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Why Step One Foods' oatmeal costs more than Quaker Oats

Why Step One Foods' oatmeal costs more than Quaker Oats

I’m the first to admit that our products are not the least expensive foods you can buy. Unfortunately, that probably won’t change until insurance starts covering our products as preventive medicine.

But I would like to respond to customers who wonder how our oatmeal could cost so much more than a canister of Quaker Oats.

Remember, all our products are scientifically formulated to ensure that you’re consuming the right ingredients in the right amounts to improve cholesterol levels while eating only 2 servings per day. So, our Blueberry Cinnamon Oatmeal contains 11 ingredients in specific proportions.  

If you wanted to make your own, here’s what you’d have to buy:

  • oats
  • flax seeds
  • dried blueberries
  • dried cranberries
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • raisins
  • chia seeds
  • plant sterols
  • cinnamon
  • Saskatoon berries

    When you examine that list carefully, you can see that the only inexpensive items are the oats and raisins. And while oats and raisins - like all whole, plant based foods - contain plant sterols and are healthy by themselves, we stuff even more sterols into our products to meet the recommended levels for cholesterol reduction.

    So, could you eat a cheaper breakfast of plain oats that’s still healthy? Absolutely. But you probably wouldn’t see anywhere close to the reduction in your cholesterol levels you can see with Step One’s version, even if you ate them every day.

    Also, remember that we’re talking about plain oatmeal here. If you were to compare our oatmeal to packets of instant oatmeal, you’d see far worse nutrition discrepancies. One packet of Quaker Instant Blueberry-Strawberry Oatmeal contains 120 milligrams of sodium and seven grams of added sugar -- and that’s one of their “healthier” flavors. Maple and Brown Sugar contains 260 milligrams of sodium and 12 grams of added sugar!  For reference, Step One’s Blueberry Cinnamon (and Apple Spice) Oatmeal contains no sodium and only 2 grams of added sugars per serving.

    Now, what about steel-cut oats? They are less processed than traditional oat flakes. Whereas oat flakes are made by steaming oat seeds and rolling them under pressure into flakes, steel-cut oats are made by simply slicing the seeds in half. And while I am a huge advocate of whole foods, in this case, “processing” oats into flakes doesn’t change their nutritional profile very much -- although some people do prefer the chewier texture of the steel-cut version.  Steel-cut oats can be more expensive than traditional oats -- and they take longer to cook, but they’re not necessarily more nutritionally advantageous, especially when it comes to cholesterol control.

    Bottom line is that Step One Foods ARE different from other foods that they may resemble.  They are scientifically formulated and clinically validated to yield significant cholesterol reductions in most individuals who use them, and their price point simply reflects the cost of the highly nutritive, relatively expensive ingredients that are present in each serving.  In other words, you truly are getting what you paid for.

    Having said that, we are cognizant of the fact that cost can be a real issue for people trying to eat well.  So even though Step One Foods aren’t available as a prescription…yet some of our clients have had success using FLEX or HSA dollars to pay for our products. Here are the necessary forms to find out if that might work for you.

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