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Oats vs Rye grain: What’s The Difference?

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

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 26, 2023.

Oats and rye grain 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 oats and rye grain and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


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).

Rye grain

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain that is closely related to wheat and barley.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins like niacin and folate, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The high fiber content of rye grain has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique type of dietary fiber called arabinoxylan, which has been shown to have a prebiotic effect on gut health.

Rye grain is commonly used in bread making and traditional dishes such as rye porridge and crisp bread. It can also be milled into flour and used in baking or cooked and eaten as a side dish.

Rye grain is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), 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 E, and Vitamin K.

Oats vs Rye grain Nutrition

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

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

OatsRye grain
Energy389 kcal338 kcal
Carbs66.3 g75.9 g
Sugar0 g0.98 g
Fiber10.6 g15.1 g
Protein16.9 g10.3 g
Fat6.9 g1.63 g
Saturated Fat1.22 g0.197 g

Oats vs Rye grain Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rye grain vs oats for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

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

Oats vs Rye grain Protein

Grains and most grain products, including oats and rye grain, 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 rye grain.

Oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oats vs Rye grain 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 oats and rye grain.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 13% higher in rye grain than in oats. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.3 grams in oats.

There’s less sugar in oats than in rye grain, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of oats contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of rye grain contains 1 grams.

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

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

With 15.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, rye grain is a better source of fiber than oats which offers 10.6 grams per 100 gram portion.

Oats vs Rye grain Fats

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

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

Total fat in oats and rye grain:

  • Oats: 6.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Rye grain: 1.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, rye grain is 83% lower in saturated fats.

Rye grain and oats contain 0.2 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oats vs Rye grain Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of oats and rye grain.

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

Oats has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Oats and rye grain contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

OatsRye grain
Vitamin A011 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.763 mg0.316 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.139 mg0.251 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.961 mg4.27 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.35 mg1.46 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.119 mg0.294 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)56 µg38 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg5.9 µg

Oats vs Rye grain 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 oats and rye grain comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oats is a better source of potassium, and selenium than rye grain.

On the other hand, rye grain is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Oats and rye grain contain the same amount of fluoride, and sodium.

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

OatsRye grain
Calcium54 mg24 mg
Copper0.626 mg0.367 mg
Iron4.72 mg2.63 mg
Magnesium177 mg110 mg
Manganese4.92 mg2.58 mg
Phosphorus523 mg332 mg
Potassium429 mg510 mg
Selenium2.7 µg13.9 µg
Sodium2 mg2 mg
Zinc3.97 mg2.65 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between oats and rye grain.

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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