ZeroPoint™ Cheat Sheet: Oats & Oatmeal
While “zero” usually means “nothing,” at WW, ZeroPoint™ foods are everything! If oats and oatmeal are your ZeroPoint foods and you’ve got some questions, you’re in the right place.
Which foods are included in this category?
- Instant oatmeal, plain
- Oatmeal, plain
- Quick-cooking regular oats
- Quick-cooking steel cut oats
- Rolled oats
- Rolled whole grain muesli (unsweetened, without nuts, seeds, fruits)
- Steel-cut oats
What makes oats so nutritious?
Oats are a whole grain that’s loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A diet rich in whole grains has been linked with a decreased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and improved digestion.
If I add sweetener, nuts, fruit, or other toppings to my oats, are the oats still a ZeroPoint food?
Technically, yes. But you have to count the points for any non ZeroPoint ingredients you add to your oats.
Does it matter if I use instant oats or if I cook my own rolled oats?
Nope! Plain oats—no matter the type—are a ZeroPoint food.
Are oats a ZeroPoint food if I process them into flour?
Unfortunately not. Breakfast grains ground to a flour-like consistency (such as oats ground into oat flour) are not considered ZeroPoints since flour is not a ZeroPoint food.
How can I enjoy oats beyond breakfast?
Oats can add texture and fiber to desserts and baked goods, make a great alternative to bread crumbs in oven-baked chicken and fish recipes, and serve as the base of savory lunch or dinner grain bowls.
Just cooked up a big pot of plain cooked oatmeal. Now what?
Spoon some thick cooked oats into pancake or waffle batter for added texture and flavor, into burger or meatloaf mixture as a binder, or into soup instead of other cooked grains such as rice or barley. (Wondering how you even cook a batch of oats? Decide the number of servings you want to make and use one of the methods here.)
And if you’re tired of sweet breakfast oats, make a savory oatmeal breakfast bowl instead. Top your hot, cooked oats with cooked sausage or eggs, leftover roasted veggies or some chopped grape tomatoes, add a sprinkle of cheese, some seasonings, and fresh herbs. The combinations are endless.
Any other oat-related tips?
Get the most from your oats: toast dry oats to enhance their flavor and then use them as an easy topping for sauteed or roasted fruit. Or use them as a topping in quick bread, muffin, or cake recipes.
If you’ve never had overnight oats, you’re missing out! They’re a super-satisfying, no-cook way to have grab-and-go breakfasts ready for hectic mornings. Learn how to make your own with these easy instructions.
Some of Our Fave Oat & Oatmeal Recipes
Leslie Fink, MS, RD, has worked on WW’s editorial team for more than 21 years. She plays a key role in food, recipe, and program content, as well as product partnerships and experiences.