Oats vs Wheat germ: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between oats and wheat germ, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the oats vs wheat germ comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 26, 2023.

Oats and wheat germ 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 wheat germ 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).

Wheat germ

Wheat germ (Triticum aestivum) is a by-product of wheat milling and is derived from the inner part of the wheat kernel.

It is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is particularly high in vitamin E, folate, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat germ is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, and baked goods or as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. It can also be added to smoothies and other drinks for an extra boost of nutrition.

Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains Vitamin E, and Vitamin K in a small amount.

Oats vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ.

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

OatsWheat germ
Energy389 kcal360 kcal
Carbs66.3 g51.8 g
Sugar0 g0.98 g
Fiber10.6 g13.2 g
Protein16.9 g23.2 g
Fat6.9 g9.72 g
Saturated Fat1.22 g1.66 g

Oats vs Wheat germ Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing wheat germ vs oats for weight loss, wheat germ is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both oats and wheat germ 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 Wheat germ Protein

Grains and most grain products, including oats and wheat germ, 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.

Wheat germ offers around 27% more protein than oats.

Wheat germ has 23.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oats vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 22% higher in oats than in wheat germ. It has 66.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 51.8 grams in wheat germ.

There’s less sugar in oats than in wheat germ, 100% precisely.

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

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

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

With 13.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, wheat germ is a better source of fiber than oats which offers 10.6 grams per 100 gram portion.

Oats vs Wheat germ Fats

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

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

Total fat in oats and wheat germ:

  • Oats: 6.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Wheat germ: 9.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, oats is 29% lower in saturated fats.

Oats and wheat germ contain 1.2 grams and 1.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oats vs Wheat germ Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of oats and wheat germ.

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 B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Oats and wheat germ contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

OatsWheat germ
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.763 mg1.88 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.139 mg0.499 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.961 mg6.81 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.35 mg2.26 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.119 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)56 µg281 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg5.9 µg

Oats vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oats is a better source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc than wheat germ.

On the other hand, wheat germ is a higher amount of calcium.

Oats and wheat germ contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

OatsWheat germ
Calcium54 mg39 mg
Copper0.626 mg0.796 mg
Iron4.72 mg6.26 mg
Magnesium177 mg239 mg
Manganese4.92 mg13.3 mg
Phosphorus523 mg842 mg
Potassium429 mg892 mg
Selenium2.7 µg79.2 µg
Sodium2 mg12 mg
Zinc3.97 mg12.3 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between oats and wheat germ.

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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