Choosing healthy food

Can You Eat Raw Oats or Oatmeal?

Can You Eat Raw Oats or Oatmeal?

For anyone wanting to improve their health by changing their diet, the consumption of oats will likely have crossed your mind. This is because oats are both naturally nutritious, as well as free from additives which can do more harm than good. They can be used as an alternative to many wheat-based ingredients and are incredibly versatile in their own right. A super cereal, they are often used with milk for morning cereals. They are increasingly popular in baking and their flavor profile can mix with so many others.

Although they have been eaten for millennia, they had fallen out of favor for a long time. Now they are back, many are wondering the best way to eat them. Specifically, they may ask can you eat raw oats or oatmeal? oneHOWTO not only answered this question, but shows you how you can make the most of oats.

  1. Can you eat raw oats?
  2. Is it better to eat raw or cooked oats?
  3. Benefits of oats and oatmeal
  4. How to prepare oatmeal

Can you eat raw oats?

What we call raw oats are not actually completely raw. This is because they have been heated to a certain degree after being harvested, usually when sold as rolled oats. The reason we think of them as raw is because they aren't cooked as they are in porridge or some similar dish.

We can eat oats raw. They do not have anything which will cause us harm and provide very high levels of nutrition. However, this doesn't mean raw is the best way to eat oats.

Is it better to eat raw or cooked oats?

One of the most popular and delicious recipes with oatmeal is the famous porridge. This dish is prepared hot, usually with milk and various toppings. Fruit and nuts are common, but it is also possible to eat it with more savory ingredients.

Porridge oats are full of nutrients and vitamins. It is a very comforting dish, but is also great at providing you with the energy you will need for the rest of the day. This is one reason they are commonly eaten for breakfast. For many people, the fiber it offers is also helpful in starting the day. Some ask, are these benefits best provided in raw oats or cooked oats?

While you can eat oats raw from the packet, soaked in water or with milk. However, as we stated above, if you buy a packet of oatmeal or rolled oats, it has been partially cooked to make it consumable. Completely raw oats would be very hard for us to digest. In saying this, partially cooked oats are often harder for us to digested than after cooking.

By making them into a dish such a porridge or any other oat-based meal, we can make them easier to digest. We will still get the benefit from their nutritional value. Also, if we eat raw oats, they will expand in size in our stomach and digestive tract. If this occurs, it can make us bloated and cause some indigestion. However, they are unlikely to do us significant harm.

Finally, raw oats contain the anti-nutrient phyctic acid. This can make it difficult to absorb certain minerals. If we cook the oats, the phctic acid is broken down. However, the amount and effect the phyctic acid has on our body is negligible if we have a healthy and varied diet.

If you do choose to eat your oats raw, check out our article on how to eat raw oats.

Benefits of oats and oatmeal

As we have stated above, oats are one of the most complete and nutritious foodstuffs. If you want to have a suitable and healthy diet, you must include it throughout the week. Here we leave you a list of some of the great benefits of oats:

  • Blood control: in addition to being a food that does not provide any sugar, its composition of soluble fiber helps reduce the amount of sugar in our blood. In turn, this helps our stomach to slow down digestion and reduce the percentage of sugar in our body, making it a perfect food for people with diabetes.
  • Weight loss: precisely because of this type of soluble fiber, our stomach helps to manage metabolism better and the feeling of satiety is prolonged. This can reduce our appetite in general, helping us to control our weight.
  • Energy: oatmeal is an ideal food to take in the morning, since it gives us a lot of energy and many nutrients which can last us until lunch time. It is also a great option if you have to do some sport or physical exertion.
  • Cholesterol: its high fiber content makes it an antioxidant food that, in turn, cleanses us from the inside, preventing or reducing cholesterol in our arteries.
  • Digestion: insoluble fiber is also found in oats. We emphasize that it is ideal for the digestive system, since it is capable of collecting water from our body, making our digestions lighter and better lubricating our digestive system.

Oatmeal, therefore, is a very special food. Unless we have an oat intolerance, it is worth including it in our diet. Of course, we must do it within measure and using common sense. If we eat oatmeal every day in large quantities, we can run the risk of consuming more fiber than necessary. This can be counterproductive to our health.

Can You Eat Raw Oats or Oatmeal? - Benefits of oats and oatmeal

How to prepare oatmeal

This cereal is very versatile. It can be used as an ingredient in baking, even being milled as oat flour. This can be a great alternative to wheat flour recipes and be used in oat and banana pancakes. However, the most classic way to prepare oatmeal is in porridge, which you can see how to prepare here:

  1. Put milk or water in a saucepan at a ratio of 1:2 oats to liquid and heat.
  2. When it starts to boil, add the whole oatmeal flakes and let them cook for 5 minutes, stirring them so that they do not stick to the bottom.
  3. At this point, we can add more milk to give it creaminess, a tablespoon of sugar or sweeteners and a few drops of vanilla essence.
  4. Once served in a bowl, add pieces of banana, walnuts and cinnamon to taste.

This is one of the most basic porridge recipes and uses a sweet touch. However, if you want to add some salt, this can be just as delicious. You can even turn it into a dessert and add chocolate, but bear in mind this may counteract the health benefits. If you wanted to have even more oaty-goodness, you can see how to make oat milk at home.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can You Eat Raw Oats or Oatmeal?, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.


  • Once the oatmeal is cooked, it is advisable to consume it immediately since this cereal absorbs water quickly and can be very dry.
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1 comment
I have been eating breakfast porridge for many years, I love it. And lately I have been suggested to soak the flakes overnight, by doing that it becomes too mushy, after being cooked in the morning...what is that I'm doing wrong?
I would very much appreciate any suggestion. Thanks.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Elena,

If you are soaking them overnight AND heating them on the stove, then it is likely the oats will turn completely mushy. Generally it is best to do one or the other.
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Can You Eat Raw Oats or Oatmeal?