Steel-cut oats are less processed than rolled oats and may have greater health benefits, but only slightly. “Steel-cut oats have a higher fiber and protein content than rolled oats, which is good for satiety and also managing blood sugar levels,” Agyeman says.
Aside from that, the nutritional content is relatively similar. Half a cup of rolled oats and a fourth a cup of steel-cut oats provides four grams of fiber, five grams of plant-based protein, and a good source of magnesium, iron, and zinc, Moon says. They’re also both whole grains, which have been shown to support heart healthy and lower cholesterol levels.
The active cholesterol-lowering properties come from beta-glucan fiber, Moon explains, “which also helps slow down the rate of digestion to prolong feelings of fullness. That fiber also feeds beneficial gut microbes to support a healthy microbiome,” she adds.
If the two are critically compared, steel-cut oats may come out on top…but just barely. “Since the differences between the two are so slim, individuals should choose the type of oats that is most suitable for them in terms of flavor, texture, and preparation time,” Agyeman says. “They are all highly nutritious and excellent sources of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.” In other words, you can’t go wrong with either option.