Best & Worst

All 25 Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets—Ranked!

Ripping open the wrong bagged breakfast may be throwing your body goals off track.

All 25 Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets—Ranked!
Best & Worst

All 25 Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets—Ranked!

Ripping open the wrong bagged breakfast may be throwing your body goals off track.

Want to make a simple change to your diet that's in your health's best interest? Sub out your bowl of high-sugar breakfast cereal for a packet of oatmeal. It's a no-brainer; consumption of high-fiber oats has been linked to everything from lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, fending off inflammation, and aiding with weight loss. Perhaps the best part, however, is that Quaker has made it easier than ever to add this superfood to your daily routine, thanks to their diverse line of instant oatmeal packets.

Though instant oats are certainly a time-saving solution, not all packets will treat your waistline equally. Many are laden with chemical additives, sugars, and inflammatory oils—not quite the wholesome breakfast you had in mind. That's why we've rifled through the nutrition information from every single instant oatmeal packet Quaker offers and ranked them based on their nutrients and ingredients. Discover which to pick up the next time you visit the supermarket—and if you don't mind venturing out of the Quaker brand, make sure to check out our definitive guide to the 25 Best and Worst Instant Oatmeals!

How We Ranked Them

quaker instant oatmeal lead

There wasn't a large enough difference in calories or sodium between the packets, so we chose not to rank based on these factors. Rather, we focused on fat (the more healthy fats, the better for lasting energy), fiber, and sugar. Points were deducted from offerings high in sugar, as well as those with subpar ingredients like artificial sweeteners or artificial colors.

From Worst To Best…


25

The Worst Instant Oatmeal Packet Is… Weight Control Instant Oatmeal

quaker weightcontrol maplebrown

Per 1 packet (45 g): 160 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (6 g fiber, 4 g soluble fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

It sounds confusing to rank an oatmeal called "Weight Control" dead last, but hear us out. This packet is packed full of additives that may only serve to defeat your body goals. Two of these villains are artificial sweeteners acesulfame potassium and sucralose. According to a recent Cell Metabolism study, consistently consuming artificial sweeteners may recalibrate the connection between sweetness and calories in your brain. Researchers discovered that when mice switched from eating sucralose-sweetened food to sugar-sweetened food, the animals consumed 30 percent more calories. Perhaps a more fitting name for this oatmeal bag is "Weight Out-Of Control."

24

High Fiber Instant Oatmeal

quaker highfiber

Maple and Brown Sugar
Per 1 packet (45 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (10 g fiber, 8 g soluble fiber, 7 g sugar), 4 g protein

Cinnamon Swirl
Per 1 packet (45 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (10 g fiber, 8 g soluble fiber, 7 g sugar), 4 g protein

Like the Weight Control packet that precedes it, Quaker's High Fiber options also have calorie-confusing artificial sweeteners. (Did we mention sucralose has also been connected to decreased sleep quality and poor gut health?) Sure, these packets set you up to get 40 percent of your daily fiber requirements in one serving, but nearly all of that comes from an added fiber called maltodextrin, which now isn't even considered a dietary fiber according to the FDA's updated definition of the nutrient. And rather than acting like many dietary fibers that help to slow digestion, maltodextrin is digested quickly and may actually spike your blood sugar even more!

23

Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal, Apples & Cinnamon

quaker lowersugar applescinnamon

Per 1 packet (31 g): 110 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein

This "Lower Sugar" option ranked more favorably on our list because it still contains some sugar, which means there's less artificial sweetener added to trick your taste buds.

22

Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar

quaker lowersugar maplebrownsugar

Per 1 packet (34 g): 120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein

It's higher in calories than the packet above, but you can attribute that to the larger serving size of three extra grams. Why the difference in weight? Because the Apples & Cinnamon packet is higher in sugar, Quaker makes the serving size smaller. On the other hand, this Maple & Brown Sugar option has an extra three grams of whole grain oats, which are full of healthy fats and protein.

21

Raisins & Spice Instant Oatmeal

quaker raisinsspice

Per 1 packet (43 g): 150 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 14 g sugar), 4 g protein

We've finally moved passed the artificially-sweetened offerings. But just because those 14 grams of sugar you see are from natural sources doesn't mean it's ok to consume that much sugar and carbs in one sitting. For the same reason, there are certain fruits we recommend munching on when you're looking to sustain levels of energy rather than get a quick jolt. For more information, don't miss 25 Popular Fruits—Ranked by Sugar Content!

20

Peaches & Cream Instant Oatmeal

quaker peachescream

Per 1 packet (35 g): 130 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

CAUTION! This Peaches & Cream Instant oatmeal contains an ingredient that has been banned by the FDA! It's called partially hydrogenated soybean oil—aka trans fat—and it won't be allowed in your food starting in 2018 because of the overwhelming evidence it causes cardiovascular problems. Quaker doubles down on the artery-clogging effects by also adding trans fat derivatives mono and diglycerides.

19

Adventure Animals, Strawberry

quaker adventureanimals

Per 1 packet (50 g): 190 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

It may be perfectly packaged for your little one, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice. These Adventure Animals provide some of the highest fat contents—and it's not from good-for-you sources. Rather, it's from hydrogenated palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil—an ingredient implicated in a recent report by the well-respected European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to be more carcinogenic (cancer-causing) than any other oil on the market. That's not something we'd want to feed our kids.

18

Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar

quaker dinosaureggs

Per 1 packet (50 g): 190 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

Expanding on the same sentiments from the Adventure Animals above, these Dinosaur Eggs also contain palm oil, as well as are colored with coal-derived artificial colors. When are food manufacturers going to drop these synthetic chemicals from our kids' food?

17

Strawberries & Cream Instant Oatmeal

quaker strawberriescream

Per 1 packet (35 g): 130 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (2 g fiber, < 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

We're not sure if we're more surprised or amused that there are actually no strawberries in this Strawberries & Cream oatmeal. Instead, the strawberry pieces are actually dehydrated apples that are artificially flavored and artificially colored with Red 40. At least they don't have any trans fat added to them.

16

Blueberries & Cream Instant Oatmeal

quaker blueberriescream

Per 1 packet (35 g): 130 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, < 1 g soluble fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

The only reason this oatmeal ranks higher than the other fruit and cream flavors is because it has one fewer gram of sugar. Otherwise, it's still the same artificially-colored, artificially-flavored, and oil-coated mess as those packets above.

15

Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

quaker applescinnamon

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (4 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

Higher in fiber than the offerings above, we're starting to get on the right track with the following options. However, Quaker still adds inflammatory artificial flavor and potentially carcinogen-carrying caramel color to this Apple & Cinnamon flavor. Be wary.

14

Organic Instant Oatmeal, Maple and Brown Sugar

quaker organic maplebrownsugar

Per 1 packet (41 g): 150 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

You'd think these organic oats would rank higher, but their health food buzzword has no merit here. Organic oats—espeically those that have the natural oils and outer husks removed—do not carry significant health benefits compared to their conventional counterparts. Instead, the label may actually lead you to believe you can eat more of it since it touts the oats' "health" benefits, according to Cornell University researchers. In reality, this packet contains the same amount of sugar as most other Quaker offerings—12 grams.

13

Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal

quaker maplebrown

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

For nearly the same nutrition as the organic offering, these oats come fortified with an array of energizing B vitamins that the majority of Americans are missing out on.

12

Apple & Cranberries Instant Oatmeal

quaker applescranberries

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

It's got nearly identical nutritionals to the two oats above, but this packet gives you a little extra to chew on: cranberries. Experts find that the physical act of chewing actually acts as a satiety cue to your brain that you're eating food, and can help curb your hunger more effectively than just slurping down a mushy bowl of plain oats.

11

Cinnamon & Spice Instant Oatmeal

quaker cinnamonspice

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 11 g sugar), 4 g protein

This is your basic Quaker oats packet of rolled oats, sugar, caramel color, and a touch of cinnamon.

10

Cinnamon Roll Instant Oatmeal

quaker cinnamonroll

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 9 g sugar), 4 g protein

This packet has the same weight as the two above it, but with two to three fewer grams of sugar. That likely means there's more of the good stuff: healthy fat-laden oats!

9

Banana & Maple Instant Oatmeal

quaker bananamaple

Per 1 packet (43 g): 160 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 9 g sugar), 4 g protein

The sugar is slowly disappearing! Pick up this flavor if you don't want to eat any artificial colors or flavors.

8

Honey Bun Instant Oatmeal

quaker honeybun

Per 1 packet (35 g): 130 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 8 g sugar), 3 g protein

Knock another gram of sugar off with this honey bun flavor. You'll be better off with this breakfast than an Entenmann's Honey Bun—one of the 11 Worst Entenmann's Products.

7

Raisin, Date & Walnut Instant Oatmeal

quaker raisindatewalnut

Per 1 packet (37 g): 140 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

We love the addition of walnuts to this oatmeal. The nut is full of polyunsaturated fats: a group of fats that activate genes that reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism.

6

Protein Instant Oatmeal, Cranberry Almond

quaker protein cranberryalmond

Per 1 packet (62 g): 240 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g soluble fiber, 13 g sugar), 10 g protein

Although we would have hoped for less sugar in this packet, the amount of healthy fats and protein will help slow down digestion, keeping any spikes in blood sugar at bay.

5

Protein Instant Oatmeal, Banana Nut

quaker protein banananut

Per 1 packet (61 g): 240 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 g monounsaturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 10 g protein

Although the Cranberry Almond Protein flavor has more fiber, it also has more omega-6-rich vegetable oils than this Banana Nut flavor. Although omega-6s are essential fatty acids, they can cause inflammation when eaten in excess—and Americans are, on average, eating too much of them.

4

SuperGrains Instant Hot Cereal, Apples & Cinnamon

quaker supergrains applescinnamon

Per 1 packet (57 g): 210 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 7 g protein

Made with a delicious blend of whole grains—oats, barley, rye, quinoa, and flax—this super cereal makes the perfect start to your day. It serves up 160 milligrams of ALA: a plant-based, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that fend off inflammation and strengthens heart and brain health.

3

SuperGrains Instant Hot Cereal, Honey Almond

quaker supergrains honeyalmond

Per 1 packet (56 g): 210 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 12 g sugar), 7 g protein

Like the flavor above, Honey Almond contains all the same B-vitamin-rich whole grains, but it edges out the apples and cinnamon version because it's higher in healthy fats because of the addition of almonds. Almonds are not only rich in cardio-protective monounsaturated fats, but they're a top dietary source of anti-aging vitamin E.

2

Original Instant Oatmeal

quaker original

Per 1 packet (28 g): 100 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Packed with protein and with no added sugar, this oatmeal packet serves as the perfect platform for a healthy breakfast. Once you've microwaved it, top it off with some bananas, peanut butter, flax seeds, and cinnamon to spice it up. You can also copy any of these 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes.

1

The Best Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packet Is… Organic Instant Oatmeal, Regular

quaker organic

Per 1 packet (28 g): 100 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g soluble fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

When it comes to Quaker, this is your healthiest classic packet of oats. Its nutrition label is nearly identical to its non-organic cousin listed above, but there's one key difference that set it apart. (And no, it's not that the oats are organic!) This choice shuns caramel coloring: an additive which has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen for humans.