You will find it difficult to choose between different oat varieties available in the market. Whenever you visit a store or a cereal aisle, you will notice different varieties such as ‘quick,’ ‘old-fashioned,’ ‘oat bran,’ and ‘oatmeal.’ You should be well aware of the differences between these different types to buy the right choice.
For this, we will differentiate between oat bran and oatmeal here and discuss the dome of their benefits, making it easier for you to choose one above another.
The Anatomy of the Grain
We will now understand the fundamental difference between oatmeal and oat bran based on the anatomy of these grains. Depending on the processing method of these grains, their nutritional value keeps altering, so it is good to understand the anatomy of these grains.
Whole grains (kernels) mostly consist of three individual parts:
- The bran:the outer layer of the skin of the grain is known as bran. It is considered entirely edible and contains fiber, vitamins, and several antioxidants.
- The germ:the embryo of the grain is also called the germ, and is the source of several nutrients including proteins, vitamins, minerals, and saturated fats
- The endosperm:the most prominent part if the grain is the endosperm. It is considered as a source of supplier for providing nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins to the germ.
Grouts are those rains that are considered to be the most healthful grain products and rich in nutrients.
These whole grains are processed to yield refined rains form them, which in turn loses their actual nutritional value due to the removal of several components such as the bran and the germ part.
But, as the kernel part remains consistent, the refined grain still possesses a high nutritional value. An example of such grain is oat bran.
Oat bran vs. oatmeal
Oat bran and oatmeal experience a difference in their nutrients due to the different nature of their processing.
What Is Oat?
There are additionally various types of oats. However, one thing that is common in all of them is that all of these start at ‘groats’ (whole grain), and then they can be processed further to transform them into different categories (rolled or steel-cut).
- Steel-cut oats:as the name depicts, steel-cut oats are cuts into pieces using steel blades. However, these grains are less refined compared to all other types of pats, enabling them to endure a chewy nature requiring a lot of time to cook.
- Rolled oats: as soon as the whole grains are harvested, these oats are mashed and rolled up to the extent that they appear like a flattened flake. One of the most famous kinds of rolled oats enduring high texture is known as ‘old-fashioned’ oats. Another example is the instant oats and requires less time to cook.
Depending upon the nature and processing style of these grains, all oats have their nutritional profiles with certain versatilities.
What Is Oat Bran?
A discussed earlier, oat bran is not identified as whole grain and intercepts multi-layered production. These layers are supposedly known as exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp.
Due to the absence of endosperm and the germ part, oat bran is still said to be a source of fiber, vitamins, and all kinds of ant-oxidants available.
Health and Nutrition Benefits of Oatmeal
Unlike other grains, oatmeal is less expensive and is a source of different nutrients to the human body. some benefits of oatmeal are:
1. Support Digestive Health
Oatmeal contains a large quantity of fiber, making it available in the form of bulk and promoting bowel health to the diet conscious people. Intake of fiber also lowers down the risks of getting several diseases such as hemorrhoids, colon, colorectal cancer, etc.
2. Decrease Heart Disease Risk
The soluble fiber available is very much essential for decreasing the chances of ‘sponge-like’ and other heart diseases. These soluble fibers are very much crucial for reducing the amount of cholesterol and getting rid of it from the body and ultimately lowering down the cholesterol levels of the body.
3. Manage Weight
Oats are considered to be lower in amount concerning calories. Eating food that contains a high amount of fiber and contains fewer calories will ultimately result in weight loss.
4. Control Blood Sugar
Due to the high amount of carbohydrates and fiber available, these oats are considered essential for regulating blood sugar levels and managing diabetes.
5. Offer Plant-Based Protein
Food products that came from animal sources attract individuals as they are rich in protein content. On the other hand, those food products which are originally from plant extracts serve to maintain body weight and reduce the risks of several body diseases. So, the use of dried oats serves about 5 grams of proteins to the body equal in amount to an egg.
Benefits of Oat Bran
In earlier days, oat bran was used to feed the animals and livestock. But later, it was recognized that these foods are rich in minerals and other nutrients and should be made a part of the human diet. Some benefits of eating oat bran are as follows:
1. Helps Lower Cholesterol
Oat bran consists of a high amount of soluble fiber available, which in turn helps in absorbing the cholesterol available in your blood and thus resulting in the reduction of bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein from our body. Oat bran could be considered more efficient than oatmeals in terms of fiber.
2. Slows Down Sugar and Fat Absorption
Oat bran reduces into the chains of fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose upon digestion. These elements serve in reducing the absorption of fat and slow down sugar assimilation.
These elements also remove calories from the body, making your blood sugar level stable.
3. High in Antioxidants
Most of the oat brans are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols. These antioxidants are responsible for the removal of several dangerous free radicals from our body.
As compared to other oat grains, oat bran is rich in antioxidants and is responsible for reducing inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reducing the risks to chronic diseases.
4. May Support Healthy Bowels
As stated earlier, oat bran is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it beneficial to use for the people having constipation. Oat bran is responsible for regulating healthy bowel functions.
The soluble and insoluble fiber found in oat bran helps in the softening of stool, making it bulkier and more comfortable to pass through your gut.
5. Lower the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Most of the people in the world are at a high risk of getting colorectal cancer. Regular intake of oat bran can be responsible for reducing this risk as it contains ferment fiber and SCFA’s.
As the oat brain is considered to be in the category of whole grains, and a study shows that such types of whole grains can ultimately reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
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In general, we can say that oats are rich in minerals and have high nutritional values as compared to other food products. Oats are available in different varieties, each with its characteristics and nutritional values. Oats are one of the world’s healthiest and most nutritious foods. Eating oats and oatmeal on a daily basis has many benefits for weight loss and optimal health.