Most people cook their oatmeal and combine it with sweet toppings food. But, we can’t blame you for wondering if it’s safe to eat raw oats. (Hey, that’ll save you some time, right?)
The summary: Eating raw oats is generally safe – depending on the oats you choose.
What is raw oats?
Raw oats are not the same as uncooked oats.
That’s because the oats you buy in the supermarket (no matter what kind) have been processed in some way. Raw oats, on the other hand, come straight from the field, with the kernels, husks and stems of the oat plant still intact.
More processed types of oats (such as instant oats) have been pre-steamed and heated to destroy potentially harmful pathogens, making them safe to eat raw.
Although it is not technically “raw,” according to the Oldways Whole Grains Council’s definition, there are less processed varieties such as grits and steel-cut oats. These have not undergone a steaming process and therefore may contain risky pathogens. That said, most people don’t eat raw oats anyway.
Health benefits of eating oatmeal
Oatmeal is not only delicious – there are also a number of health benefits associated with oatmeal:
1. It is nutritious
It is a great source of carbohydrates and offers a wide range of nutrients and health benefits.
Unlike refined grains commonly found in breakfast cereals, oatmeal contains all three parts of the grain: the bran, the germ and the germ. These each contain their own nutrients, among which they include the following substances:
- Vitamin E
- B vitamins
2. It provides a reduced risk of disease
Whole grain oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, according to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Oats, thanks to their fiber, can also help control diabetes and provide good intestinal health.
3. It can help you lose weight
Oats are also great for people who want to lose weight. The beta-glucan fiber of oats attracts water and increases food volume in the gut, leaving you feeling full longer.
Potential disadvantages of eating raw oats
On the other hand, eating raw oats may have some drawbacks, including:
1. They may not taste as good
Uncooked oats may not be as tasty as their cooked counterparts. Although this ultimately depends on your preferences.
2. Cooking increases their nutritional value
According to Harvard Health , there are no benefits to eating raw oats.
Cooking your oatmeal or making overnight oats is probably your best (and tastiest) option.
Soak or steam your oats with hot water or milk of your choice and throw in some healthy fruit. Overnight oats are a quick, non-cooking option where you soak your oats overnight(whether milk or water)
The end result is a delicious breakfast that is nutritious.