Steel Cut Oats Nutrition Facts and Benefits

If you think all types of oats are the same, think again. Steel cut oats are different from regular oats. Processed by passing whole wheat groats through a steel mill, steel cut oats are chewy with a nuttier taste. They are great whether used in oatmeal or baking goods. 


Steel Cut Oats Nutrition

1.    Calories and Fat

One fourth cup of uncooked steel cut oats provides 150-170 calories. Many dieticians recommend a breakfast containing 350-500 calories for a typical morning. Accompanying your steel cut oats with fruits, fruit juice or a lean cut of meat is an ideal way to meet your early morning energy needs. Note that the above portion of steel cut oats has 3 grams of fat, and keep your daily fat consumption within 44-78 grams.

2.    Carbohydrates and Fiber

Eating steel cut oats regularly provides you with complex carbohydrates that stick within the system longer. A one fourth cup serving provides 27-29 grams carbohydrates (20.7-22.3 percent) of your 130 grams daily requirement. The same serving provides 4-5 grams of fiber which is almost 15 percent of the 25-38 grams daily requirement. Note that a sudden shift to a fiber-rich diet can lead to bloating or gas.

3.    Protein

Another part of steel cut oats nutrition is protein – one fourth cup provides 5-7 grams of protein. Protein is required by the body for building and maintaining tissues including muscles. It also serves as a secondary source of energy. But the protein in oats is incomplete as it does not contain all the essential amino acids. Eat steel cut oats together with legumes to maximize the protein benefits.

4.    Minerals

One serving contains 10 percent of your daily iron requirement. Iron is involved in the transportation of oxygen in the body. Deficiency leads to inadequate oxygen, low energy and weakness. It also causes anemia which presents with fatigue, headaches and heart palpitations.

One serving of steel cut oats will also provide 2 percent of your daily requirement of calcium. Calcium is required for strong bones and teeth. Other vitamins and minerals in steel cut oats include B vitamins, vitamin C, phosphorous, magnesium, copper and fluoride.

Health Benefits of Steel Cut Oats

1.    Lower Risk of Heart Disease

A study conducted on 70,000 individuals over a period of 10 years concluded that regular consumption of oats lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. It is assumed that the soluble fiber in oats inhibits absorption of cholesterol, leading to a drop in the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol).

2.    Prevent Development of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association observes that the low glycemic index (ability to raise blood sugar level) of steel cut oats makes them ideal for individuals who aim at controlling their blood glucose levels. Foods with high glycemic index cause a spike in blood sugar level, but those with low glycemic index, such as oats, help to stabilize blood sugar level. Nutritional research studies have concluded that consumption of oats can help in the prevention of diabetes by reducing and stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels.

3.    Control Blood Pressure

Nutritionists and dieticians indicate that steel cut oats nutrition provides compounds that lower blood pressure. A Chinese study established that a daily diet containing at least 25 grams of oats lowers both diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels. Other studies comparing the effects of steel cut oats versus wheat on the blood pressure, have concluded that oats are more effective in lowering blood pressure.

4.    Help to Lose Weight

Steel cut oats belong to low glycemic index foods. They can stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for longer. This way you end up eating less food, which helps in weight reduction. 

One Steel Cut Oat Recipe for Breakfast


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil or butter, unsalted
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • Spices of your choice: e.g. ground cinnamon, chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds), dried fruit (berries or date), etc.


  • Simmer the water and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Put the coconut oil/butter into a skillet and melt over medium heat.
  • When it starts shimmering, add the steel cut oats. Continue cooking and stir occasionally until golden (about 2 minutes). Toasting will enhance the flavor of your oats.
  • Put the toasted oats into the simmering mixture of water and milk and lower the heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture simmers for around 20 minutes.
  • Add the salt as the mixture thickens. Lower the heat to avoid charring as the oats absorb most of the liquid. You will end up with very creamy oatmeal once fully done.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in any spices and other mix-ins and let your oatmeal cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve when cool enough to eat and add your favorite toppings. Cover and refrigerate any extra oatmeal after it cools down completely. Try this recipe to reap the steel cut oats nutrition.
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