With the freezing temperatures, a hot bowl of oatmeal can be a great way to start the day. And while there’s no question that oatmeal can be part of a wholesome breakfast, what about those instant packets? In today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on the best & worst options, plus how they measure up to old-fashioned oatmeal.
- Steel-cut Irish oats – least processed. Heartier texture can feel more satisfying.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – steamed first, then rolled to make into flakes.
- Instant oatmeal – finely chopped, typically has added salt + caramel coloring, even in plain varieties. Has higher glycemic index than steel-cut or rolled oats.
- All varieties are good source of soluble fiber
- All varieties are primarily fiber-rich carbs, so incorporate source of protein and/or fat to keep you fuller, longer: nut butter, protein powder dissolved in a little milk or almond milk, egg, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, coconut oil, etc.
Kashi Go Lean Hot Cereal – Truly Vanilla
- 150 calories – 5 grams soluble fiber – 6 grams sugar – 9 grams protein
- Ingredients include oats, cane juice, chicory root fiber, Kashi Seven Whole Grain Blend, whey protein, soy protein, flaxseeds.
Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal
- 160 calories – 4 grams soluble fiber – 1 gram sugar – 7 grams protein
- Ingredients include oats, whey protein, oat flour, sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame potassium
Dr. McDougall’s Light Instant Oatmeal
- 150 calories – soluble fiber not listed – 6 grams sugar – 5 grams protein
- Ingredients include oats, organic cane juice, organic pure maple sugar
- About 50% less sugar than other flavored oatmeal packs, and no artificial sweetener
Most varieties of flavored instant oatmeal that are sweetened with added sugar
- 160-210 calories – 1 gram soluble fiber – 12-14 grams sugar – 4-5 grams protein
- Common sources of added sugar: sugar, evaporated cane juice, maple sugar, brown sugar