Nutritional Facts Comparison: Quaker Quick Oats vs. Instant (2024 Update)

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

Nutritional Differences between Quick Oats and Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been a breakfast staple for many years. While we know that steel-cut and rolled oats are perhaps better in texture and lower glycemic glycemic index, what about the quick oats options, such as Instant Oatmeal and Quick Oats? Let’s dive in and compare their nutritional values.

Quick 1-Minute Oats
Instant Oatmeal – Original
Serving Size:1/2 cup (40 g)1 packet (28 g)
Calories:150 kcal100 kcal
Fat:3 g2 g
Saturated Fat:0.5 g0.5 g
Protein:5 g4 g
Total Carbohydrate:27 g19 g
Fiber:4 g3 g
Net Carb: 23 g16 g
Sodium:075 mg
Calcium:20 mg120 mg
Iron:1.5 mg7.8 mg
Potassium:150 mg100 mg
Glycemic Index:65 (Medium)74 (High)
Ingredient List:Whole grain rolled oatsWhole grain oats, calcium carbonate, salt, reduced iron.
Cooking time (microwave):1 1/2 to 2 minutes1 to 2 minutes
Table 1. Comparing Nutrition Facts of Quick Oats vs. Instant Oatmeal

Comparing Nutrition Facts of Two Quaker Oats: 3 Main Differences

When we standardize the serving size of Quick Oats to 28 gram for ease of comparison, the calories, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, protein content are essentially the same. A closer look at the nutritional facts and ingredient lists also reveals some noticeable differences.

1. Quick Oats Has No Sodium

Quick oats contain zero sodium. This is because quick oats are basically rolled oat flakes and nothing else. Instant oats have added salt.

2. Instant Oatmeal Has More Calcium and Iron

As you can seen on the ingredient list, Instant Oatmeal has been added with extra calcium and iron, while Quaker Oats did not have any extra nutrient fortification.

3. Quick Oats Has Lower Glycemic Index

Processing impacts glycemic index values. In general, the less processed a food product, the lower the glycemic index. This has been exemplified in this case. Instant Oatmeal is usually finely chopped rolled oats, while Quick 1-Minute Oats retains most of the rolled oat shape. When oat flakes are chopped up and grounded, the time needed for digestion and absorption is less, hence increasing the glycemic index values. Quick 1-Minute Oats has a medium GI value ranking of 65, while Instant Oatmeal has a higher GI value of 74.

Our Pick: Quick 1-Minute Oats

Since you are spending money for oats, get the most bang for your buck by getting the quick oats, which contain just oats and nothing else.

Not only does Quick Oats has lower glycemic index and lower sodium, it requires the same amount of time to cook and prepare. If you’d like to get extra calcium, you can easily bump up these nutrients by using milk to cook oatmeal.

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