Comparing Oat Meal and Quinoa


Quinoa which has been eaten by natives of the Andean regions of Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia for over 5000 years has been called ‘Inca rice’.

In fact, in the Inca language, quinoa means ‘mother grain’ and appropriately, it has been the staple food of these people for centuries.

Quinoa is very nutritious and can be make into soup, breakfast cereals, snacks, casseroles and such. This grain has been compared by the Food and Agricultural Organization to dried whole milk for its nutritional value.

The quantity and quality of protein content in quinoa is superior to other grains. It has higher lysine content than wheat. Quinoa is rich in soluble fiber, has low sodium content and contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc.

The content of these minerals is higher than that of other commonly consumed grains like barley, wheat or corn.


Oats are a type of grain with the scientific name ‘Avena sativa’. This hardy cereal grows in tough conditions similar to quinoa where other crops do not survive.

Oats has a very distinct flavor since it is roasted after harvesting. A single cup of cooked oats is rich in nutrients like manganese, selenium, phosphorous, fiber, magnesium and zinc.

Oatmeal is the dish that is cooked using oats. This cereal that is a favorite breakfast dish in many oatmeal and quinoahouseholds has been used for hundreds of years.

There are many different varieties of oatmeal breakfast cereals and other food products available. These days, we get sweetened, quick cooking oatmeal that can be made into breakfast porridge.

When cooked with milk, oatmeal provides plenty of calcium, ideal for the bones and teeth. Oatmeal is also rich in vitamins, minerals and has high quantities of soluble fiber.

It is low in cholesterol and contains plenty of protein.   Apart from oatmeal cereal, you also get oatmeal cookies, biscuits and other snacks.

Comparison Of Nutritional Value ff Oatmeal And Quinoa

Both these grains are highly nutritious and can be used to make a wide variety of dishes. So, let us see a nutritional comparison of both.

A single cup serving of 234g cooked oatmeal provides :

  • Calories  - 166
  • Total fat - 4g (5% Daily Value reqd.  by body (DV))
  • Saturated fat - 1g (4% DV)
  • Trans Fat  -  0g
  • Cholesterol - 0mg (0% DV)
  • Sodium  - 9mg (0% DV)
  • Total carbohydrates – 32g (11% DV)
  • Dietary fiber  – 4g (16% DV)
  • Sugars          -  1g
  • Protein  - 6g
  • Calcium - 2%
  • Iron  - 12%
  • Vitamin C - 0%
  • Vitamin A - 0%

The percent daily value is calculated on a normal 2,000 calorie diet. This will vary with different individuals. This food is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and is an excellent source of phosphorous, manganese and selenium. It is suggested that complementing oatmeal with other foods rich in amino acids can improve the quality of protein.

The following is a nutritional profile of cooked quinoa.

For a serving size of 185g

  • Calories 222
  • Calories from fat 32
  • Total fat 4g (16% DV)
  • Saturated fat (0% DV)
  • Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV)
  • Sodium 13mg (1% DV)
  • Total carbohydrates 39g (13% DV)
  • Dietary fiber 5g (21% DV)
  • Protein 8g (48% DV)
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 3%
  • Iron 15%

DV refers to percent daily value that is based on 2,000 calorie diet. Each person’s DV will vary depending on daily needs. The nutritional opinion is that this food is very low in sodium and cholesterol and low in saturated fats. It is also a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, folate and manganese.

As far as protein content is concerned, quinoa which has been compared to dried whole milk has higher protein content, especially essential amino acids like threonine, lysine and methionine. For example, ½ cup uncooked oatmeal gives 5g protein and uncooked quinoa 12g protein.

Both quinoa and oatmeal are rich in soluble fiber and carbohydrates. Hence, both help with controlling hunger and are good additions to a weight-loss diet.

It has been suggested that fiber content in foods can also help lower levels of blood cholesterol, help prevent diseases of the digestive system by maintaining good bowel movements, and may even help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Hence, we should find out how much dietary fiber we need to consume each day and try to incorporate foods like oatmeal and quinoa into are daily diet. For example, men under 50 require 38g and women under 50 require 25g of dietary fiber each day.

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, peas, beans etc are all rich in dietary fiber.

As we can see from the nutritional data, both quinoa and oatmeal are low in saturated fat, sodium and total cholesterol and this is ideal to promote heart health, for those with diabetes etc.

As far as vitamins and minerals are concerned, quinoa has higher quantities of most of them as against oatmeal. ½ cup uncooked quinoa contains more calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate and vitamin E. Finally a similar quantity of uncooked quinoa provides us with 313 calories and uncooked oatmeal has 153 calories.

Including such nutritious whole grains like quinoa and oatmeal helps maintain heart health, aids with weight loss and helps those with various diseases like diabetes.

4 thoughts on “Comparing Oat Meal and Quinoa”

  1. There's no significant difference between eating oatmeal vs quinoa vs amaranth when you compare dry weight.

    So, eat what's cheaper (oatmeal), or avoid all grains altogether (if you're going ketogenic).

  2. I switch off between the both of them. When I make a high protein meal, I use oatmeal, low protein, quinoa. I like the name "Inca Rice", pretty cool! Thanks for the knowledge! 😉


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