Difference Between Oat Bran and Oatmeal (With Table)

Oats to the whole-grain food whose scientific name is Avena sativa. Oats are a popular type of breakfast, most commonly had with milk. The most intact form of oats is Oat Groat. However, it takes a lot of time to cook. Hence people prefer other forms such as Oat Bran and Oatmeal.

Oat Bran vs Oatmeal

The difference between Oat Bran and Oatmeal is that Oat Bran has more nutritional value than Oatmeal. Hence Oat Bran is more healthy. They are both popular forms of oats and seem quite similar. However, they are both different in so many ways, from their appearance to their taste and nutritional value. 

Oat bran refers to a piece of the oat grain. Oat grains are processed for removal of the exterior body of the grain, which is inedible. This results in leaving the oat groat behind, making the oat bran the outer layer of the oat groat kernel (the edible grain).

Oatmeal is another popular type of breakfast. It is prepared by adding oats to a bowl of milk or boiling them in water. It’s also popularly referred to as Porridge. Oatmeal is also included in other dishes like cakes and muffins. They have fiber and other ingredients that make them nutritious.

Comparison Table Between Oat Bran and Oatmeal

Parameters of ComparisonOat BranOatmeal
FiberIn comparison, it contains more fiber; dietary fiber- 6g, soluble fiber- 3g, insoluble fiber- 3g.In comparison, it contains less fiber; dietary fiber- 4g, soluble fiber- 2g, insoluble fiber– 0.
AbsorptionIn comparison, it absorbs more water.In comparison, it absorbs less water.
AntioxidantsIn comparison, it has more antioxidants; protein- 7g, iron- 15%, thiamin- 25%, phosphorus-25%, riboflavin- 6%, magnesium- 20%, and zinc- 10%.In comparison, it has less antioxidants; protein- 5g, iron- 8%, thiamin- 10%, phosphorus- 15%, riboflavin- 0, magnesium- 10%, and zinc- 0.
TextureIts texture is creamy and mushy. Its texture is harder and needs to be chewed more. 
Cooking timeIt takes less cooking time.It takes more cooking time.

What is Oat Bran?

The piece of oat grain which is left behind after being processed for the removal of the inedible body is called Oat bran. The processing leaves behind the oat groat. And the outer layer now is the oat bran. Oat groat kernel is the edible portion that is hidden beneath the oat groat. The oat bran appears as steel-cut or rolled oats. It is very simple to add oat bran to your diet. At the same, it is also very healthy. Oat bran is considered to be healthy primarily due to its content being rich in fiber and antioxidants. 

Oat bran contains soluble fiber. On regular intake of oat bran, it can improve your gut health. It also provides relief to reduce constipation and IBS. It also enhances probiotic bacteria. It also reduces the risk of having colon cancer. Beta Glucan is a soluble fiber that is said to lower cholesterol. This is another soluble fiber in Oat bran. Regular consumption of oat bran also has proven to provide protection against other diseases. It is because it also contains antioxidants. The fiber contained in the oat bran makes a person feel fuller for longer durations. This helps the individual in eating ess and thus managing weight. 

What is Oatmeal?

Oatmeal refers to an oat porridge that is made from the ground, steel-cut, or rolled oats. Coarse oatmeal is another popular word for oats which are steel cut. Many commercial packets of oats also contain other ingredients. These ingredients include sugar, salt, flavorings, thickeners, vitamins, or minerals. Different types of rolled oats can be eaten cooked or uncooked.

Example Muesli can be added to milk to make porridge or cooked with water. Popularly it is preferred to add rolled oats to milk along with some dry fruits and honey for breakfast. Sometimes Oatmeal also is used in reference to the porridge, which is made using Oat bran.

These are also key ingredients in granola bars. Oatmeal, like other oat products, has a wide range of nutritional benefits. These health benefits include improving digestion and gut health, lowering cholesterol, weight management, controlling blood sugar, provision of minerals and antioxidants, and lowering the risk for diabetes and also heart diseases. Because oatmeal is the form of oats that are rolled and then cut, they can be cooked faster than other forms. Oatmeal is also a whole grain that is gluten-free. It also stands as a source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Main Differences Between Oat Bran and Oatmeal

  1. In comparison, Oat Bran contains more fiber; dietary fiber- 6g, soluble fiber- 3g, insoluble fiber- 3g. In comparison, Oatmeal contains less fiber; dietary fiber- 4g, soluble fiber- 2g, insoluble fiber- 0.
  2. In comparison, Oat Bran absorbs more water. In comparison, Oatmeal absorbs less water.
  3. In comparison, Oat Bran has more antioxidants; protein- 7g, iron- 15%, thiamin- 25%, phosphorus-25%, riboflavin- 6%, magnesium- 20%, and zinc- 10%. In comparison, Oatmeal has less antioxidants; protein- 5g, iron- 8%, thiamin- 10%, phosphorus- 15%, riboflavin- 0, magnesium- 10%, and zinc- 0.
  4. Oat Bran’s texture is creamy and mushy. Oatmeal’s texture is harder and needs to be chewed more.
  5. Oat Bran takes less cooking time. Oatmeal takes more cooking time.

Conclusion

Oats are one of the healthiest foods in this world. However, the direct consumption of oats is difficult and also not recommended. Over the years, oats have proven to provide a wide range of health benefits. The most popular forms of oats are Oat Bran and Oatmeal. Oat Bran and Oatmeals are like siblings. They both have similar contents and provide similar benefits. However, oat bran is slightly more nutritional than oatmeal.

The consumption of these two forms of oats differs from the choice of individuals. Some prefer to eat it with milk, and some find different ways to incorporate oats into their diets. Oats can be consumed daily but in restricted quantities. Overconsumption of oats can have adverse effects.

References

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/385568
  2. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2018/fo/c7fo01768e
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