Oat bran vs Oats: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between oat bran and oats, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the oat bran vs oats comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 22, 2023.

Oat bran 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 oat bran and oats and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Oat bran

Oat bran, a by-product of oat milling, is derived from the outer layer of the oat grain (Avena sativa).

It is a good source of dietary fibers, especially beta-glucan, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds that help to lower cholesterol, aid in digestion, and improve heart health.

Oat bran also contains a significant amount of minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese, as well as B-vitamins like niacin, thiamin, and vitamins E and K.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, breads, and other baked goods, and also can be used as a thickener for soups, stews, and sauces.

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

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


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).

Oat bran 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 oat bran vs oats.

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

Oat branOats
Energy246 kcal389 kcal
Carbs66.2 g66.3 g
Sugar1.45 g0 g
Fiber15.4 g10.6 g
Protein17.3 g16.9 g
Fat7.03 g6.9 g
Saturated Fat1.33 g1.22 g

Oat bran vs Oats Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing oat bran vs oats for weight loss, oat bran is slightly lower in calories, with 246 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both oat bran 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.

Oat bran vs Oats Protein

Grains and most grain products, including oat bran 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.

Oat bran offers around 2% more protein than oats.

Oat bran has 17.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oat bran 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 oat bran and oats.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 0% higher in oats than in oat bran. It has 66.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.2 grams in oat bran.

There’s less sugar in oats than in oat bran, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of oats contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of oat bran contains 1.5 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in oat bran and oats.

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

With 15.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, oat bran is a better source of fiber than oats which oat bran offers 10.6 grams per 100 gram portion.

Oat bran vs Oats Fats

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

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

Total fat in oat bran and oats:

  • Oat bran: 7 grams per 100 grams
  • Oats: 6.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, oats is 8% lower in saturated fats.

Oats and oat bran contain 1.2 grams and 1.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oat bran vs Oats Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of oat bran and oats.

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

Oat bran has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, oats has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Oat bran 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 oat bran and oats contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Oat branOats
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.17 mg0.763 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.22 mg0.139 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.934 mg0.961 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.49 mg1.35 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.165 mg0.119 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)52 µg56 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E1.01 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K3.2 µg0.9 µg

Oat bran 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 oat bran and oats comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oat bran is a better source of copper, and zinc than oats.

On the other hand, oats is a higher amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and sodium.

Oat bran and oats contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Oat branOats
Calcium58 mg54 mg
Copper0.403 mg0.626 mg
Iron5.41 mg4.72 mg
Magnesium235 mg177 mg
Manganese5.63 mg4.92 mg
Phosphorus734 mg523 mg
Potassium566 mg429 mg
Selenium45.2 µg2.7 µg
Sodium4 mg2 mg
Zinc3.11 mg3.97 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between oat bran 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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