Oat Bran vs. Rolled Oats

by HEAB on February 11, 2009

A number of you have asked me about oat bran, and if I like it better than rolled oats.  Based on texture alone, I do prefer the oat bran.  It’s creamy and seems to satiate my hunger a bit more.   However, upon examination, there are several notable differences in the nutritional values.  Per 1/2 cup serving of dry cereal, both contain 150 calories and 3 grams of fat.  Listed below are the differences according to Quaker Oats:

Nutritional Values   Oatmeal   Oat Bran
Carbohydrates 27 grams 25 grams
Fiber 4 grams 6 grams
Soluble Fiber 2 grams 3 grams
Protein 5 grams 7 grams
Calcium 0% 2%
Iron 10% 20%
Thiamin 2% 25%
Phosphorus 0% 25%
Riboflavin 2% 6%
Magnesium 0% 20%
Zinc 0% 10%

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that oat bran has a better nutritional profile when compared to rolled oats. Because oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain, it contains the bulk of the dietary fiber, along with a large amount of useful minerals. How exciting…cause I like the oat bran betta. Something else worth noting is the difference in soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber is believed to be responsible for lowering cholesterol, and both cereals seem to lower the numbers equally. So, if you’re looking to lower cholesterol, either cereal will do the trick, but keep in mind that Quaker Oats recommends 3/4 cup serving of dry cereal to get the heart healthy benefits. No problem Mr. Quaker as I love my filling bowls of oats!

Monday’s Brekkie:

Mmm...almond butter soup

Mmm...Nutella Oat bran

In my lovely bowl was 3/4 oat bran cooked with 1.5 cups water and a pinch of salt. I then added a splash of Silk Hazelnut Creamer, 1 TBSP of Naturally Nutty Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanut Butter and 1 TBSP of Trader Joe’s crunchy raw almond butter. Look at that glob of melted goodness! The stats: 468 calories, 28 grams of fat (39%), 71 grams of carbs (47%), and 21 grams of protein (13%). Full for hours. I love you oat bran.

Tuesday’s Brekkie:

Egg White Rolled Oats

Egg White Rolled Oats

I haven’t had rolled oats in a while and thought I should try some in honor of today’s post.  Into the bowl went 3/4 cup old fashioned oats cooked with 1.5 cups water, 2 egg whites, and a pinch of salt.  After they were done, I added vanilla, cinnamon, 1 Stevia packet, and topped it with 2 TBSP TJ’s raw crunchy almond butter.  The stats: 459 calories, 23 grams of fat (42%), 48 grams of carbs (41%), and 20 grams of protein (17%).  The egg whites were for a little extra protein, but I still got more using oat bran.  Another reason I prefer the oat bran is that it does not get that layer of gelatinous goo while cooking like the rolled oats do, and I swear I am more full after a big bowl of oat bran.  Maybe it’s the 2 extra grams of fiber?

As far as price goes, I compared Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran to Bob’s Red Mill Thick Rolled Oats at Amazon.  The oat bran cost 3 cents more per ounce.  Leave it to me to prefer the pricier breakfast.  Either way, you will get a lot more bang for your buck if you choose hot cereals from the bulk bins at your local health food store over a box of cold cereal.  Need some crunch in the morning?  Hello, that’s why you add crunchy nut butter on top!  🙂

How about you my breakfast loving friends?  Have you tried oat bran, or are you a consumer of the rolled variety?  Any Irish steel cut oat fans out there?  So many hot cereal options…what’s your bowl of choice?


pattyjunk25@gmail.com April 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I love oat bran cereal (Hodgson Mill or Trader Joe’s) but I don’t see the point in adding all the extra junk to it… nobody needs that extra sugar and I would not recommend adding it to your breakfast. I add frozen blueberries (pure, without sugar) and cinnamon. Give it a try, the berries are sweet enough!

HEAB April 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I agree. Some days, I prefer my oat bran completely plain. Nothing else required, and it’s delicious. However, sometimes, I need a little something more in my bowl – usually crunch peanut butter. 🙂

Sunnie@moderngirlnutrition April 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

Yum! Thanks so much for this!

HEAB April 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

You’re welcome. 🙂

Craig April 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I find that Oat bran backs me up. Must set like cement in the gut.

HEAB April 2, 2013 at 7:34 am

Hi Craig,
Really? Sometimes if I eat too much at one time, oat bran can definitely feel like a brick in my belly. However, I find if I drink plenty of water, it really helps get things moving.

Ben Blue January 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

Thanks for the distinction. Here’s an oat bran recipe: http://awesomeveganblog.com/2013/01/26/whats-for-breakfast-health-promoting-goodness/

Lauren @ Recipes for a Quarterlife September 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

Kudos to you for this post! I referenced you 🙂


janis gustin June 17, 2011 at 1:45 am

I just started eatting oat bran after years of eatting rolled oats. I found a great recipe to change things up a bit. You actually make a pancake out of the oat bran and they’re great.
2 egg whites beaten until foamy
2 Tablespoons yogurt ( any flavor)
2 Tablespoons oat bran
mix all together and cook like a pan cake for a different texture then just plain cooked cereal for breakfast

HEAB June 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

Well, that sounds easy enough. Thanks for sharing Janice. 🙂

Joe May 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I started using oatbran about a month ago after eating old fashioned oatmeal for decades. I wish I’d found it much sooner because I love it! I actually found it on the top shelf at my local supermarket (all the good stuff is on the top shelf for some weird reason). Now I don’t have to pay shipping from buying it off the web. YEA!!!

Debbie May 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Eating oat bran for the first time tonight….what a delightful surprise! I cannot believe it has taken me 55 years and the Dukan diet to introduce me to this yummy, nutritious cereal!

HEAB May 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm

My blog hits starting going up when the Dukan Diet was on the Today Show. Thank you Kate Middleton. 😉
I’m happy to hear you’ve discovered the oat bran love and better late than never! Definitely my favorite hot cereal. So yummy, thick, and filling. Take care and thanks for reading my blog.

T-Mac April 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Just to let you know that oat bran isn’t just for breakfast anymore! I use it as a thickener for soup, etc. Gives a bit of body without changing the taste like flour or corn starch sometimes do. You will need to experiment a bit to see how thick you want it to be—start with just a bit as it does swell a lot. Also gives a bit more fiber. Thanks for the data — does give us some more mysteries to solve.

Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner January 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Thank you SO MUCH!!! 🙂 I now want to get my hands on some oat bran!! I can’t wait to try it, especially with Almond Butter on it. 😉

AS October 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I hear the phytic acid (phytates) that naturally occurs in all oat bran and oats causes a person not to absorb zinc, iron, and other vital minerals as well. In order to help the body absorb iron, some people advise taking a Vitamin C supplement before eating the oatmeal or bran, or eating something very high in Vitamin C.

By the way, Heather, do you really put almond butter on oats . . . yech. I put salsa on my oats . . . yum. 🙂

HEAB October 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Yes, I’ve read something similar. Interesting, and yes, I put almond butter on everything. It’s my namesake. 😉 That being said, I do love a good savory bowl topped with eggs or cheese and salsa.

Lewis June 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

If you really want to compare the nutritional content:

Oats: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5708/2
Oat bran: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5703/2

You can compare by volume or weight. The default unit of comparison is 1 cup.

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

Thanks Lewis. As far as the oats go, I think you sent me the link for raw oat groats. Here’s the link for rolled oats: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/breakfast-cereals/1597/2. Very useful site!

olen April 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

I recently discovered oat bran and wonder how I could have possibly wasted my entire life on Quaker rolled oats. what a bore. and oat bran cooks so much faster! honey+butter=perfection. a huge bag of organic oat bran from the bulk bin at Whole Foods is so incredibly cheap (and better for the planet) that buying boxed, branded cereal seems unintelligent.

another thing to think about and not really having anything to do with the subject, but I’m writing anyway: there used to be no such thing as “food brands.” that’s a totally recent development. one would just walk to the corner and get a bag of cereal/grains, a cut of meat, a piece of cheese, or a box of eggs. in the past, this was okay, as an egg was an egg and a cow was a cow, but today we now HAVE to use brands to help us navigate product origins so we know we’re not getting GMO or hyper-industrialized food.

lower cholesterol March 18, 2010 at 2:30 am

Can you provide more information on this? take care

cocohw October 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I love your post!!

I just wondering which brand I should choose for oat bran ?

I used to have cold cereals for breakfast and realized its not healthy…

could you recommend me the one you are eating everyday?

I want to eat like you :):)

-from your biggest fan!

Heather Eats Almond Butter October 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Hey Cocohw, My biggest fan, huh? Wow, thanks! I love Trader Joe’s oat bran, but I usually just buy my oat bran out of the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Best deal I can find. Love it so much. If you don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, Quaker makes a decent oat bran. Look it for it in the oatmeal section of your grocery store. Hope you find some soon and thanks for reading my blog. Sincerely, Heather

Rita October 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

My old fashioned quaker oats are not slimey..And there is no goo! Simply bring your water to a boil (I add raisins) and then add your oats. When is boils for a few seconds just put on the lid and let it sit and absorb the water.. 1/2 cup oats to 3/4 cup water for me.
I’m going to try the oatbran but I like the texture of my unslimy oats.

Heather Eats Almond Butter October 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Rita,Yeah, don’t know what my goo problem is. I will try your method although I am loving rice cooker rolled oats these days. So creamy! However, oat bran will always be my favorite. 🙂

healthy ashley April 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Wheat bran is better?!?! Now I really do have to open up my bag of wheat bran at home! Thanks for the simple comparison, Heather!

Darlene February 18, 2009 at 7:14 am

I have been eating oat bran mixed with ground textured vegetable protein (soy based) for a filling, hot breakfast. I purchase both from the bulk bins aisle at my Sunrise Health foods store. I scoop out into bags and buy by the pound for a very reasonable price. Bulk Oat bran costs $1.85lb and textured vegetable protein (ground) costs $1.29lb. Just put about a half cup of each into your bowl with some cinnamon, splash of vanilla or maple flavoring, stevia and pour some boiling water over to rehydrate the protein and cook the bran. Add some unsweetened soy milk and enjoy! I often add some ground flax seed and a bit of Trader Joe’s almond butter for variety.

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2009 at 8:12 am

Thanks for this oat bran recipe! I’ve never tried TVP – I think I should after reading this. 🙂

matt February 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I bought some oat bran today to try out tomorrow!

Elizabeth February 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm

hmmm i’ve never tried oat bran but I’m definitely intrigued! Thanks for putting up the nutrition stats!Your breakfasts look delicious!

Angela February 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Tried oat bran for the first time today because of your blog…adn I LOVE IT! I’m trying a new healthy lifestyle, as I am a freshman in college and gained the dreaded freshman 15! Been working out and even eating almond butter. My recipe was blue agave syrup, oat bran, almond butter and cinnamon.

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 13, 2009 at 7:05 am

Angela, so glad you tried and liked oat bran. Good suff, huh? Your recipe sounds perfect! I think you can kiss that dreaded 15 bye bye. It will be gone before you know it. Just keep filling your body with the good stuff and everthing will fall into place…or fall off I guess I should say. 🙂 Have a good weekend and thanks for reading my blog.

eatingbirdfood February 12, 2009 at 10:06 pm

I just clicked on your blog from Maggie’s and I love it! Thanks so much for the oat bran information. Last time I was at Trader Joe’s I contenplated buying it and decided to put it back, now I wish I had purchased some.

Kelly Turner February 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

too many different oats- i get confused

Kelly Turner

Missy (Missy Maintains) February 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

I have never tried oat bran but I’m sure I would love it too! My favorite oatmeal is Smart Balance but they discontinued it!! Quaker old fashioned oats would be next on my list. I should start broadening my horizons in the oat department!

foodsthatfit February 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

I love any kind of oats, but my favorite is def. Steel Cut Oats. They take a bit longer to prepare, but the seem to keep my fuller longer!

Hangry Pants February 12, 2009 at 12:39 am

I’ve never had oat bran, but I am definitely curious. I like the taste of steel cut oats, but they don’t expand enough for me! I also like Cream of Wheat because it reminds me of being a kid. I just saw they make a whole grain version now, so maybe it’s a bit healthier.

eatingbender February 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Thank you so much for this post, Heather! I’ve actually NEVER tried oat bran before and now I see that I need to get my butt in gear! Once I finish up my gigantic container of rolled oats, I’ll definitely have to hit up my store for some. So cool that it has even better nutritionals.

Honestly, the only hot cereal I’ve tried and loved is rolled oats. But that’s because the only other kind I’ve tried is a multigrain hot cereal…which, to be frank, tasted like *** 🙂 I need to broaden my horizons!

tryingforatri February 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Verrry interesting!! I’ve always been a rolled oats gal myself, but I do occasionally enjoy oatbran, especially with chocolate 🙂 I do have a bag of Bob’s Red Mill in my cupboard, looks like I know what’s for breakfast tomorrow!

Elizabeth (thelongweigh) February 11, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Of course.. right when I am starting to get into oatmeal you have me wanting to try oatbran! That will be the next on my list of breakfasts to try. Those are some great statistics!

Heather (be well & take care) February 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for sharing those nutritional stats! I’ve been interested in trying oat bran, just because I like switching my breakfasts up and trying new things. I think I’ll grab some oat bran from the bulk bins soon and testing it out.

Alicia February 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I used to eat oat bran until the the manufacturer raised the prices and ate oat meal. I really like the texture of oatmeal so that is not a problem.

This morning i ran out of oatmeal so had half oatmeal and oatbran. 😛 This post is so apt. lol

justine February 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Mmmm!! both bowls of oats look yummy! I have been eating old fash. for some time now but picked up some Irish while at TJ. They are good but they take a while to cook so I usually have to make them the night before which stinks. I think I actually perfer the old fash. over them. I have so many oats in my pantry right now but as soon as I run out I am going to pick up some oat bran. Cant wait. Hope you had a lovely day!

P.S. when are we gonna see some of your other meals?


Gina February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

You sure do love your oats!! I’ve never had oat bran, but I’m glad you’ve found something you like so much 🙂

Erin February 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I’ve still never tried oat bran. This makes me think I should attempt it. I just bought a giant canister of oats so it might be a while though! Or maybe I’ll get some for variety. I’m working on that variety thing 🙂
Have a good night!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie February 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I am so confused about the calories in oats. I am not usually a calorie-counter, I was shocked when I read that oats had 600 calories per cup, since I can easily eat a cup on a hungry morning (and it seemed surprisingly high). Where did you see 150 calories for 1/2 cup? Very confused.

I have never thought to eat oat bran like cereal, yum!

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Hey Alisa,
1/2 cup uncooked oats has 150 calories according to the Quaker Oats Website and my box of old fashioned oats. Therefore, if you’re eating 1 cup dry oats, then you’re eating 300 calories. If you’re eating 1 cup cooked oats (1/2 cup dry), then you’re only eating 150 calories. Where did you read oats had 600 calories per cup? I’ve never seen that high of a number anywhere.

Zoe February 18, 2011 at 3:56 am

Sounds like she may be looking at instant package kind, you know, with the added sugars and stuff. That sounds very likely to me- that sugar, as well as the oats being more processed, adds up FAST.

CaptainAK May 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

600 calories is actually the amount in one cup of uncooked whole oat groat, or uncooked steel cut oats.

HEAB May 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Ah yes, thank you.

seeleelive February 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Hi lovely lady 🙂

I am a sucker for bob’s red mill thick cut oats. i am curious about them since they recently just switched the statts on the web from 190 calories to 160. Hm, I am confused. They didn’t switch the serving size. I love bob’s red mill in overnight oats cause they are thick and chewy and i feel like a queen eating them.

i cant wait for my naturally nutty. I ordered some today. Holla holla. Where did you find yours?

that’s what we need. we all need to feel like queens eating breakfast. and lunch, and snacks, and dinner, and after-dinner snacks to keep us satisfied while we dream and then repeat all over again the next day :-D!!

Matt February 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I usually eat Quaker rolled oats or Old Wessex 5 grain cereal. I like the 5 grain the best! Either way, oatmeal is my favorite breakfast. I never eat cold cereal for breakfast; I could probably eat a box and not be full, plus I like something hot in the mornings with my coffee!

I’ll be picking up some oat bran this weekend after reading this post!

Sarah February 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I like nutty and chewy (roly poly oaties) better than mushy and creamy (oat brangelina). But that’s just me.

Course, you could put a big blob of nut butter on a bowl of hot mud and I’d probably eat it.

What’s your take on the steel cut oata? I’ve never tried ’em and the reviews are a mixed bag.

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Sarah, hello my friend. I went through a steel cut oat phase, and I think you would really like them if you’re into nutty and chewy bowls. They take about 20 minutes on the stove-top, but McCann’s brand sells an instant Irish Oats. Never had those. Let me know if you try.

orangepop February 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Thanks for the head-to-head comparison! I’ve always thought I was more satisfied with oatMEAL, feeling NOT as satisfied with the creaminess. BUT, they’re both great! I like lots of texture, so I usually buy 5-grain, or something like that (Quaker has a multi-grain, but I like Old Wessex or Bob’s brands best!). Anyway you eat ’em, oats are grand, but I like what that BRAN has to offer, so maybe I’ll incorporate it more for breakfast! Thanks!

polly February 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

hi sweetie!

My faves are McCanns Irish quick oats or Bob’s Red Mill Oatbran. I go back and forth between my two oat boyfriends. 😉 Love them both, just can’t decide. XOXO

Shelby February 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I love oat bran! I just had some this morning =) Thanks for all the info

Amy February 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

OOOOOhhhhh I love oat bran! I agree that it is definitely more creamy and keeps me full longer as well. Thanks for the nutrition stats!

Erin February 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I LOVE IRISH OATS! Mommy makes them when I go home.
Thanks for doing so much research! I might try oat bran!

Melissa S. February 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

thank you so much for the side by side comparison! i really appreciate it…since i’m too lazy to look up all the info myself. haha. we’re so lucky to have you do it!

and i’m totally willing to try this oat bran…i think i’ve yet to try it because i think i get scared off by the word bran…reminds me of old ladies or something…haha.

but i can’t say i don’t like it until I try it. till i go grocery shopping! can’t wait!

ttfn300 February 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm

who knew that oat bran was better? i’m gonna have to try it like oatmeal 🙂 monday brekkie–FOOD PORN. i would love to swim in that sea of oats and nut butter. i do like steel cut oats too… i don’t descriminate, i like variety 🙂

Anna February 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Yea I stopped eating cold cereal for breakfast awhile ago because it’s so damn expensive! In addition to being less filling AND less healthy (typically- I liked my cereal sugary!)

Bekah February 11, 2009 at 11:58 am

This is so weird! I had oat bran for breakfast for the very first time today! But I’m a little confused about your nutritionals. My box of Hodgson Mill Oat Bran said that 1/4 c of dry oat bran has 120 cals and 6 g of fiber. Which would mean that 1/2 c would have 240 and 12 g of fiber (I know, I’m a math whiz). Where’d you get your info? Wonder which is right?

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Hey Bekah. I got my info. from http://www.quakeroats.com. Hmm, that’s a huge difference…I do wonder which is right. I’ve been using Old Wessex oat bran myself, and according to the canister, 1/2 cup serving has 140 calories and 7 grams of fiber. Seems every brand has different stats. Frustrating. I’ll update my post to say where I got the info. Thanks for pointing this out to me.

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) February 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

Wow, thanks for the side by side comparison! That was super useful, I’d been wondering about the difference. I’ve always used rolled or steel cut, but after seeing the stats on ‘paper,’ I will surely give oat bran a chance.

Despite my love of oats, I changed it up and came up with a quinoa creation for breffast this morning. World = rocked. Oh the little things that make me excited…

Erica February 11, 2009 at 11:19 am

huh! I had no idea oat bran was better! Its totally delicious so I am excited about this. I will have to tell Josh tonight

Beadie February 11, 2009 at 11:18 am

I have never tried oat bran, I will pick some up this weekend!

Kaneil, Balance is Best February 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

Yummmmm! I haven’t had oat bran in forever. Since I am out of oats all together, I will have to pick some up this afternoon. Thanks for the ideas! I’ve never tried egg whites in my oats….seems odd, but I won’t knock it til I try it!

I get jealous every time you mention TJs…I waited for them to come to Nashville for-e-ver and what do you know, they open a week after I moved!

Thanks for all of your amazing comments on my blog. You’re great!!! Any news on the job front?

Kaneil, balanceisbest

p.s…I know they’re not as good for you, but I will always love Cream of Wheat and Malt-o-meal thanks to my southern momma. 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Hey Kaneil, no news on the job front…yet. Thanks for asking!

VeggieGirl February 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

Great analysis!! I love my oats 🙂

Mara February 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

I haven’t had oat bran since it first became popular when I was a little kid. My mom used to make it ALL THE TIME. I gotta try it now!

Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) February 11, 2009 at 10:49 am

Mmm I love both. It’s been a while since I had oat bran so I need to give it a try.

I am LOVING those globs of AB. SOOOO GOOOD. I love when it gets all melty and sticks to your mouth =) Makes me feel like a kid again!

chocolatecoveredvegan February 11, 2009 at 10:46 am

I couldn’t choose. I’ll just have to eat ’em both… you know, to be fair ;o)

Maggie February 11, 2009 at 10:40 am

Thanks for the oat bran info! I’ve actually never tried it… I definitely will though. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

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