Oatmeal is not the same as oat bran. They both come from a plant called Avena Sativa, though, which is also known as common oats or cereal oats. However, oatmeal tends to be more processed than oat bran because it goes through additional steps such as being cleaned, hulled, polished, and chopped. Oat bran, on the other hand, is only hulled and crushed — it doesn’t go through a cleaning process because it’s used in its whole-grain form.
So what are some of the differences between these two? It’s best to read this blog post for all of your answers!
Difference #1: How They are Processed
The process of making oatmeal begins by steaming the whole-grain groats (i.e., oat kernels) to soften them, then they are rolled into flakes or steel-cut before being dried and toasted.
Oatmeal is either old-fashioned (rolled oats), quick-cooking (thinner rolled oats), or instant because of how it has been processed; whereas oat bran is made by milling oat groats and then further processing them by grinding, sifting out the coarse outer husk to make a fine bran powder.
Difference #2: What Nutrients They Contain
The most important difference between the two is that oat bran does not contain gluten, while oats do. Gluten can cause inflammation of the intestines for people who have celiac disease.
Oat bran has the most fiber of all breakfast cereals with a 14% daily value. Oatmeal, on the other hand, contains only about half that amount at just around seven percent daily value per serving. However, oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels in your body.
Oat bran contains 3 grams of fiber per serving, while oatmeal only has 1 gram. The reason is that oatmeal is processed and most of the calories come from its carbohydrate content. Oat bran, on the other hand, keeps more of the oat kernel in it which makes up to about 80 percent carbohydrates and 20% fiber by weight.
Oat bran has a much higher concentration of protein than oats do, with 8 grams per serving compared to just 2 grams in oatmeal. This makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans who don’t get their necessary intake from meat products.
Oat bran contains a good amount of B vitamins, including over 20 percent of your daily intake of thiamine and riboflavin, while oatmeal only has small amounts. It is also high in minerals such as calcium and iron compared to oats which have very little nutrients other than carbohydrates.
Difference #3: What They are Used for
Most people use oat bran to thicken soups or stews, but it can also be used in baking. Oat bran has more uses than just being consumed as food. It can also be added to other products such as oatmeal cereals, protein bars, beef patties, and ice cream to make them healthier. Oat bran can be added to yogurt or even baked into breads for an extra kick of fiber.
Oatmeal is typically eaten plain with milk and brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit. It also makes a great topping on pancakes or waffles. But oatmeal has many other uses as well. It can be used to make a paste for homemade play dough or putty, or it can even be added to bathwater for some extra soothing effects!
Interestingly, both can be used as substitutes for breadcrumbs or flour when cooking meatballs or other dishes.
Difference #4: Taste and Texture
Oat bran has a nuttier flavor and thicker texture, while traditional oatmeal is creamier with a thinner texture. The texture of oats depends on how they have been processed and may vary from smooth to coarse.
Oat bran is a little different because, even though it has been processed, there are still some who prefer its original texture and enjoy the crunchy feel of raw oats in oatmeal or other products.
Difference #5: Time to Cook
Oatmeal can be cooked in a matter of minutes, whereas oat bran takes around 20-30 minutes to cook on the stovetop or it may cook up much faster if you use an instant pot pressure cooker (or similar).
Oat bran takes longer to cook than regular oatmeal because of its denser consistency. That’s why it’s more filling — it takes longer to digest — and makes oat bran ideal for weight management.
It’s also possible to buy rolled oats that have been pre-cooked and quick cooking, but they do not have the same slimming and weight management properties of oat bran.
Oatmeal and oat bran are both derived from the same plant, but they’re not quite the same. If you like to cook with oats or eat them every day, you must know how they differ so you can make better choices for your diet.
The key difference between these two products is that you can find them at different places on the grocery store shelf — typically near other breakfast foods for oatmeal but in bulk bins by themselves for oat bran 😉