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Brown rice vs Oats: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between brown rice and oats, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the brown rice vs oats comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on January 27, 2023.

Brown rice 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 brown rice and oats and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Brown rice

Brown rice (Oryza sativa) is a whole-grain rice that is minimally processed, retaining its nutrient-rich bran and germ layers.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is particularly high in vitamins B3, B1, B6, and B9 and minerals like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. The high fiber content of brown rice has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels.

Brown rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads, sushi, and other dishes. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Brown rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Brown rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.


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).

Brown rice 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 brown rice vs oats.

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

Brown riceOats
Energy362 kcal389 kcal
Carbs76.2 g66.3 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber3.4 g10.6 g
Protein7.5 g16.9 g
Fat2.68 g6.9 g
Saturated Fat0.536 g1.22 g

Brown rice vs Oats Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing brown rice vs oats for weight loss, brown rice is slightly lower in calories, with 362 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both brown rice 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.

Brown rice vs Oats Protein

Grains and most grain products, including brown rice 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 56% more protein than brown rice.

Oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while brown rice has 7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Brown rice 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 brown rice and oats.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 13% higher in brown rice than in oats. It has 76.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.3 grams in oats.

That said, 100 grams of brown rice and oats contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in brown rice 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 brown rice which offers 3.4 grams per 100 gram portion.

Brown rice vs Oats Fats

Like most other grains, brown rice and oats are low in fat.

Fats in brown rice and oats are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in brown rice and oats:

  • Brown rice: 2.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Oats: 6.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, brown rice is 58% lower in saturated fats.

Brown rice and oats contain 0.5 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Brown rice vs Oats Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of brown rice and oats.

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

Brown rice has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, oats has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Brown rice and oats contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins brown rice and oats contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Brown riceOats
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.413 mg0.763 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.043 mg0.139 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.31 mg0.961 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.49 mg1.35 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.509 mg0.119 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg56 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg0.9 µg

Brown rice 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 brown rice and oats comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Brown rice 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 sodium.

Brown rice and oats contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how brown rice and oats compare when it comes to mineral content.

Brown riceOats
Calcium33 mg54 mg
Copper0.277 mg0.626 mg
Iron1.8 mg4.72 mg
Magnesium143 mg177 mg
Manganese3.74 mg4.92 mg
Phosphorus264 mg523 mg
Potassium268 mg429 mg
Selenium2.7 µg2.7 µg
Sodium4 mg2 mg
Zinc2.02 mg3.97 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between brown rice 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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