Hot Cereal Vs Oatmeal: Here’s What You Should Know

Oatmeal is a type of hot cereal. But not all hot cereals are oatmeal. Hot cereals are grains soaked or cooked in warm milk or water to make them palatable.

And there are several examples of hot cereals apart from oatmeal, many of which are made from whole wheat, rice, corn, etc. Hot cereals are great for breakfast, especially during cold mornings or winter. You can also take it as a bedtime snack.

This article contains a detailed comparison between hot cereal and oatmeal.

What is oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a porridge-like meal made from oats. This dish of processed oats grains is made by cooking or soaking raw oats in milk or water.

The oatmeal preparation process involves cleaning, dehulling, kilning, cutting, steam tempering, flaking, and cooling.

The popular oatmeal today is rolled oats. But the most nutritious and healthiest remains steel-cut oats.

What is hot cereal?

Hot cereal is a porridge made with grain. It is any variety of grain-based food that is boiled or cooked in milk or water until it softens. These grains include wheat, corn, oats, rice, barley, and the like.

Prominent examples of hot cereal include oatmeal, cream of wheat polenta, and grits which have existed for ages.

You can make your bowl of oatmeal hearty with dry fruits, nuts, and raisins. Porridge can also be eaten as a savory dish mixed with spices, meats, and vegetables.

Is hot cereal the same thing as oatmeal?

As mentioned earlier, hot cereal is any cooked or boiled grain. It includes cream of wheat made from wheat, buckwheat porridge made from buckwheat, corn meal mush made from corn, etc.

Oatmeal, on the other hand, is made from oats. It’s also a hot cereal that’s boiled or cooked before eating.

In essence, every bowl of oatmeal is hot cereal, but not every bowl of oatmeal is hot cereal.

Is hot cereal good for you?

A healthy cereal is rich in fiber and protein but low in sugar and fat. Hot cereals are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They can also have other nutritional properties like antioxidants and probiotics.

However, the processing of the grains also affects their nutritional value. Moreso, the ingredients vary with brands which also determines their nutritional value.

Whole grain cereals have the bran, endosperm, and germ intact. This makes them very rich in fiber and antioxidants and low in sugar or fat.

Fiber-rich cereals are also known to reduce LDL cholesterol and sugar levels thereby preventing heart disease and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Rolled cereals and cracked grains are not as rich in fiber as whole grains. Nevertheless, they are good sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc.

Keep in mind that some brands may include unhealthy sugars and add-ons making them a less healthy cereal option.

Generally, hot cereals are just perfect as a go-to breakfast favorite on cold days. From quinoa to barley, Kamut, rice, wheat, oats, and corn, hot cereals can come from virtually any type of grain.

Which is better oatmeal and cereal?

Oatmeal is healthier and better than cereal because it has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Although cereals are ready in less time and may taste better than oatmeal, they are coated with unhealthy sugar and additives.

Cereals with colorings and preservatives also have a high glycemic index which spikes sugar levels and causes diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, oatmeal has a high fiber content and is highly filling. This helps to suppress your appetite and keeps you from eating too frequently. As a result, eating oatmeal can help you lose weight.

The soluble and insoluble fiber in oatmeal helps to ease bowel movements and aids metabolism. Eating oatmeal in moderation can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.

Some cereals like Kashi are also rich in protein and fiber, but they are high in sugar which may cause blood spikes.

Although oats have a bland taste, this gives them the advantage to take on the taste of other ingredients you’d love to add to your food.

Is hot cereal better than cold cereal?

Most people prefer cold cereals because they are quick and easy to make and can be eaten on the go. But the problem with these cereals is that most of them have high sugar content.

Hot cereals are much healthier. They contain unrefined whole grains and less sugar.

Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. The quick digestion of cereal with less fiber also means that your body will crave food sooner.

In the end, you may consume more calories than you should per day, creating an unhealthy circle of overeating and exposure to obesity and heart, kidney, and liver-related disease.


What’s the healthiest oatmeal?

Overnight oats are the healthiest of the three types of oats because it is whole grain. The only downside is that it must be soaked overnight before you can eat it.

What can you eat instead of oatmeal?

Other healthy alternatives to oatmeal include brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, and grits.

What is the healthiest cereal to eat?

They include oatmeal, buckwheat, homemade granola, Kashi, and homemade muesli.

Can you eat oats like cereal?

Yes, you can eat oats without boiling or cooking them in warm water or milk. However, dry uncooked oats do not digest quickly and may cause constipation and diarrhea.

Final thoughts

Oatmeal is a hot cereal that’s prepared with warm water. Cream of wheat, quinoa rice, mush, and gruel are some of the popular hot cereals.

The major difference is oatmeal is made from oats while other hot cereal options are made from wheat, barley, rice, buckwheat, corn, and the like.

Additionally, oats are gluten-free, while those wheat-based cereals contain gluten. Therefore, oatmeal is safe and healthy for people with gluten intolerance; hot cereal may not be 100% gluten-free.

I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.

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