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Why steel-cut wins

THE GIST

Quick and instant oats are convenient, but nutritionists suggest those that take longer to cook are better for your health.

EXPERT INSIGHT

“Quick oats have been rolled, chopped, and steamed to decrease cooking time,” says Brian St. Pierre, RD, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition in Scarborough, Maine. Those processes mimic some of the steps of digestion, he explains, so the oats move through your body more quickly once you eat them.

Steel-cut oats, on the other hand, require more prep time and remain in your stomach longer, helping you feel and stay full. They also keep your blood sugar levels steady since they have a lower glycemic index than instant types do.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Swap quick oats for steel-cut or rolled varieties. The former can be soaked or made in a slow-cooker overnight to make morning prep easier. St. Pierre recommends adding healthy fats and protein, like nuts and seeds, to round out the meal.