What Is the difference between oat bran & oatmeal?

Updated March 23, 2017

High in nutrients and low in cost, oats are an ideal addition to your diet. Both oatmeal and bran start from the same oat groat. The hull is stripped and the groat is cured over heat to keep it from going rancid. Oatmeal is made of oats that are steamed and flattened in enormous rollers, while oat bran is made of whole oats that are ground finely together with the hull of the original groat.

Taste and texture

Since oat bran and oatmeal are two preparations of the same grain, the taste is essentially the same. The main difference is in the texture of the finished product. Oatmeal, because it has larger, denser flakes, is chewier and more dense. Oat bran, however, is much smaller and has a creamier, smoother consistency.


While there is little difference in the calorie and fat content between oat bran and oatmeal per serving, oat bran contains more fibre than oat flakes. For every 120 ml (1/2 cup) of oat bran, you are consuming 9 grams of fibre, as opposed to 4 grams of fibre in oatmeal. Oat bran also contains 40 per cent more protein than oatmeal, with 10 grams of protein to oatmeal's 4 grams per 120 ml (1/2 cup) serving.


Both oat bran and oatmeal are available at most major supermarkets.


Most oatmeal flakes must be boiled for anywhere from three to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cut flakes. The smaller the flake, the faster it will cook. Oat bran can typically be prepared in approximately two to three minutes. Both can be cooked on the hob or in a microwave, though oatmeal flakes are better suited to hob cooking. "Instant" oatmeal can be found in most grocery stores, but the added sugars and artificial ingredients do lessen its nutritional impact.

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About the Author

Hailing from California, Ann Mazzaferro is a professional writer who has written for "The Pacifican," "Calliope Literary Magazine" and presented at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Mazzaferro graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the Pacific.