It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Is it OK to eat uncooked oats?

Lately I find myself eating my oats straight out of the box without cooking them. Are there any health benefits from doing so or are there any preservatives that must necessarily render the oats healthier if they are cooked? I really enjoy eating the dry oats so I'd appreciate your view on this.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

There should be no problem with you eating uncooked oats. In a way, these have already been cooked. Rolled oats are steamed in the process of getting them into that round cardboard box. There are no preservatives in most such products.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet