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Wheat vs Oat - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on August 10, 2021
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Wheat
vs
Oat

Summary

Oat is higher in calories, fats, proteins and has a higher glycemic index. It is richer in phosphorus, copper, magnesium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and folate. Comparatively, wheat is richer in fibers, zinc, selenium, iron, and vitamins B3 and B6. Wheat is cheaper.

Introduction

Oat is a cereal grain that originated in the Near East and then spread to the middle eastern regions and Europe. Oat is usually processed and is available mainly as oatmeal or rolled oats. Oats grow in temperate regions, and the countries with the highest cultivation of oats are Russia and Canada.

Oats are the origin of multiple foods such as rolled oats, oatmeal, oat flour, oat milk, and other foods. In addition to human usage, oats are also used in livestock feeding.

Oats can also be used in beverage preparations; one of the most common usages of oat is the preparation of oatmeal stout, which is a dark beer. Other alcoholic beverages use oats for blending whiskey.

On the other hand, there is wheat, a cereal grain that is considered a staple food. Its origin points to the fertile crescent, and archeologists pinpoint the years of wheat cultivation around 9500 BC. Wheat is an essential part of the Western and Mediterranean diets; it is highly spread worldwide. Wheat provides flour, which is the main ingredient in bread making. This shows how essential wheat is to the majority of the world. One of the most famous types of wheat is the durum. It is high in gluten protein which makes this type of wheat flour perfect for breadmaking and pasta preparations, and this is due to the adhesive property of gluten that keeps the dough together.

Varieties and culinary world

There are different types of oat preparations in the culinary world. Oat is the cultivated cereal grain, and different processes are done on these oats to obtain the following foods: overnight oats, oatmeal, rolled oats, masala oats, and porridge oats.

Overnight oats are a breakfast oat; soaking oats overnight has its digestive and gastronomic benefits. Soaking oats are easier to digest, and it makes the oats softer to eat and absorb more flavors.

Oatmeal is made by crushing oats which makes the preparation of oatmeal easier and reduces the cooking or preparation time of oatmeal to 10 min instead of overnight soaking or hours of cooking of regular oats.

Wheat can be mechanically processed into several other things: flour, semolina, bulgur, and bran. Each can be processed into several other elements like dough, bread, pasta, and breakfast components. Malt, which is used in making beer and whiskey, comes from wheat.

Price

Wheat is cheaper compared to oats. However, in different parts of the world, these prices can vary. In addition to that, the price also varies with the processing done on oats and wheat.

In this article, we will discuss the difference between oat and wheat based on their difference in nutritional content, diet and weight loss usage, and health impacts.

Nutritional content comparison

In this article, we are taking into consideration durum wheat and whole oats. The comparison is based on 100g of each.

An important note is that both wheat and oats are in their pre-cooked stage compared to this article. 100g of cooked wheat or oat is different from 100g of cooked wheat or oat. For the cooking process, the water content and the nutritional values all vary accordingly.

Glycemic index

Wheat has a lower glycemic index compared to oat. Wheat is classified in low glycemic index foods, whereas oats are classified in medium glycemic index foods. It is important to note that the glycemic index of wheat is 50, meaning that it is in the higher margins of the low glycemic index foods.

Calories

Oats are higher in calories compared to wheat. Oats contain 390 calories per 100g, whereas wheat contains 340 cells per 100g.

Carbs

Wheat is higher in carbs compared to oats. It is important to mention that both wheat and oats are high in carbs. Most of their weight is made of carbs than any other macronutrient or water.

Fats

Oats are higher in fats than wheat. Oats contain nearly three times more fats than wheat. However, mostly these fats are unsaturated fatty acids.

Proteins

Oats are higher in protein than wheat. The main protein of oat is avenalin, and the main component of wheat protein is gluten. Gluten content is important for people who have celiac disease or other gluten intolerances.

Fibers

Wheat is highly rich in fibers. Wheat has 34 times more fiber than oat. The fiber content of wheat gives it high health benefits, which are mostly related to the digestive system's well-being.

Minerals

Oat is richer in phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and magnesium. On the other hand, wheat is richer in zinc, selenium, and iron. They are rich in certain minerals that satisfy more than 50% of the required daily value. These minerals are manganese, copper, iron, and selenium.

Below we can see the comparative diagrams of minerals between oat and wheat.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Wheat
2
:
5
Oat
Contains more Calcium +58.8%
Contains more Iron +34.1%
Contains more Magnesium +22.9%
Contains more Copper +13.2%
Equal in Phosphorus - 523
Equal in Potassium - 429
Equal in Sodium - 2
Equal in Zinc - 3.97
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 11% 132% 103% 218% 39% 1% 114% 185%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 17% 177% 127% 225% 38% 1% 109% 209%
Contains more Calcium +58.8%
Contains more Iron +34.1%
Contains more Magnesium +22.9%
Contains more Copper +13.2%
Equal in Phosphorus - 523
Equal in Potassium - 429
Equal in Sodium - 2
Equal in Zinc - 3.97

Vitamins

The vitamin profile of both these is not as rich in content and variability. However, they have their highlights. Oat is richer in vitamins B1, B2, B5, and folate. In comparison, wheat is richer in vitamins B3 and B6.

Below we can see the comparative diagrams of vitamins between oat and wheat.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Wheat
2
:
4
Oat
Contains more Vitamin B3 +601.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +252.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +82.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +14.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +44.3%
Contains more Folate +30.2%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 105% 28% 127% 57% 97% 33% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 191% 33% 19% 81% 28% 43% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +601.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +252.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +82.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +14.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +44.3%
Contains more Folate +30.2%

Diets and weight loss

One of the most important differences between oat and wheat is the presence of gluten. The major protein content of wheat is gluten which gives it its adhesive and sticky property that is important in pasta dough preparation and breadmaking. On the other hand, oat doesn't contain gluten, making oat the gluten-free alternative to wheat. Oat flour doesn't contain gluten which is a good alternative to wheat flour, mostly semolina. However, the gluten-free property affects the process of breadmaking, for example, because gluten is one of the constituents that keep the bread held together and prevent it from crumbling and drying up.

Gluten-free diet

Gluten is the main component of wheat; thus, wheat cannot be consumed in gluten-free diets. On the other hand, oats can be consumed in gluten-free diets and are recommended as optional alternatives to wheat.

Keto

Wheat and oats are high in carbs; thus, they cannot be consumed in keto diets. However, some foods and snacks that have wheat or oats in them can be eaten. It is important to consider the content of wheat or oats, basically the general carb content of these foods—alternatives for either which exist. For example, for wheat or oat flour, almond flour can be used.

Vegan

Wheat and oat can be consumed in the vegan diet. In addition to that, wheat and oat milk are available as alternatives to dairy milk. In turn, each of them comes with their differences in taste, flavor, and nutritious values. However, both are good alternatives to dairy milk.

Health impacts

Digestive system

The consumption of oats has been linked to a greater performance of intestinal microbiota. (1)

Wheat consumption is associated with decreased risks of diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is associated with low fiber intake diets over long durations of time. Wheat husks that have a high fiber content decrease risks of developing diverticulitis. It is important to consider that full-grain wheat with its husk and bran are the optimal source of fibers when it comes to the different wheat varieties. (2)

Oats have similar properties to wheat when it comes to the overall reduction of risks of diverticulitis. In addition to that, it reduces lipid absorption having a health positive effect on overall metabolism. (3)

Diabetes

In patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, blood glucose and cholesterol levels were shown to be lower. Oat is linked to the management of hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia. (4)

Consumption of whole-grain cereals such as oats and wheat reduces the incidence of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to that, it keeps blood glucose and triglyceride levels in control. Fatty acid absorption is reduced in oat-based diets compared to other types of cereal grains. (5)

Cancer

Oats contain beta-glucans; these beta-glucans have anti-carcinogenic properties against lung cancer cells. (6)

Wheat class affects the effect of wheat on risks of developing colon cancer. Whole grain brown wheat has been shown to have protective properties against the development of colon cancer. (7)

Celiac disease

Wheat protein is mostly made of gluten which is what induces inflammation in celiac disease. Thus, it is highly important not to consume gluten for people who have celiac disease. Wheat should not be consumed for people who have celiac disease. (8)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31638148/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26267774/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15471177/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26690472/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32641435/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28756506/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24820704/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6647104/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: August 10, 2021

Infographic

Wheat vs Oat infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Wheat Oat
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Wheat Oat Opinion
Net carbs 71.13g 55.67g Wheat
Protein 13.68g 16.89g Oat
Fats 2.47g 6.9g Oat
Carbs 71.13g 66.27g Wheat
Calories 339kcal 389kcal Oat
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar g g
Fiber g 10.6g Oat
Calcium 34mg 54mg Oat
Iron 3.52mg 4.72mg Oat
Magnesium 144mg 177mg Oat
Phosphorus 508mg 523mg Oat
Potassium 431mg 429mg Wheat
Sodium 2mg 2mg
Zinc 4.16mg 3.97mg Wheat
Copper 0.553mg 0.626mg Oat
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Vitamin E mg mg
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.419mg 0.763mg Oat
Vitamin B2 0.121mg 0.139mg Oat
Vitamin B3 6.738mg 0.961mg Wheat
Vitamin B5 0.935mg 1.349mg Oat
Vitamin B6 0.419mg 0.119mg Wheat
Folate 43µg 56µg Oat
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K µg µg
Tryptophan 0.176mg 0.234mg Oat
Threonine 0.366mg 0.575mg Oat
Isoleucine 0.533mg 0.694mg Oat
Leucine 0.934mg 1.284mg Oat
Lysine 0.303mg 0.701mg Oat
Methionine 0.221mg 0.312mg Oat
Phenylalanine 0.681mg 0.895mg Oat
Valine 0.594mg 0.937mg Oat
Histidine 0.322mg 0.405mg Oat
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 0.454g 1.217g Wheat
Monounsaturated Fat 0.344g 2.178g Oat
Polyunsaturated fat 0.978g 2.535g Oat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Wheat Oat
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
37
Wheat
33
Oat
Mineral Summary Score
100
Wheat
112
Oat

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
82%
Wheat
101%
Oat
Carbohydrates
71%
Wheat
66%
Oat
Fats
11%
Wheat
32%
Oat

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Wheat
Wheat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.763g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Wheat
Wheat is lower in glycemic index (difference - 9)
Which food is cheaper?
Wheat
Wheat is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Oat
Oat is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar ( g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (2 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Wheat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169721/nutrients
  2. Oat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169705/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.