When it comes to making breakfast in the morning, oatmeal is a great option. It's healthy, adaptable, and can be topped with just about anything. When you're in a hurry, instant oats are a great substitute for steel-cut or regular rolled oats. There are tons of instant oatmeal cups and packets that only require the addition of a little water and take less than three minutes to make.

However, many of these pre-packaged oats contain a lot of added sugar for flavor. While these instant oatmeals can taste great, you're more likely to be hungry in an hour when your breakfast is filled more with sugar rather than with protein and healthy fats. Luckily, there are instant oatmeal options that are quick and nutritious. To help you navigate the oats aisle more easily, here are five of the healthiest instant oatmeals you can buy.

1. Bob's Red Mill Classic Oatmeal Cup

At this point, Bob's Red Mill makes pretty much any grain or baking ingredient you can think of, so this includes a lot of oatmeal options. However, many flavors include upwards of 8 grams of added sugar, which translates to 2 teaspoons. Instead, choose the classic oatmeal cup (also available gluten-free), which only has four ingredients and includes chia and flaxseed, so you won't be left hungry in an hour. It won't be as flavorful as the sugar-filled options, but this is the perfect excuse to go crazy with toppings, like nut butter and fresh fruit .

2. Purely Elizabeth Raspberry Pitaya Vibrant Oat Cup

Purely Elizabeth is a brand best known for using few ingredients and lots of creative flavors of gluten-free and vegan granola, like blueberry hemp and coconut cashew. However, the brand recently came out with new oatmeal cups that are as delicious as they are colorful. The raspberry pitaya flavor contains only 6 grams of sugar and has 9 grams of protein, making it an ideal way to start off the day. The cup also comes with its own small serving of original ancient grain granola as a topping, making it an all-in-one.

3. Right Foods Dr. McDougall's Stay Full Organic Apple Flax

Pazit Schrecker

Apple Cinnamon is a classic combination, but when it comes to instant oatmeal cups the flavor is often accompanied by lots of sugar. Right Foods is ahead of the curve with these new oatmeal cups that have a sugar packet inside so that you can choose how much added sugar is in your breakfast – if you want to add any at all. The apple pairs perfectly with walnuts that add some crunch and healthy fats. 

4. Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cups

While a lot of flavored instant oatmeals are packed with sugar, Trader Joe's sells cups that have only 6 grams of sugar, much of which is naturally occurring. This option also isn't lacking in flavor, as it's made with dried cherries, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds and contains 9 grams of protein.

5. Quaker Organic Instant Oatmeal Packets

Pazit Schrecker

When you think of instant oatmeal, Quaker is probably the first brand you think of. Quaker oats are something of an icon, and the brand produces a lot of instant oatmeal options as well, most of which have sugar as the second ingredient. If you want to stay classic, get the original oat packets, which are free of added sugar. They don't have anything in them, so be sure to add some toppings. It's pretty hard to beat the classic combination of dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana.

Hopefully this was helpful in your choice of quick breakfast options. You can still get creative with your instant oats by topping them with healthy fats, fresh fruit, and protein. If you want to get even more creative with a cup of instant oats, you can transform them with flavors of zucchini bread, carrot cake, and powdered peanut butter.