Millet vs Oats: How To Choose?

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

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on January 26, 2023.

Millet 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 millet and oats and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Millet (Panicum miliaceum) is an ancient grain that is grown in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Europe.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Millet has a mild and nutty flavor and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour and used in baking. It can also be used as a replacement for other grains in recipes. It is often used in traditional African and Asian dishes and an important food source for people in these regions.

Millet is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), 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).

Millet 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 millet vs oats.

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

Energy378 kcal389 kcal
Carbs72.8 g66.3 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber8.5 g10.6 g
Protein11 g16.9 g
Fat4.22 g6.9 g
Saturated Fat0.723 g1.22 g

Millet vs Oats Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing millet vs oats for weight loss, millet is slightly lower in calories, with 378 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both millet 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.

Millet vs Oats Protein

Grains and most grain products, including millet 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 35% more protein than millet.

Oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while millet has 11 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Millet 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 millet and oats.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 9% higher in millet than in oats. It has 72.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.3 grams in oats.

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

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in millet 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 millet which offers 8.5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Millet vs Oats Fats

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

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

Total fat in millet and oats:

  • Millet: 4.2 grams per 100 grams
  • Oats: 6.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, millet is 42% lower in saturated fats.

Millet and oats contain 0.7 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Millet vs Oats Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of millet and oats.

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

Millet has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

However, oats has a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Millet 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 millet and oats contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.421 mg0.763 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.29 mg0.139 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.72 mg0.961 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.848 mg1.35 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.384 mg0.119 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)85 µg56 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg0.9 µg

Millet 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 millet and oats comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Millet is a better source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than oats.

On the other hand, oats is a higher amount of copper, and sodium.

Millet and oats contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

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

Calcium8 mg54 mg
Copper0.75 mg0.626 mg
Iron3.01 mg4.72 mg
Magnesium114 mg177 mg
Manganese1.63 mg4.92 mg
Phosphorus285 mg523 mg
Potassium195 mg429 mg
Selenium2.7 µg2.7 µg
Sodium5 mg2 mg
Zinc1.68 mg3.97 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between millet 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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