon of peanut butter
• A pinch of salt (keep it minimal!)
All in all,the exchange that includes the whole oat version and ditches the processed variety is a diet and health-wise option, so don’t let the misperception of instant oatmeal being lower in caloric value make you miss out on a food that is much healthier.