Love it, Like it, Hate it: Oatmeal Packets

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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.


 Love it!

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.


Like it!

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


 Hate it!

 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