Brown Rice vs Oatmeal: Which is Better? Let’s Compare


Brown rice and oatmeal are two healthy choices. They both have many nutrients and can differ in the numbers. This causes many people to wonder, what is better, brown rice or oatmeal?

Oatmeal is better than brown rice due to its fewer calories, carbohydrates and sugar. Oatmeal is better for weight loss due to its fewer calories and better satiety index score than brown rice. Rolled oats glycemic index of 55 is lower than brown rice’s 68 which may aid in better blood sugar control.  

This article will include a side-by-side comparison of the nutrients contained in both. In addition, I’ll examine their glycemic index, satiety index, tastes, textures, prices, storage methods and health benefits.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Brown Rice vs Oatmeal: Nutrient Comparison

Brown rice and oatmeal have similar nutritional profiles, although there are key differences between the two.

The following table is a side-by-side comparison of the nutrients contained in a 100-gram serving of cooked brown rice and cooked unenriched oatmeal.

  Oatmeal (100 g)

Cooked

Brown Rice (100 g)

Cooked

Calories 71 112
Protein 2.54 g 2.32 g
Carbohydrates 12.0 g 23.5 g
Fiber 1.7 g 2.8 g
Fat 1.52 g 0.83 g
Sugar 0.27 g 0.40 g
Vitamin A 0 IU 0 IU
Beta-carotene 0 mcg 0 mcg
Vitamin C 0 mg 0 mg
Vitamin B6 0.005 mg 0.14 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6 mcg  4 mcg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.07 mg  0.10 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01 mg  0.01 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.22 mg  1.33 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.31 mg  0.39 mg
Magnesium 27 mg  44 mg
Phosphorous 77 mg  77 mg
Potassium 70 mg 79 mg
Iron 0.90 mg 0.53 mg
Copper 0.07 mg  0.08 mg
Calcium 9 mg 10 mg
Zinc 1.00 mg  0.62 mg

Nutrient Resources 1 2

Brown rice and oatmeal contain the same types of nutrients. At first it’s difficult to determine which one provides a higher percentage of nutrients than the other. This causes many people to ask, which is more healthier brown rice or oatmeal?

Brown rice provides a higher percentage of nutrients making it healthier than oatmeal. Brown rice contains a greater number of fiber, B6, thiamin, niacin, B5, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium than oatmeal. 

Oatmeal is healthy too and contains the same nutrients but a little less of them. Oatmeal has fewer calories, carbohydrates and sugar than brown rice. Oatmeal provides a higher percentage of protein, folate, iron and zinc.

Choosing between brown rice and oatmeal may depend on your particular goals. One goal may be weight loss.

Oatmeal is better for weight loss due to its fewer calories and carbohydrates per serving. For every 100 gram serving, oatmeal contains 58% fewer calories. Oatmeal also has a higher satiety making people feel fuller faster.

What has more protein brown rice or oatmeal?

Oatmeal contains more protein than brown rice per serving. Cooked oatmeal contains 2.54 grams of protein per 100 gram serving while brown rice contains 2.32 grams.

Which has more fiber brown rice or oatmeal?

Brown rice contains more fiber than cooked oatmeal. Cooked brown rice contains 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams while cooked oatmeal contains 1.7 grams.

Which has more carbohydrates brown rice or oatmeal?

Cooked brown rice contains 23.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 gram serving while cooked oatmeal contains 12.0 grams. If you’re on a low carb or Keto diet, oatmeal is the better choice.

Keto Bread Tip: Great News! Did you know, you don’t have to give up your favorite bread, pizza or sandwiches to follow a 100% Keto diet. Find out more in the KetoBreads website by clicking here, Keto Breads.

Which is better for bodybuilding, brown rice or oatmeal?

Brown rice is better for building muscle and athletic performance due to its higher percentage of carbohydrates and calories. The extra calories and protein contained in brown rice help to gain weight, muscle and repair muscle. The extra carbs help to provide energy and increase athletic performance while exercising.

Brown Rice and Oatmeal Glycemic Index

Knowing the glycemic index of food is important especially if blood sugar levels are a concern. Avoiding blood sugar spikes is an important part of consuming healthy food. 

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale measuring how fast a particular food raises the blood sugar in the blood 3. Blood sugar spikes can lead to health complications with the heart, nerves, kidneys and eyes 4

Foods on the GI scale are categorized as:

  • Low-GI foods: 55 or under
  • Medium-GI foods: 56-69
  • High-GI foods: 70 or over

How blood sugars levels are affected:

  • Foods with a glycemic index 70 or more cause a quicker spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with a glycemic index 56 to 69 cause a moderate spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with a glycemic index 55 or less cause a slow spike in blood sugar levels.

Having more knowledge of the glycemic index of food and how it raises blood sugar, many people ask, does brown rice or oatmeal have a higher GI?

Oatmeal has a lower GI than brown rice. Rolled oats have a GI of 55. Instant oatmeal has a GI of 79. Steel-cut oats have a low GI under 55. Boiled brown rice has a GI of 68.

Although oatmeal has the better score, brown rice is considered a medium-GI food falling into the 56 to 69 range.

Steel-cut oats have a lower GI because they are the least processed. Rolled oats are a little higher because they’ve been partially cooked. Quick oats have been steamed and rolled into thinner pieces to cook quicker. This process increases their GI.

Find out how oatmeal compared to quinoa in my article, Quinoa vs Oatmeal: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.

nutrient comparison of brown rice vs oatmeal

Brown Rice vs Oatmeal: Satiety Index

Satiety is a term used to explain the feeling of being full and the loss of appetite which occurs after eating food. The satiety index is a scale showing how full a person feels after eating a certain food. 

The satiety index was developed in 1995 from a study which tested 38 foods. Thankfully for the purpose of this article, brown rice and oatmeal were chosen as two of the 38 foods.

The foods were ranked how they satisfied a person’s hunger. Foods scoring under 100 are considered less filling and foods scoring above 100 are considered more filling 5.

The table below shows the satiety scores of oatmeal, brown rice and a few other filling foods.

Food Satiety Index Score
Bananas 118%
Brown rice 132%
Lentils 133%
Wholemeal Bread 157%
Brown pasta 188%
Oatmeal w/milk 209%

Comparing the table above will help answer the question, does oatmeal keep you full longer than brown rice?

Compared to brown rice, oatmeal will keep you full longer due to its higher satiety index of 209%. Brown rice satiety score is 132%.

Of all the 38 foods, oatmeal scored the fourth highest only beat by oranges, ling fish and boiled potatoes.

High satiety food like oatmeal and brown rice are likely to have a high satiety score for the following reasons:

  1. High in protein.
  2. High in fiber.
  3. High in volume (foods containing a lot of water or air).
  4. Low in energy density (foods low in calories for their weight).

Oatmeal seems to fit into all four listed above.

  1. Oatmeal contains 7.9 grams of protein per 3/4 cup.
  2. Oatmeal provides 6.1 grams of fiber per 3/4 cup.
  3. Oatmeal weighs a good amount when prepared in relation to its calories.
  4. Oatmeal cooked is only 71 calories per 100 grams.

Find out if grits or oatmeal has the better satiety in my article, Grits vs Oatmeal: Which is Better? A Complete Comparison.

Brown Rice vs Oatmeal: Taste and Texture

Many times people choose one food over the other because of its taste. Since there are some similarities between the two, many people wonder and ask, does brown rice taste like oatmeal?

Oatmeal is blander and has less flavor than brown rice. Brown rice has a nuttier flavor while oatmeal has an earthier flavor. Oatmeal’s texture is not smooth but brown rice is harder and chewier than oatmeal. Brown rice is drier than oatmeal which is more moist or wet.

What does brown rice taste like?

Brown rice has a nutty flavor and is slightly earthy. Short-grain brown rice is a little sweeter and long-grain rice is woodier and grainer. Long-grain brown rice is drier than short or medium-grain brown rice.

Old-fashioned rolled oats have a chewier texture than the smoother instant oatmeal.

I polled some of my readers and people in food groups I belong to. I asked, do you prefer the taste of brown rice or oatmeal?

  • 45% said they preferred the taste of brown rice.
  • 38% said they preferred the taste of oatmeal.
  • 17% said it depended on the meal.

Brown rice is more versatile than oatmeal and is used more for lunch and dinner while oatmeal is mainly used for breakfast. Some people use brown rice for breakfast along with their eggs.

Check out the differences between oatmeal and granola in my article, Granola vs Oatmeal: What’s The Difference? Let’s Compare.

Brown Rice and Oatmeal Costs

It seems every time I check out at the supermarket the price is higher than the last time and I have less groceries in my cart. The cost of food certainly matters to most, especially with the rising costs of everything.

The price may sway your decision about which one to use in your meals more often. Therefore, which costs more, brown rice or oatmeal?

Brown rice and oatmeal have a similar price per serving. The average price for quick oats is $0.25 per 1/2 cup serving. The average price for brown rice is $0.26 per 1/2 cup serving. 

I decided to conduct a search of various different stores to compare the price of brown rice and oatmeal.

I checked Shoprite supermarket for the prices of brown rice and oatmeal:

  • Carolina Brown Rice
    • $5.99 per 80 oz bag (25 servings) equaling $0.24 per 1/2 cup serving
  • Quaker quick oats
    • $4.99 per 18 oz container (13 servings) equaling $0.38 per 1/2 cup serving

I then checked Walmart for brown rice and oatmeal prices:

  • Carolina Whole Grain Brown Rice
    • $6.37 per 32 oz bag (22 servings) equaling $0.29 per 3/4 cup serving
  • Quaker quick oats
    • $4.98 per 42 oz container (30 servings) equaling $0.17 per 1/2 cup serving
  • Quaker quick oats
    • $2.73 per 18 oz container (13 servings) equaling $0.21 per 1/2 cup serving

Check out Amazon for brown rice and oatmeal products. Their prices are often more affordable with free shipping.

How To Store Brown Rice and Oatmeal

Whichever you choose or have on hand, proper storage is crucial. How you store brown rice, oatmeal, fruit or vegetables can affect how long they last before going bad and how they taste. Therefore, how do you store brown rice?

The best way to store unopened or opened brown rice is to keep it in a cool, dry place away from the sun or indirect heat. Opened brown rice should be transferred to a tightly covered glass container, plastic container or a resealable bag. Opened, uncooked brown rice does not have to be refrigerated.

Opened brown rice should be transferred out of its original bag or packaging. Opened brown rice may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight bag or container up to 12 months.

Uncooked brown rice may be frozen up to 12-24 months in an airtight bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible.

The best way to remove the excess air is to use a vacuum sealer. They are one of those items making you wonder how you did without one before purchasing it. Amazon has many affordable ones. Check out their current prices here, Vacuum Sealers.

Store cooked brown rice in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Do not leave cooked brown rice out of the refrigerator for more than two hours 6.

How do you store oatmeal?

Store unopened dry oatmeal in a cool, dry place away from the heat and sun. Opened oatmeal should be tightly covered in its original container, glass or plastic container or resealable bag. Opened, uncooked oatmeal does not have to be refrigerated.

Opened oatmeal should be stored up to one year. Always check the dates on the packaging. Typically, the “best if used by date” is a quality suggestion 7.

Find out how oatmeal compared to white rice in my article, Oatmeal vs Rice: Which Is More Healthy? (We Find Out).

The Health Benefits of Brown Rice and Oatmeal

The health benefits of brown rice and oatmeal are similar. They contain the same nutrients but in slightly different percentages. Let’s take a look at the benefits the nutrients provide.

Fiber

  • Brown rice contains 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
  • Oatmeal contains 1.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams.

Both foods are high in soluble fiber, which is helpful for many reasons 8. What makes fiber soluble is it dissolves in water. 

Soluble fiber is known for the following:

  • Help overall digestive health.
  • Decrease the risk of diabetes by managing the blood glucose levels.
  • Helps avoid constipation and have a more regular stool.
  • Aids greatly in weight management because it allows you to feel full faster and eat less. 

Magnesium

  • Brown rice contains 44 mg of magnesium per 100 grams
  • Oatmeal contains 27 mg of magnesium per 100 grams

Magnesium helps keep blood pressure levels stable and balanced. Recent scientific research examined previous studies and concluded magnesium supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure 9.

Magnesium helps control the following:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Muscle
  • Insomnia
  • Nerve function

One reason many people supplement with magnesium in the evening is because it helps calm the whole body including blood vessels.

In the heart and muscles, magnesium competes with calcium to help the muscles relax after contracting. When the body is low in magnesium, calcium can over stimulate the heart muscle’s cells causing a rapid or irregular heartbeat 10.

Is oatmeal better than eggs? Find out in my article here, Eggs vs Oatmeal – Which Is Better? Let’s Compare.

Potassium

  • Brown rice contains 79 mg of potassium per 100 grams
  • Oatmeal contains 70 mg of potassium per 100 grams

Potassium helps the body get rid of excess sodium reducing fluid build-up. These help keep systolic and diastolic blood pressure lower 11.

According to Harvard Health, a number of studies have shown a connection between low potassium levels and high blood pressure 12. The more potassium, the more sodium your body will lose.

Consuming too much sodium or not enough potassium throws off the delicate balance the kidneys need to remove the excess water 13.

Phosphorus

  • Brown rice contains 77 mg of phosphorus per 100 grams
  • Oatmeal contains 77 mg of phosphorus per 100 grams

Phosphorus has been shown in scientific studies to help with the following:

  • Promote healthy nerve conduction.
  • Promote bone and teeth strength.
  • Help the body store and manage energy.
  • Muscle contraction.
  • Muscle recovery.
  • Help the kidneys remove waste.

Calcium

  • Brown rice contains 10 mg of calcium per 100 grams
  • Oatmeal contains 9 mg of calcium per 100 grams

Calcium is important for the heart and blood pressure. Harvard Health reports calcium helps maintain blood pressure by helping in the controlling of the relaxing and tightening of blood vessels 14.

Calcium also helps the following:

  • Helps nerve function.
  • Help the muscles to function properly.
  • Build and maintain strong bones.

Is there a difference between overnight oats and oatmeal? Find out in my article, Overnight Oats vs Oatmeal: What’s The Difference? We Compare.

brown rice breakfast with egg and bacon
Brown rice breakfast

Iron

  • Oatmeal contains 0.90 mg of iron per 100 grams
  • Brown rice contains 0.53 mg of iron per 100 grams

Much higher in iron than other grains, oatmeal is an excellent choice if you need to get your daily value of iron. Iron is essential in the creation of red blood cells and is a necessary part of any healthy diet. 

Iron is also vital for growth and development, as some hormones need iron to be appropriately balanced 15. 

B Vitamins

Of the six B vitamins listed below, brown rice provides a higher percentage of four of them compared to cooked oatmeal.

The B vitamins provided include the following:

  1. B1 (thiamin)
  2. B2 (riboflavin)
  3. B3 (niacin)
  4. B5
  5. B6
  6. B9 (folate)

B vitamins help support the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Red blood cells.
  • Digestion.
  • Brain function.
  • Nerve function.
  • Energy levels.

A lack of B vitamins has been associated with oxidative stress and neural inflammation. In a study released in 2018 32 healthy adults were given B vitamin supplementation for six months. The results indicated preliminary evidence B vitamin supplementation reduced oxidative stress and inflammation 16.

I compared everything between oatmeal and Cream of Wheat in my article, Cream of Wheat vs Oatmeal: What’s The Difference? We Compare.

Gluten-Free

Brown rice and oats are naturally gluten-free and might be a great substitute to other gluten-heavy items of a similar taste. Even those who don’t have a completely gluten-free diet may benefit from cutting down on their gluten. 

Recently it has been discussed many more people have at least a small amount of gluten intolerance and are unaware of it. Having less gluten in your diet is a good choice for most. 

Important: Although oats and brown rice are gluten free, they may come in contact with gluten-containing grains in storage or during transportation. Most of the Quaker oat products have solved this issue and label those products gluten free. Always check the label of your oatmeal or brown rice to determine if its gluten free.

Additional Article Resources 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Read Next – More Oatmeal vs Food Articles!

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Instant Oatmeal vs Oatmeal: What’s The Difference?

Steel Cut Oatmeal vs Oatmeal: Which Is Better? Let’s Compare

Oatmeal vs Cereal – Which is Better? Let’s Compare

 

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. USDA: Cereals, oats, regular and quick, unenriched, cooked with water (includes boiling and microwaving), without salt[]
  2. USDA: Rice, brown, medium-grain, cooked[]
  3. Harvard Health Publishing: Glycemic index for 60+ foods[]
  4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes[]
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information: A satiety index of common foods[]
  6. University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Now, You’re Cooking with Brown Rice![]
  7. Michigan State University: Dry oatmeal needs careful handling[]
  8. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Mechanisms linking dietary fiber, gut microbiota and colon cancer prevention[]
  9. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis[]
  10. National Institutes of Health: Magnesium[]
  11. American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure[]
  12. Harvard Health: Potassium lowers blood pressure[]
  13. National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of the Sodium to Potassium Ratio on Hypertension Prevalence: A Propensity Score Matching Approach[]
  14. Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure[]
  15. National Institutes of Health: Iron[]
  16. National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of a High-Dose Vitamin B Multivitamin Supplement on the Relationship between Brain Metabolism and Blood Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress: A Randomized Control Trial[]
  17. USDA: Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked[]
  18. USDA: Rice, brown, medium-grain, raw[]
  19. USDA: Brown Rice[]
  20. Wikipedia: Brown Rice[]
  21. Harvard T.H. Chan: Rice[]
  22. Cleveland Clinic: Brown Rice or White Rice: Which Is Your Healthier Option?[]
  23. Colorado State University: Is Rice Good For You?[]
  24. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect on appetite control of minor cereal and pseudo cereal products[]
  25. University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: Keen on Quinoa[]
  26. Oxford University: International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002[]
  27. Quaker: How to Prepare Quaker Oats[]
  28. Quaker: How does Quaker make Gluten Free Oats?[]
  29. Harvard T.H. Chan: Oats[]
  30. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Instant Oatmeal Increases Satiety and Reduces Energy Intake Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Oat-Based Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial[]
  31. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and gluten sensitivity: when gluten free is not a fad[]
  32. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Oatmeal-Containing Breakfast is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Higher Intake of Key Food Groups and Nutrients Compared to Other Breakfasts in Children[]
  33. Oldways Whole Grains Council: Whole Grains A to Z[]
  34. University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Oatmeal – Whole Grain Goodness[]
  35. Iowa State University: Nutrition Education: Oatmeal[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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