Difference Between Oats and Wheat

Key difference - oats vs. wheat

A grain is a real grass that is grown primarily for the edible starch components of its grain. Botanically, this cereal is a type of fruit known as a caryopsis, which has three parts; namely the endosperm, the germ and the bran. Belonging to the monocot family Poaceae, it is grown in larger quantities and provides more nutritional energy and carbohydrates for the world than any other plant species. Wheat and oats are widely consumed as grains around the world and are considered staple foods. They are rich in macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, oils and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) as well as bioactive secondary plant substances (polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, carotenoids, etc.). Although both oats and wheat belong to the cereal group, wheat is a crop of the genus Triticum, while oats is a crop of the Avena genes . This is the main difference between oats and wheat. Wheat ( Triticum spp.) And oats ( Avena sativa ) have different sensory and nutritional properties, and this article explores the difference between oats and wheat.

What is wheat

Wheat is a grain of cereal and is the third most widely produced grain after maize and oats. This grain is grown on more land than any other commercial food crop. Wheat is the leading protein source in the human diet worldwide and has a higher protein content than other important grains such as corn or oats. Wheat is a staple food used to make flour for sourdough bread, biscuits, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals, pasta, noodles, and used for fermentation to make beer, other alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. During the finishing and polishing process, after the nutrients accumulated in bran and germ are removed, the remaining endosperm contains mostly carbohydrates. The white flour is the result of this process and bran and germ are by-products. The wheat grain is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins, while the refined grain is mainly concentrated in starch.

Key difference - oats vs. wheat

What is oats?

Oats belong to the Avena sativa grass type and, as a cereal grain, are one of the most commonly consumed foods for a large part of the world's population. Popular human oat-based foods are oatmeal or oatmeal. In addition, oat feed is also used as a feed for animals such as horses, cattle, and as a food ingredient for domesticated animals such as cats and dogs. Oat diets are highly recommended for those at risk for cardiovascular disease as they can lower the harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood. Oats are sometimes referred to as corn (staple food) in Scotland.

Difference Between Oats and Wheat

Difference Between Oats and Wheat

Oats and wheat can have significantly different properties and uses. The differences between oats and wheat can include:

Scientific name

Oats : Avena sativa

Wheat : Triticum aestivum

Scientific classification


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Poales
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Genus: Avena
  • Species: Sativa


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Poales
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Subfamily: Pooideae
  • Tribe: Triticeae
  • Genus: Triticuma


Oats : The types of oats are characteristically categorized according to the weight and color of the grain.

Wheat: Wheat is divided into 6 groups and they are hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum wheat (hard), hard white and soft white wheat. Durum wheat is rich in gluten and is used to make bread, rolls and all-purpose flour. The common wheat is used to make flatbreads, cakes, pastries, crackers, muffins and biscuits.


Oats : In 2013, global barley production was 20,732 in thousand tons. Thus, global oat production is lower than that of wheat.

Wheat : In 2013, world wheat production was 713 million tons. Thus, global wheat production is greater than that of oats.

Production countries

Oats : The highest consumption and production were recorded in Russia, Canada, Poland, Finland, followed by Australia (2013).

Wheat: The highest consumption was recorded in Denmark, but most of it was used for animal feed. The largest wheat producer in 2010 was the European Union, followed by China, India, the USA and Russia.

Parts of the grain

Oats: The main components of grain include the endosperm, bran and germs.

Wheat: The main parts of the grain include endosperm, bran and germ fruit wall, aleurone layer, scutellum and germs.

Energy content

Oats: Oats contain 1,628 kJ per 100g. (Contain more energy than wheat)

Wheat: what contains   1,368 kJ per 100 g. (Contains less energy compared to oats)

Health concerns

Oats: Oats are considered a healthy food. It has the following health benefits;

  • According to folk medicine, it helps to maintain the regular menstrual cycle, for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, as well as for osteoporosis and urinary tract infections
  • It has an LDL cholesterol lowering effect and reduces the risk of heart disease

Wheat: Wheat can cause celiac disease, wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, and herpetiform dermatitis.

Gluten free diet

Oats : Some types of oats are gluten protein deficient and suitable for people on a gluten-free diet.

Wheat: Wheat is not suitable for people on a gluten-free diet.

Starch content

Oats: The starch content of oats is around 66% below that of wheat.

Wheat: The starch content of wheat is around 70%, which is lower than that of oats.

Protein content

Oats: Compared to wheat, oats contain more protein (17%).

Wheat: Compared to oats, wheat has a lower protein content (12%).

Gluten content

Oats : Some types of oats are gluten protein deficient and cannot be used to make baked goods.

Wheat: What wheat contains gluten protein and strong and elastic gluten enables bread dough to lock in carbon dioxide as it rises. Therefore, wheat flour is an important component of baked goods.

Selenium content

Oats: Oats are deficient in the essential mineral selenium.

Wheat: Compared to oats, wheat is rich in selenium.

Genetic disorders or allergic reactions

Oats: This contains the chemical compound known as avenin, which is toxic to the intestinal lining of people sensitive to avenin and which can trigger a reaction in celiac disease.

Wheat: Wheat gluten protein can cause allergic reactions in some people and also leads to celiac disease. Celiac disease is caused by an adverse immune system reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein that comes from wheat.


Oats: Oat grain is mainly used for the following purposes;

  • Rolled or crushed into oatmeal and used for congee preparation
  • Grind to fine oatmeal and use for baked goods such as oat cakes, oat biscuits and oat bread
  • It is also used in animal feed as an additional source of carbohydrates
  • Production of various beverages such as beer, oatmeal stout
  • Calm the production of skin diseases

Wheat: Used for human consumption, food processing such as bread, cookies, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals, noodles, noodles, couscous. Raw wheat can be ground into semolina or sprouted and dried to make malt. Wheat is also used for fermentation to make beer, other alcoholic beverages, and for biogas and biofuel production. It is used for forage crops for domesticated animals such as cows and sheep. Difference between oats and wheat - infographic

In summary, both oats and wheat are the most popular staple foods in the world. An important part of the diet due to the agronomic adaptability of these plants, they provide easy grain storage and easy conversion of grain into flour to make edible, tasty, interesting, and filling foods. In addition, oats and wheat are the main sources of carbohydrates and protein in most countries.


Cauvain, Stanley P., and Cauvain P. Cauvain. (2003). Making bread. CRC press. P. 540. ISBN 1-85573-553-9.

Belderok, Robert 'Bob', Mesdag, Hans and Donner, Dingena A (2000), bread baking quality of wheat, Springer, p. 3, ISBN 0-7923-6383-3.

Mond, David (2008). In the Russian Steppes: The Introduction of Russian Wheat into the Great Plains of the United States. Journal of Global History, 3 : 203–225.

Oats are life (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2004.

Juliano, Bienvenido O. (1993). Oats in the human diet. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Gaultie, Enid (1981). The Scottish Land Mill, 1700-1900: A History of Water Powered Flour Milling in Scotland. Edinburgh: J. Donald. ISBN 0-85976-067-7.

Image courtesy:

“Wheat” by هارون يحيى - Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) , via commons.wikimedia.org

About the author: admin