Oat Bran vs Oatmeal: Which is Healthier?

I’m excited to talk about this topic with you today, but before we dig in, I want to make sure that you are aware of a free webinar I am giving next week with Park Avenue Fitness on inflammation. You can view the details and sign up free here.
Okay so let’s talk about oats! Oats, which are formally named Avena sativa, are a gluten-free whole grain from the Poaceae grass family of plants. Well technically, all grains have gluten (a storage protein), but the gluten that everyone talks about as harmful is found in wheat, rye, barley and anything cross-contaminated with these.
While oats have nutritional value, there are a few reasons why oats are not good for everyone.

First, oat is a grain and thus contains anti-nutrient properties just like other grains, including phytic acid which has been known for stripping your body from absorbing the nutrients in the oats and other foods (zinc, calcium, and iron). Luckily, proper cooking of oats reduces this anti-nutrient.

Second, oat is rich in starch and carbs. Meaning, it can unnecessarily increase your blood sugar level.

Lastly, since oat is a bland food, many people end up adding sweeteners and/or fruit to it, which can further add to blood sugar imbalance, inconsistent energy, and also increase body fat. 

Types of Oats

If you want to eat oats, there are forms that are healthier. You see, oats are available in different forms according to the processing they undergo. The least processed forms take longer to digest, so they have a lower glycemic index (blood sugar measurement) compared to other forms.

  • Oat groats – refer to the dehulled oat grain. They contain the bran, germ, and endosperm. Only the inedible hulls are removed.
  • Oat bran – refer to the outer shell of the oat groat seed.
  • Steel-cut or Irish – oat groats, minus the bran, that has been cut into two or three smaller pieces with a steel blade.
  • Scottish oats – oat groats, without the bran, that has been stone-ground into a meal and yield to a porridge-like texture when cooked.
  • Rolled oats – oat groats, without the bran, that passed through a steam roller and flattened into flakes. Moisture is then removed so they are stable to be stored on the shelf.
  • Quick or instant – oat groats that are steamed for a prolonged period and rolled into thinner pieces. Quick or instant oats are the most processed form, and many brands come sweetened or flavored. 

In summary, the oat bran simply means the outer part of the oat groats, while the oatmeal is the cut, rolled, or instant form of the oat groats. Let’s check out the difference between these two main categories.

Cooking Time

Oat bran cooks faster than oatmeal (2-3 mins).

Nutrition 

Oat bran outshines oatmeal nutritionally.

Take a look at the comparison of their nutritional values in the table below (spoiler alert: oat bran is higher in fiber and protein and lower in starch/sugar and calories than oatmeal). 

 100 grams of oat bran100 grams of oatmeal
fiber15.4 grams10.1 grams
protein17.3 grams13.15 grams
sugar1.45 grams0.99 grams
calories246 calories370 calories

Soluble FiberOat brain also contains more beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has many health benefits. Specifically, the beta-glucan found in oats has been proven to improve cholesterol and LDL levels.

Because oat bran is richer in soluble fiber, you will feel fuller after eating a bowl of oat bran, which can last for 4 hours. However, eating a bowl of oatmeal tends to provide less satiety.

Taste and Texture

With taste, both oat bran and oatmeal taste the same. With texture, oat bran is creamy and mushy while oatmeal is chewy. You can bake with either as well.I hope that this newsletter was helpful to you! It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

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