Oats make a great, healthy addition to your daily routine! Learn why this nutrient-dense, inexpensive whole grain deserves a prominent place in your diet.

Why Eat Oats?

  • Oats are high in fiber (especially soluble fiber), which may help control cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and reduce the risk for heart disease.
  • Compounds in oats called polyphenols contain anti-cancer properties and can help promote health.
  • Oats are a good source of protein, healthy fatironpotassium, and several B vitamins.
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rolled oats provides about 80 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.


You can purchase oats with just the hull removed (called “groats”), but they are more commonly found in these forms:

  • Steel cut (also called “Irish” or “Scottish”) oats — Groats are sliced a few times by steel blades, leaving small pieces. They have a longer cooking time than other oats but have a great chewy texture.
  • Rolled oats — Groats are steamed, and then flattened. They can be found as “old-fashioned” or “quick” varieties.
  • Instant oats — Groats are steamed longer and flattened even more than the old fashioned or quick oats. These are often found in flavored packets of oatmeal.
  • Oat flour — Groats are ground to various consistencies (coarse, medium, fine), and the flour can be added to a variety of baked goods, or even used as a thickener.

Helpful Tip

  • Like the flavor and convenience of oatmeal in packet? Try adding 1/2 cup rolled oats to your favorite packet flavor. This will boost the nutrition, and give you a heartier portion with less added sugar than two packets.

Did You Know?

January is National Oatmeal Month. A warm bowl of oatmeal may be perfect on a winter day, but there are lots of ways to enjoy oats year round.

Try out some of these ideas:

  • Make homemade granola, granola bars, or energy bites with oats and your favorite dried fruit and nuts.
  • Toast rolled oats and add to your cold breakfast cereal.
  • Bake cookies or breads with oats or oat flour.
  • Blend into smoothies for added fiber.
  • Make a savory oatmeal, and top it with a fried egg.
  • Test some recipes for overnight oats and oatmeal bakes.