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For being one of the planet’s most common grains, oats offer some exceptional nutrition. But not all oats are equal. Steel-cut and whole grain rolled oats are lean sources of carbohydrates, low on the glycemic index, and high in heart-healthy essential nutrients, with 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per cup.

Studies show that diets that include whole grains can support healthy digestion, weight control, blood cholesterol, and provide all-important energy during and following cancer treatment.

Oats help bolster the immune system and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. This pantry standby is also an excellent source of thiamine, phosphorus, and selenium.

Chef Tips

Oatmeal is an ideal breakfast.  It’s a valuable food, densely packed with nutrients, and a source of energy built to last. Always buy plain oatmeal and add your own flavor with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, ½ a grated apple or other fresh fruit, or some toasted nuts.

For convenience, you can prepare steel-cut oats or rolled oats the evening before and re-heat them in the morning. Remember, while instant oats take less time to prepare than steel-cut or whole grain rolled oats, they are often packed with added sugar, sodium, and preservatives that counteract oatmeal’s healthy properties. Before you buy, always check nutrition labels.

For a simple oatmeal breakfast recipe with added nuts and fruit, try this Healthy Fruity Oatmeal or these Oatmeal Date Cookies for a nutritious sweet snack.

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