Oatmeal is a breakfast go-to that is both filling and nutritious (that is, if you know what to look for). But like many foods lining our supermarket shelves, some oatmeal brands are filled with added sugars and processed ingredients. Because many of these oatmeals are hidden behind wholesome, family-friendly packaging, it can be difficult to find a healthy option.
To help you decipher the whole from the processed and the healthy from the unhealthy, Well+Good recently tested out all of the popular oatmeal brands—from inexpensive options to specialty selections. After receiving final approval from Nikki Ostrower, NAO Nutrition founder and holistic nutritionist, the following brands were determined to be the healthiest ones around. Turn to these brands for a quick and nutritious breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.
#1 Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal
Containing just fluffy rolled oats and sea salt, Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal still manages to pack in eight grams of protein and six grams of fiber per serving. "Nature's Path is organic and non-GMO—a big win in my book," says Ostrower. "I always advise looking for organic because then you can guarantee it's not sprayed with any herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides, and it's not genetically engineered," she says. It also passes the taste test thanks to its light texture that differs from other heartier steel-cut oats. For a wholesome breakfast that will fit in with your morning routine, this brand makes a great healthy option.
#2 Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal
Gluten-free oats, flax seeds, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and puffed amaranth make up Purely Elizabeth's nutrient-dense oatmeal. "It's loaded with protein, heart-healthy fatty acids, fiber, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, [and] selenium," says Ostrower. It's a bit crunchier than number one listed above thanks to the superfood grains, but extremely healthy nonetheless. It's also certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and contains zero artificial colors or flavors.
#3 Nature's Path Qi'a Chia, Hemp, and Buckwheat Cereal
Although some say it resembles birdseed, Qi'a cereal (a subdivision of Nature's Path) is chock-full of superfoods. According to Ostrower, "This one isn't technically oatmeal, but it has omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a powerful anti-inflammatory brain food." She recommends it because "It also has zero sugar and salt and is gluten-free." Incorporate this healthy morning mix into your routine as a breakfast cereal or add it to yogurt, smoothies, or another healthy oatmeal brand. It's just the nutritional boost you need to power through the morning grind.
Starting your day off right with a warm bowl of oatmeal can help keep you full and satisfied all morning. It's just one way to keep you focused so that you can power through the rest of your day.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.