Oats vs Wild rice: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between oats and wild rice, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the oats vs wild rice comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 26, 2023.

Oats and wild rice 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 wild rice 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).

Wild rice

Wild rice (Zizania aquatica) is a type of cereal grain that is native to North America, specifically the Great Lakes region and the St. Lawrence River area.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Wild rice has a nutty and slightly earthy flavor and is often used as a side dish or as an ingredient in salads, soups, and stuffings. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Wild rice is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also considered a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in various habitats, including shallow water, and doesn’t require chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Wild rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E.

Oats vs Wild rice 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 wild rice.

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

OatsWild rice
Energy389 kcal357 kcal
Carbs66.3 g74.9 g
Sugar0 g2.5 g
Fiber10.6 g6.2 g
Protein16.9 g14.7 g
Fat6.9 g1.08 g
Saturated Fat1.22 g0.156 g

Oats vs Wild rice Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing wild rice vs oats for weight loss, wild rice is slightly lower in calories, with 357 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both oats and wild rice 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 Wild rice Protein

Grains and most grain products, including oats and wild rice, 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 13% more protein than wild rice.

Oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, while wild rice has 14.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oats vs Wild rice 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 wild rice.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 11% higher in wild rice than in oats. It has 74.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 66.3 grams in oats.

There’s less sugar in oats than in wild rice, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of oats contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of wild rice contains 2.5 grams.

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

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 wild rice which oats offers 6.2 grams per 100 gram portion.

Oats vs Wild rice Fats

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

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

Total fat in oats and wild rice:

  • Oats: 6.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Wild rice: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, wild rice is 83% lower in saturated fats.

Wild rice and oats contain 0.2 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oats vs Wild rice Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of oats and wild rice.

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 B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

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

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

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

OatsWild rice
Vitamin A019 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.763 mg0.115 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.139 mg0.262 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.961 mg6.73 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.35 mg1.07 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.119 mg0.391 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)56 µg95 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.82 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg1.9 µg

Oats vs Wild rice 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 wild rice comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oats is a better source of selenium, sodium, and zinc than wild rice.

On the other hand, wild rice is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.

Oats and wild rice contain the same amount of fluoride, and magnesium.

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

OatsWild rice
Calcium54 mg21 mg
Copper0.626 mg0.524 mg
Iron4.72 mg1.96 mg
Magnesium177 mg177 mg
Manganese4.92 mg1.33 mg
Phosphorus523 mg433 mg
Potassium429 mg427 mg
Selenium2.7 µg2.8 µg
Sodium2 mg7 mg
Zinc3.97 mg5.96 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between oats and wild rice.

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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