Difference between Oat Bran and Oatmeal
By Theydiffer - July 7, 2015

Oats are very nutritional whole grains. They are available in a variety of forms that include rolled oats, oat bran, quick oats, and so on. These many forms make them confusing, and it is therefore very common to find people who do not know the difference between them. Let’s look at the differences between two of the most common forms of oats: oatmeal and oat bran.


Oat bran is the outer part of an oat groat while oatmeal is the inner part of an oat groat. Oat bran and oatmeal are both parts of the same oat groat that has been processed a little further. Oats are processed to produce oat groats. Since oat groats take longer to cook, they are further processed by hulling to produce the outer husk called the oat bran and the inner part called the oatmeal.

Comparison Chart

Oat branOatmeal
Lower in calorie and fat contentHigher in calorie and fat content
Higher in fiber, protein and sugar contentRelatively lower fiber, protein and sugar content
Relatively cheap and cooks fasterRelatively expensive and takes longer to cook
Creamy in textureChewy in texture

Oat Bran vs Oatmeal

What is the difference between oat bran and oatmeal? Although both oat bran and oatmeal are part of the same oat groat, they differ in terms of nutrition, cost, cooking time, soluble fiber, texture and flavor.

Of the two, oat bran takes a shorter time to cook and is slightly cheaper. Since oat bran is mushy and creamy, it is easy to swallow, unlike oatmeal that must be chewed. They, however, have a similar taste which only differs when they are added to other foods.

Both of these two types of oat help reduce cholesterol in the body. They also have a close resemblance in terms of nutritional content. However, oat bran is slightly more nutritious than oatmeal. It has a higher amount of protein, fiber and sugar content. In addition, oat bran is lower in calorie and fat content than oatmeal. Therefore, oat bran is generally more nutritious than oatmeal.

Oatmeal is commonly used to thicken food, as a mixture with some alcoholic drinks and also as an ingredient in oatmeal cakes and cookies. Oat bran, on the other hand, is used to enhance bread.