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Oat bran vs Quinoa: How Do They Compare?

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

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on January 22, 2023.

Oat bran and quinoa 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 quinoa 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.


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.

It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin E.

Oat bran vs Quinoa 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 quinoa.

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

Oat branQuinoa
Energy246 kcal368 kcal
Carbs66.2 g64.2 g
Sugar1.45 g1.45 g
Fiber15.4 g7 g
Protein17.3 g14.1 g
Fat7.03 g6.07 g
Saturated Fat1.33 g0.706 g

Oat bran vs Quinoa Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing oat bran vs quinoa for weight loss, oat bran is slightly lower in calories, with 246 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, both oat bran and quinoa 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 Quinoa Protein

Grains and most grain products, including oat bran and quinoa, 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 18% more protein than quinoa.

Oat bran has 17.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oat bran vs Quinoa 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 quinoa.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 3% higher in oat bran than in quinoa. It has 66.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 64.2 grams in quinoa.

That said, 100 grams of oat bran and quinoa contains 1.5 grams of sugar, the same amount.

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

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 quinoa which oat bran offers 7 grams per 100 gram portion.

Oat bran vs Quinoa Fats

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

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

Total fat in oat bran and quinoa:

  • Oat bran: 7 grams per 100 grams
  • Quinoa: 6.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, quinoa is 46% lower in saturated fats.

Quinoa and oat bran contain 0.7 grams and 1.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oat bran vs Quinoa Vitamins Content

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

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 A, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

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

Oat bran and quinoa contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins oat bran and quinoa contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Oat branQuinoa
Vitamin A014 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.17 mg0.36 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.22 mg0.318 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.934 mg1.52 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.49 mg0.772 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.165 mg0.487 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)52 µg184 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E1.01 mg2.44 mg
Vitamin K3.2 µg0

Oat bran vs Quinoa 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 quinoa comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oat bran is a better source of copper, and sodium than quinoa.

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

Oat bran and quinoa contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Oat branQuinoa
Calcium58 mg47 mg
Copper0.403 mg0.59 mg
Iron5.41 mg4.57 mg
Magnesium235 mg197 mg
Manganese5.63 mg2.03 mg
Phosphorus734 mg457 mg
Potassium566 mg563 mg
Selenium45.2 µg8.5 µg
Sodium4 mg5 mg
Zinc3.11 mg3.1 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between oat bran and quinoa.

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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