Oats vs Rice: (Nutrition Comparison Data)


Oats and rice are both cheap and delicious grains, so let’s find out which one is healthier.

We’ll look at the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals of both foods side-by-side here.

Note that all data is per 100 gramsof dry food. For some reason, I couldn’t find data for cooked oats in the USDA food database, so we’ll have to do a dry comparison. It should still be fairly accurate since they soak up a similar amount of water.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Oats and Rice

Let’s start with the macronutrient profiles.

Divide by about 3 if you want an idea of the amount you get in a cooked 100 gram serving.

  Oats Rice
Energy (kcal) 379 357
Protein (g) 13.2 14.7
Total Lipid (g) 6.5 1.1
Carbohydrate (g) 67.7 74.9
Fiber (g) 10.1 6.2
Sugars (g) 1.0 2.5

Both profiles are actually quite similar. The biggest differences are that:

  • Oats have significantly more fat
  • Oats are a bit higher in fiber
  • Rice is a bit higher in carbohydrates (and net carbohydrates)

Neither are obviously “better” than the other, so let’s move on.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index describes how much a set portion of food raises blood sugar. In general, a lower glycemic index is a good thing.

The glycemic index values for rice and pasta are:

  • White rice – 87
  • Oatmeal – 61
  • Brown rice – 55

So it’s clear that based on the glycemic index, oatmeal and brown rice are very similar, but are both significantly better for glucose control than white rice.

Vitamins and Minerals in Oats vs Rice

Finally, let’s look at the micronutrients in these grains.

There’s an “RDA” column that indicates the general recommended amount to aim for per day for adults. Your specific RDA may vary, I just included this for a quick comparison and to sort the data.

  RDA Oats Rice
Manganese (mg) 2.3 3.6 1.3
Phosphorus (mg) 700 410.0 433.0
Zinc (mg) 11 3.6 6.0
Selenium (µg) 55 28.9 2.8
Magnesium (mg) 400 138.0 177.0
Niacin (mg) 16 1.1 6.7
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.5 0.1
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.4
Iron (mg) 18 4.3 2.0
Folate (µg) 400 32.0 95.0
Potassium (mg) 2000 362.0 427.0
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.2 0.3
Choline (mg) 550 40.4 35.0
Vitamin E (mg) 15 0.4 0.8
Calcium (mg) 1200 52.0 21.0
Vitamin K (µg) 75 2.0 1.9
Sodium (mg) 1500 6.0 7.0
Copper (mg) 900 0.4 0.5
Vitamin C (mg) 90 0.0 0.0
Vitamin B-12 (µg) 2.4 0.0 0.0
Vitamin A (µg) 900 0.0 1.0
Vitamin D (µg) 15 0.0 0.0

Neither oats or rice has an obviously better profile, they both have significantly more of certain vitamins or minerals.

Oats have significantly more:

  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin
  • Iron
  • Calcium

While rice have significantly more:

  • Zinc
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Folate

Oats vs Rice: Which is Healthier?

Oats and rice (brown in particular) are both pretty healthy grains that offer a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

The healthiest one will depend on the specific person and whether or not they struggle to get enough of certain nutrients from other foods.

The only really clear answer is that both oats and brown rice are healthier than white rice, as they have more nutrients and a lower glycemic index.

Are Oats or Rice Better for Weight Loss?

Oats are generally more filling than rice, which makes them better for weight loss in most cases. This is likely due to their higher fat content.

However, if someone is adding a lot of sugar or toppings like chocolate to their oatmeal, it’s clear that this would hinder weight loss efforts. The best choice for weight loss will usually come down to which meals someone makes with oats or rice, rather than the grain itself.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.