Nutrition Misconceptions: Instant Oats, Yogurt Spoilage and Raw Versus Cooked

A girl that I go to school with who has an awesome blog recently shared a post in which she debunked a few myths that she too used to think to be true. It made me realize how many ‘aha moments’ of my own I’ve had since starting school and how exciting they are to have happen.

We get nutrition information thrown at us from every direction; some of it credible, and some of it very much NOT. It can be really tough and time-consuming to sort through it all and separate fact from fiction. Believe me, I get it. I’m the last person to pass judgement when I hear people making nutrition statements that aren’t particularly founded because I myself have been guilty of doing so many times and probably still hold many misconceptions that I will discover to be untrue as I continue learning.

I thought it would be fun to start a new little series in which we discuss some of these confusing nutrition topics that are easily misunderstood. I’m really excited to have this blog to document some of the interesting things I learn as I learn them. Almost like live TV but cuter. ha.

I’ve heard these three things many times just in the last few months alone so I thought it was a good time to shed some light on them. I would love to hear from you if you have any topics that you would like to see addressed!

1. Quick-cooking oats are less nutritious 

Up until pretty recently, I totally had it in my mind that the longer-cooking the oats, the better for me they must be. I stood at the stove each morning cooking my steel-cut porridge for ages thinking that it was the only way to go. So when I realized that in reality, all forms of oats contain the whole grain (even instant!), I was pretty darn excited.


Here’s a quick rundown for my fellow oatmeal nerds who are interested in this stuff! Oats are formed of a husk (the outer shell) and a groat (the inner kernel). During processing, they remove the husk and heat the groats, and the result is steel-cut oats. Some of those go away for retail, and others are kept to be steamed and cut to various sizes, which we knows as rolled and quick-cooking oats. So while the extra processing required for rolled and instant oats may be a turn-off for some, no part of the grain is ever removed or discarded. And the proof is really in the pudding: go compare the nutrition labels of steel-cut, rolled and instant oats and feel free to do a little happy dance when you see that they’re identical. P.s. This is a more detailed explanation of the processing procedure!

I am now in the rolled oats camp and love the time it saves in the morning so that I have extra time to put on three more coats of mascara than I need. Priorities.

2. Yogurt and sour cream last a long time before spoiling 

I suspect that this perception comes from the fact that many people know that yogurt is teeming with probiotics. “Do I really have to worry about it spoiling when it’s already full of bacteria?!” But sadly… yes you do. The real problem with products like buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream is they’re favourable environments for the growth of yeasts (source). I was pretty shocked to learn that Health Canada recommends only keeping yogurt for THREE DAYS after it’s been opened.


3. All foods are healthier when eaten raw  

With the recent sweep of the raw food craze, I can definitely understand why some people would be under the impression that raw is better and that no foods benefit from cooking. I have some issues with the raw food diet that perhaps deserve a post of their own but in short, while some nutrients definitely suffer from exposure to heat, others benefit. The lycopene from tomatoes, for instance, is more bioavailable to us when it’s cooked. All this to say that cooking is not something black and white so I think we should avoid making blanket statements about it.


There you have it, folks. Hope you learned a thing or two!

I apologize for my absence this week. It’s been a busy (but great) one. I’ll be back on Monday with a little recap of my final weekend before school and have some fun posts planned for next week. Hope you have a wonderful end-of-week!

Have you had any nutrition ‘aha moments’ lately? Was any of this information new to you? 

11 thoughts on “Nutrition Misconceptions: Instant Oats, Yogurt Spoilage and Raw Versus Cooked

  1. Rolled oats are definitely my favorite. Though instant are great for overnight oats!
    Very interesting about the yogurt. I always tend to not worry too much about spoilage until I see mold, which I know is not the safest method! I think when I have babies I’ll decided to be less of a risk taker and not keep my yogurt for a week :).


  2. Great informative post! I have to also join the ‘confused about oats’ people group – thanks for clarifying on this. Such a simple everyday staple food and there can still be myths around it! On the other side, I am still keeping my jumbo oats as I like the texture a little bit better than rolled oats…


  3. Great, informative post! I have to join the ‘confused about oats’ people group – thanks for clarifying on this. Such an everyday staple food but there still can be myths around it! However, I am still keeping my jumbo oats as I like the texture of them better than rolled oats..


  4. Pingback: Nutrition Misconceptions: Sea/Table Salt, Tea After Meals and Tortillas Vs. Pitas | Jack's Balancing Act

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