Next to wheat, oats are the most popular grain found in breads and cereal, such as granola and muesli. While oats are nutritionally similar to whole wheat, the oat kernel has not been taken apart like the unfortunate wheat, so oats are often nutritionally superior to some forms of wheat. If you see the word “groat” applied to grains, don’t think it’s a misprint. “Groats” is the term given to the to the whole kernels of any grain in the raw state-before any processing. The most nutritious and practical way to use oats is to purchase oatbran and sprinkle it on cereal or add it to baking goods. One-third of a cup of oat bran provides the following:
- 130 calories
- 7 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fiber
- iron, zinc, vitamin E, and B-vitamins
The fiber in oat bran is a perfect compliment to that in wheat bran. The fiber in wheat bran is primarily insoluble (the colon-cancer-preventing fiber), while the primary fiber in oatbran is the soluble, cholesterol-lowering kind.
Rolled oats, the kind you use in oatmeal, are made by rolling and heating whole grain oats so they cook more quickly. In bread, rolled oats appear as pale flecks and help give bread a chewy, moist texture. Uncooked, rolled oats appear in cereals, like muesli and granola.