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All-purpose flour vs Oats: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between all-purpose flour and oats, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the all-purpose flour vs oats comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 30, 2023.

All-purpose flour and oats belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare all-purpose flour and oats and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

All-purpose flour

All-purpose wheat flour (Triticum aestivum) is a type of flour that is made from hard or soft wheat. It is called ‘all-purpose’ because it can be used in various baking applications, including bread, cakes, pastries, and more.

All-purpose wheat flour is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also gluten-rich, allowing it to rise and develop a structure in baking.

All-purpose wheat flour is widely used in baking and cooking and can replace other flours in most recipes. It is also a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes such as bread, pastries, and cakes.

All-purpose wheat flour is not gluten-free and unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It can be enjoyed as a balanced diet combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

All-purpose flour is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Oats (Avena sativa) is a type of cereal grain grown for their edible seeds, also known as groats.

They are a good source of dietary fibers, particularly beta-glucan, which has been linked to various health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels and improving digestion. They also provide a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, iron, and manganese.

Oats are a staple ingredient in many breakfast foods such as oatmeal, granola, and muesli. They can also be used as an ingredient in baking, added to smoothies, and used as breading for meat and fish dishes. Oat flour, made from ground oats, can also be a gluten-free alternative in baking.

Oats are also considered a functional food, as they have been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Oats is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

All-purpose flour vs Oats Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing all-purpose flour vs oats.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of all-purpose flour and oats and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

All-purpose flourOats
Energy364 kcal389 kcal
Carbs76.3 g66.3 g
Sugar0.27 g0 g
Fiber2.7 g10.6 g
Protein10.3 g16.9 g
Fat0.98 g6.9 g
Saturated Fat0.155 g1.22 g

All-purpose flour vs Oats Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing all-purpose flour vs oats for weight loss, all-purpose flour is slightly lower in calories, with 364 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both all-purpose flour and oats can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

All-purpose flour vs Oats Protein

Grains and most grain products, including all-purpose flour and oats, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Oats offers around 39% more protein than all-purpose flour.

Oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while all-purpose flour has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

All-purpose flour vs Oats Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in all-purpose flour and oats.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 13% higher in all-purpose flour than in oats. It has 76.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.3 grams in oats.

There’s less sugar in oats than in all-purpose flour, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of oats contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of all-purpose flour contains 0.3 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in all-purpose flour and oats.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 10.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams, oats is a better source of fiber than all-purpose flour which offers 2.7 grams per 100 gram portion.

All-purpose flour vs Oats Fats

Like most other grains, all-purpose flour and oats are low in fat.

Fats in all-purpose flour and oats are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in all-purpose flour and oats:

  • All-purpose flour: 1 grams per 100 grams
  • Oats: 6.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, all-purpose flour is 83% lower in saturated fats.

All-purpose flour and oats contain 0.2 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

All-purpose flour vs Oats Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of all-purpose flour and oats.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

All-purpose flour has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, oats has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin E.

All-purpose flour and oats contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins all-purpose flour and oats contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

All-purpose flourOats
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.12 mg0.763 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.04 mg0.139 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.25 mg0.961 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.438 mg1.35 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.044 mg0.119 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)26 µg56 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K0.3 µg0.9 µg

All-purpose flour vs Oats Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the all-purpose flour and oats comparison focuses on their mineral content.

All-purpose flour is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than oats.

On the other hand, oats is a higher amount of selenium.

All-purpose flour and oats contain the same amount of fluoride, and sodium.

Check out the table below to learn how all-purpose flour and oats compare when it comes to mineral content.

All-purpose flourOats
Calcium15 mg54 mg
Copper0.144 mg0.626 mg
Iron1.17 mg4.72 mg
Magnesium22 mg177 mg
Manganese0.682 mg4.92 mg
Phosphorus108 mg523 mg
Potassium107 mg429 mg
Selenium33.9 µg2.7 µg
Sodium2 mg2 mg
Zinc0.7 mg3.97 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between all-purpose flour and oats.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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