Plain or Whole Oatmeal? Which One is Better

Is whole oatmeal better than regular or processed oatmeal? For sure, you’ve wondered this question as you see how people consume and recommend oatmeal as a nutritious food, even if they don’t know if they are really eating the right kind of oatmeal.

It’s for that reason that we are here today to disprove which one is the best. In addition, we’ll dig a little deeper into the two types of oatmeal, their properties and what really differentiates them. That’s all, let’s get started.

What is the difference between regular and whole oats?   

The difference between these two types of oatmeal is that whole grain oatmeal retains the whole grain of oats and therefore preserves all its minerals and fiber, unlike regular oatmeal in which the ingredients are processed and only a small portion of these are retained.

What is regular oatmeal?

Regular oatmeal is a cereal belonging to the grass family and comes from the region of Central Asia. Fewer nutrients are found in these oats than in regular oats because they are processed.

In addition, normal oats, when processed, are mixed with an endless number of additives that ruin the original properties of oats and do nothing for our bodies.

How is regular oat processed?  

The normal oat grain is subjected to a series of processes such as:


Here impurities such as stones and chaff are removed.


The grain is hulled before use, but the remaining hull is used in the food industry.

Heat and moisture treatment   

This process is done to prevent the oats from becoming rancid in the open air due to the effect of lipases on lipids and to prevent the interruption of germination.

Grouping by size   

In this step, the grains are classified according to their size; they can be coarse, fine, medium, or whole.

Final processing  

  • Flaking: Here, flakes of different thicknesses are formed, of which the most common are coarse, fine, or “fast” flakes and ultrafine or instant flakes. Each one is rolled in 3 or 4 pieces.
  • Milling: the bran is separated from the flour in this part.
  • Flour milling: as a final step in the process, the coarser flour is separated from the finer flour.

What additives are included in regular oatmeal?   

Going back to what we had mentioned, normal oatmeal has some additives consisting of no less than toxic agrochemicals, and you may ask yourself, what is a toxic agrochemical? It refers to products that are used to repel weeds, pests, or crop diseases, whether they are herbicides, pesticides, or any type of substance that is capable of fumigating.

As the word in its name indicates, this compound is toxic, so it is not advisable to eat a food that contains it, such as traditional oats.

What is whole-grain oat?   

Regular oats and whole oats are not different species but have different processing after being harvested. Whole oats retain their whole grain and regular oats undergo a process where the grain is altered with the chemicals mentioned above, losing many of its original nutrients.

Once it has been clarified that whole oats are only a presentation of normal oats and not a different species, it can be deduced that, therefore, it has the same origin in the grass family. Geographically, it is found in Central Asia and probably in some European regions.  

It has yellowish-white flakes, (sometimes with variations of brown) and its shape, weight, and size are almost the same as normal oats, having a value in weight of about 0.1 g and a size of 0.1 millimeters. But it is distinguished by having a significant variety of benefits for your body as it is rich in:

  • Proteins
  • Fiber
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc  
  • Potassium

What are the components of whole grain oats useful for?   

The above-mentioned components have different functions; for example, phosphorus protects the cell membrane and the bone system, zinc is responsible for the digestion of carbohydrates and the well-being of hair and nails, magnesium is important in the functioning of the nervous system, acts against the oxidation of cells and takes care of your dental health, iron promotes the creation of red blood cells through which oxygen is distributed to the body and prevents the feeling of fatigue, and finally, potassium regulates blood pressure and muscle function.

What are the properties of whole oat?   

Now that it’s clear that whole grain oats are the best, you may need to know more about what this oat could do for your body, and here we’ll explain it to you.

It lowers cholesterol   

It lowers cholesterol thanks to its high amount of fiber, which helps to eliminate fat from our bodies.

An alternative to laxatives   

When someone suffers from constipation is highly recommended to add whole oats to their daily diet, because it stimulates the movements of the digestive system that can be affected by bad habits such as a sedentary lifestyle or stress.

Skin restoration   

Whether exfoliating it, cleaning it, or healing your scars, whole oats can be very useful for your skin when you use them as a mask thanks to their components like linolenic acid and saponins. These days, oats are also recognized due to a wide variety of skin treatments using them in combination with other elements such as honey, lemon, and milk, so it is a food that can cure ailments in the body either externally or internally.

It has vitamin E   

This vitamin is an antioxidant that plays a very important role in combating the effects of free radicals in our body that can be responsible for the appearance of certain diseases such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, cataracts, and in the worst case, cancer.

It helps to lose weight   

To get rid of those little extra pounds, a good option is to drink whole oats, so that our cells have an adequate level of Vitamin B1 or thiamine because this element is the one that stimulates the absorption and distribution of glucose we get from the food we eat.

Many times when this glucose is slowly assimilated in the body it causes stagnation as seen in diseases such as overweight or diabetes.

Why is whole-grain oatmeal better than conventional oatmeal?   

To answer this question, let us tell you that one of the reasons why you should choose whole oats is because normal or processed oats have negative substances such as refined carbohydrates that the body absorbs much faster than usual and that will make us get fat easily, something that doesn’t happen with whole oats because they don’t have these hydrocarbons.


As you could see, whole oats are better than traditional oats and it is not the same to drink the latter; it doesn’t have the same benefits.

We hope that this article has cleared up all your doubts about these two types of oats and that of course you are encouraged to consume whole oats and include them in your diet.  

Beyond the above discussion, we recommend you to read our complete guide about oats and other interesting foods that have much more to contribute to our health than is usually thought.