Power Up Your Morning With the Best Type of Oatmeal.

Oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast. Many fitness models and fitness professional chose to start their days with a bowl of this wonder grain. It's gluten-free, contains some protein and provides a good steady dose of carb energy -- provided you choose the right type.

First off the bat, ignore any prepackaged flavoured oatmeals. "Maple and apples" and "Cinnamon Bun" flavoured oatmeal are full of added sugar, salt and sometimes artificial flavours. If you want to pimp your oatmeal, do it yourself. Add fresh fruit, frozen berries, yogurt, nuts, chia or flax seeds or protein powder. I personally always add protein -- it elevates it from being nothing but a bowl of carbs into something more complete. It also adds taste. I love chocolate protein oatmeal.

Second, shy away from the quick-cooking type. Instant and quick-cooking oats are the most processed way to eat oats. They have been cooked, dried and cut up into tiny pieces. They only need a little hot water to soften up and eat. They can be ready in as quick as 60 seconds. Instant oats are to oatmeal what white flour to wholewheat. And it hits your system in the same way.

Rolled oats are a slightly better option. Sometimes also known as Old-fashioned they have been steamed, rolled out and dried. They usually cook in about 5 to 10 minutes and digest a little slower than their quick-cooking counterparts.

 It's steel-cut oats that come out on top as the least processed, lower glycemic load and, in my opinion, tastiest. Also known as Irish oats or pinhead oats they are oat groats that have been cut into 2 to 3 pieces rather than being steamed and rolled. Yes, they take longer to cook, about 20 to 30 minutes. They have a chewier, nutty texture. If time in the morning is an issue for you cook a large batch ahead of time; even after being cooled, refrigerated and reheated they retain their goodness.

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