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Brown Rice vs. Oatmeal: Which is Healthier?

Which is better for you: Brown rice or oatmeal? This post breaks down all the info, including nutrition, taste, and price!

Brown rice and oatmeal are two foods that are definitely considered a staple food in our household. They’re both cheap, have tons of nutrients, and go well in many different recipes.

These two foods are similar AND different at the same time. Have you ever wondered which one is better for you, is the healthier choice, is better for weight loss, etc.? In this post, I’m giving all the details on both foods. And at the bottom are links to delicious recipes, so don’t miss out!

Also note: I know there are plenty of other variations of these foods: Wild rice, steel-cut oats, etc. But in this post I’m just focusing on rolled oats and brown rice!

A collage of brown rice and oatmeal with the text: "Brown rice vs. oatmeal: Which is better?"

Brown Rice vs. Oatmeal: Which is Better?

Dried brown rice inside a scoop

Nutrition Info

Below is a table of the nutritional values. The serving of brown rice and serving of oatmeal is both 100g cooked.

Brown Rice (100g cooked)Oatmeal (100g cooked)
Total Fat0.9g0.9g
Iron0.42 mg0.68mg
Potassium43 mg56mg

Sources: Fat Secret Brown Rice and Oatmeal

Here are the nutrients I look at most with my clients:


Technically, the oatmeal wins here with less calories. If you’re looking for a lower-calorie option, oats would be it.


I only pay attention to carbs with clients who are diabetic or need to watch carb counts for a particular reason. Oats win on this count, too, with having less carbohydrates.

However, both contain complex carbohydrates, which helps with the fiber content. They help stabilize blood sugars. Simple carbs, like in white rice, can give you a quick energy spike but then a quick energy crash afterward. I prefer to get complex carbs in MOST of my meals.


I always stress the importance of protein with my clients. Not only does protein keep you full, it also helps maintain muscle mass and can help reduce late-night food cravings.

Both brown rice and oatmeal have about 2.5 grams of protein per serving, so both are good if you’re trying to add more protein.

The average person should get between 50-100 grams per day, just for reference.


Fiber is super important in keeping you full, and keeping your bathroom visits regular. Not to mention it can help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Both brown rice and oatmeal are a good source of fiber.

I know I’m talking about brown rice here, but let me bring up white rice for a minute. Especially under Fiber. Fiber is important for helping stabilize blood sugar levels, and white rice only has about .4 grams of fiber.

This isn’t to say that white rice is bad for you. But if you’re looking to up your fiber intake, brown rice is the way to go.


One thing I didn’t track in the above table is B vitamins. Both oatmeal and brown rice can be a good source of Vitamin B in its many forms, and you can read more about the health benefits of these in this post on WebMD.

A bowl of cooked oatmeal topped with blueberries


Cost can be another important factor when buying food. Especially nowadays, with food prices rising! Which one is cheaper?

Your mileage may vary depending on where you live and where you shop. But in my area (Dayton OH), here’s where the prices stand:

  • Brown rice: 4.6 cents per ounce
  • Old fashioned rolled oats: 9.5 cents per ounce

That seems like a staggering price difference! But I also looked at how big the containers are.

  • Brown rice: 20 servings for a 32-ounce bag
  • Rolled oats: 30 servings for a 42-ounce container

Obviously, the rolled oats container is bigger. You might be able to find smaller packages, too.

Cooked brown rice in a wooden bowl


Each of these has a different taste and are used in various ways.

Oatmeal tends to be more bland in taste, and a bit chewier in texture. Rolled oats are much chewier than instant oats, what you’d find in the packets of instant oatmeal.

Brown rice has a nutty flavor, and slightly chewy.

You also use both of these foods in different ways, which affects the taste and texture.

Brown rice is typically used in lunch and dinner recipes, while oatmeal is usually eaten at breakfast.

Cooked oatmeal in a bowl with blueberries, cinnamon, and almonds

Weight Loss

Which one of these is better for weight loss? It’s a loaded question and there is no one right answer for everyone.

Oatmeal has fewer calories. And IN GENERAL, weight loss is about eating less than you burn.

Brown rice has a few more calories and carbs. And both of them have a good amount of fiber, which helps with satiety.

Each one can help you lose weight if you eat less. But they can also help you with weight gain if you eat more.

Dried rolled oats in a glass storage jar

How to Store

Both oatmeal and brown rice need to be stored in an airtight container, preferably in a dark and cool place.

I used to keep oats in its original container, and rice in its original bag. But I found that the rice bag just made for awkward positioning in the pantry; and the bag kept opening when I pulled it out, which made a mess.

After awhile, I invested in food storage containers and they’ve saved my sanity! I can fit the containers better in the pantry and can even stack them. And they can help increase the shelf life of your foods. I use the bigger ones for the oats and slightly smaller ones for the rice.

Gluten Free

Both of these foods are naturally gluten free. However, sometimes these foods can be contaminated in the factories they were packaged in. If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you’ll definitely want to look for the ones that say “gluten free” on the packaging.

Recipes with Brown Rice

Instant Pot Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Freezer Friendly Stuffed Peppers

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Simple Freezer Mexican Casserole

Recipes with Oatmeal

Healthy Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Peach Baked Oatmeal

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

We’re all trying to make healthy choices, the best we can. And honestly, both oatmeal and brown rice are good for you and can be part of a healthy diet. They help with weight management and are delicious, too. So don’t overthink it- but it’s always good to be aware of what you’re eating!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.