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What are the Differences Between Rolled Oats and Instant Oats?

oat bowl

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast option, and for good reason. It’s filling, affordable, and can be made in a variety of ways. It’s simple to make, has a lot of texture and flavour, and can be comforting for both the mind and the body.

In a chilly morning, nothing beats a quick steaming bowl of oats. Unless you have to wait for it to cook, which is the most significant difference between rolled oats and instant oats.

What are Rolled Oats?

Rolled oats are a whole-grain cereal that has been lightly processed. Regular oats are another name for them. Oat groats are used to make rolled oats. During production, dehusked oat groats are heated before being rolled into flat flakes with powerful rollers.

Next, they are lightly toasted for stability. Steaming helps in the stabilization of the natural oils in the oats, extending their shelf life. It makes it easier for the oats to roll flat without cracking.

Because rolled oats have a wide surface area, they can be cooked in a short amount of time. Uncooked rolled whole oats have a carbohydrate content of 68 percent, a fat content of 6%, and protein content of 13%.

There are approximately 379 calories in 100 grams of whole oats. The content comes with vitamin B, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and dietary minerals, including phosphorus and manganese. It’s also high in dietary fibre and contains beta-glucan, a soluble fibre with cholesterol-lowering properties.

Rolled whole oats can be eaten as old-fashioned oats or Scottish oats and can be used to make oatcakes, pancakes, flapjacks, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and porridge. Muesli and granola both have them as primary ingredients.

They can be ground into a coarse powder by additional processing. When boiled, it thickens into a liquid broth. Moreover, they can be used to make Oats Date Cookies, Oats Ketupat with Shrimp Sambal, Prawn Oat Porridge and more.

What are Instant Oats?

During production, instant oats are heated for extended periods, thinly rolled, and dehydrated. They’re usually pre-cooked. They also have salt and caramel colours applied to them. Nutrients such as vitamin A, minerals, calcium, and iron are all present.

A half-cup of cooked instant oats has 3.4 grams of fat and 4.2 grams of fibre on average. In addition, each dish contains around 6 grams of protein. However, depending on the flavour, the actual amount varies.

Guar gum is a thickener and ingredient used in instant oats. They’re often known for the additives and preservatives that have been added to them. They are deemed unhealthy since they also contain a lot of sugar.

These oats are usually available in packets. Because these oats are already cooked, all you have to do is add boiling water to make them ready for consumption. As a result, they’re great for eating while camping, at hotels, in the office, or as quick breakfasts on the move.

Additionally, instant oats are the main ingredients for you to create many creative recipes, such as Fish in Spiced Rice Oats Soup, Lentil And Oats Salad, Oats and Chana Dhal Poli, Oat Veggie Patties, and many others.

Beyond method of production, cook time, and texture, there are other differences between rolled oats and instant oats. Let’s explore a couple of those differences.


Cooking rolled oats take a longer time compared to instant oats. They require about 5 to 10 minutes to cook properly.

Since most instant oatmeals are pre-cooked, they are made to be cooked more quickly in the microwave or just by adding hot water.

Most instant oats come in little pre-packaged, smaller containers rather than the usual larger tin.

Nutritional Value

Oatmeals are well-known for their nutritional value. They’re high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which can benefit your digestive system, make you feel fuller for longer, and even help you lose weight.

They’re strong in protein and healthy fats, and they offer the finest amino acid balance of any cereal grain. You can relax, though, knowing that both rolled and instant oatmeal retain their nutrients.

In a Nutshell

Choosing between rolled oats vs. instant oats depends on your needs, how you prefer to cook your oats, and how much time you have. Whatever type of oats you pick, you can be confident