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Eating Uncooked Oatmeal Vs Cooked Oatmeal

Cooking as we know has been the essense of food prepration as it enables richer blending of ingredients and brings in much needed taste to it. However research conducted in last few decades has shown the ill effects of cooking on nutritional value of the food we eat. Cooking alters the structure of the ingredients and hence in most cases reduce its nutritious value. In the same lines, there is lot of curiosity out there to know the benefits of uncooked oatmeal as oppose to cooked oatmeal and this article explores the same (and why not know the comprehensive benefits of oatmeal in the first place) .



Uncooked Oatmeal Vs Cooked Oatmeal Comparison

We only have data available for 100 grams of each cooked and uncooked oat bran. As the cooked oatmeal have significant amount of water in it, it skews the comparison proportionately. The difference is such that cooked oatmeal food displays lower numbers for every element as water contributes to make up good chunk of 100 grams of sample being considered. Below comparison hence should be taken into consideration with this point in mind. The comparison has been broken down by type of elements i.e. proximates, minerals and vitamins.

Prioximates

Element Unit Cooked Oat Bran Uncooked Oat Bran
Energy kcal 40 246
Carbohydrate g 11.4 66.2
Protein g 3.21 17.3
Fibre g 2.6 15.4
Fat g 0.86 7.03

 

Minerals

Element Unit Cooked Oat Bran Uncooked Oat Bran
Calcium mg 10 58
Iron mg 0.88 5.41
Phosphorus mg 119 734
Potassium mg 92 566
Magnesium mg 40 235

 

Vitamins

Element Unit Cooked Oat Bran Uncooked Oat Bran
Thiamin mg 0.16 1.17
Riboflavin mg 0.034 0.22
Niacin mg 0.144 0.934
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.025 0.165
Vitamin E mg 0.0 1.01

 

Verdict

Though this comparison easily gives an impression that uncooked oatmeal is the way to go as it has higher portion of every nutrient. For example, there is around 50% reduction in fibre and protein content of oat bran which is really bad. The effect of cooking is not limited to oat bran but to most grains and food items.  Having said that, eating raw grains is not for everyone but the bottomline is we should avoid cooking food as much as possible. We can certainly help ourselves by using other means to make grains digestable like soaking or steam cooking instead of cooking or worse pressure cooking it. The real challenge most of us face is that we find it hard to compromise with taste even when there is huge health benefits.  Those of us who can over come this challenge can find it easier to be healthy.

 

References

USDA – Uncooked dry Oat Bran

USDA – Cooked Oat Bran

7 Comments

  1. As the author notes, water has an effect by diluting the constituents.  In fact, the water appears to be the only effect.  Looking at the metals (calcium, iron, etc.), which can't be destroyed by the heating, they show the dilution is about 1/6 the uncooked amounts.  Given the other constituents in the cooked oatmeal also are about 1/6 of the uncooked, the effect of cooking appears negligible.

  2. I dont think so. There is a great differene of volume of content which definitely goes in favor of uncooked  one.

  3. It is better to take uncooked than cooked. Yes , to digest unocooked food has issues in the beginning. Taking small quantities in the beginning and slowly increasing the quantity can be implemented over a period of time. Thus one can  adjust the body to the uncooked food.

  4. Yes, Jim, the water argument is sound.  Although, when eaten raw, it's usually with milk, which mut be considered similarly to the water analysis…
    But, did you add up the grams of the prioximates?
    66.2+17.3+17.3+7=107.8, which exceeds the 100g sample!
    Dosn't do the article any justice, an indeed calls into question the validity of the data…

  5. For a better comparison, take 1/2 cup dry oats for each test, ignore the water volume in the cooked oats, and then compare nutrition in each.

  6. Not sure why they didn’t do the test as Carl mentioned. Another thing to consider is whether or not those nutrients are better absorbed from oatmeal or dry oats.

  7. I eat big bowls of uncooked oats mixed with some apple sauce. Yum.

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