Many of us have fond memories of enjoying a hot steaming bowl of oatmeal and brown sugar in those cold winter months growing up. These days you see oats in tons of “healthier” versions of recipes, but are they actually healthy? Are they Paleo?
What are Oats?
There are three standard types of oats: steel cut, rolled oats, and instant oats. Basically, steel cut oats are whole groats simply chopped into more manageable pieces. They contain the majority of the bran and are therefore whole grain. They take a bit longer to cook, but provide the highest concentration of nutrients (and anti-nutrients). Rolled oats are whole groats rolled flat to make them semi-processed and much faster to cook. The bran is discarded though, so most people would not qualify them as “whole grains.” And finally, instant oats are basically rolled and flattened again to process them a little further so they are ready to eat with just the addition of hot water. The bigger issue with instant oats is that they’re normally served in packets with tons of sugar and additives.
Are Oats Paleo?
Technically, oats (Avena) are in the weed family as a cereal grain, which means, no, oats are not exactly Paleo. However, some Paleo dieters choose to add these easily digested grains in moderation, especially when craving starch and baked goods but trying not to overdo it with coconut and almond flours. If you do want to incorporate oats to your diet, like other grains, it is always recommended that you consume them fermented. This thread can guide you to a more Primal oatmeal recipe.