Everything You Need To Know About Quinoa vs Oatmeal
Why quinoa vs oatmeal?
Living in a metropolitan city also equates to a more hectic daily schedule. Most of us won’t have time to prepare nutritious breakfast in the morning hence, the popularity of easy to prepare food packets like quinoa and oatmeal are skyrocketing.
Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, grains like quinoa and oatmeal takes center stage. These two grains are food staples in most households. Some people find quinoa to be the best while others preferred oatmeal as their breakfast food. Then again, people also wonder which among the two is better. To help them decide, we prepared here a quinoa vs oatmeal write up.
Quinoa vs Oatmeal
Quinoa and oatmeal are both classified as nutritious grains. However, these two differ regarding appearance and nutritional values. Some people prefer quinoa while other love oatmeal. Let’s discuss here the reasons why the people love these grains.
What is Quinoa?
Not everyone is familiar with quinoa so, here is a short introduction to it.
Quinoa is a grain initially consumed by the natives from the Andean regions of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru for almost 5000 years. Quinoa is a staple food of the locals of this area and called it "Inca rice" which means "mother grain" in Inca language.
Benefits of Quinoa
Are you wondering what makes quinoa famous? This grain is popular because of its nutritional value. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) compared its nutritional value to a dried whole milk. Because of this information, quinoa is also available as breakfast cereals, casseroles, snacks, soup, etc.
Some food experts even vouch for the superiority of quinoa's protein content compared to other grains. You can also find more lysine content in quinoa compared to wheat. The so-called mother of grains is also rich in soluble fiber, low in sodium content and contains the following minerals
- Calcium (Ca)
- Copper (Cu)
- Iron (Fe)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Phosphorus (K)
- Potassium (Na)
- Zinc (Zn)
Since we now have the basic knowledge of quinoa, let’s figure out next if oatmeal is a better grain.
What is Oatmeal?
There is a higher chance that you had oatmeal before. Why? Because compared to quinoa, oatmeal is considered to be more global. Oatmeal is a dish that is made using a roasted grain of oats that grows in the region with tough climates. The appearance of this dish resembles that of a white rice porridge.
The benefits of oatmeal
Like any staple food, oatmeal became widely popular because of it is considered as a health food. Oats has a distinct flavor which most of us are familiar. This flavor is because these grains are roasted after harvesting. One cup of cooked oats contains the following nutrients:
- Manganese (Mn)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Phosphorus (K)
- Selenium (Se)
- Zinc (Zn)
Oatmeal lowers cholesterol level and contains high dietary fiber content. Because of its popularity, oatmeal today comes in different varieties such as sweetened oatmeal, quick cooking oatmeal, cookies, biscuits, etc.
A lot of people are still conflicted about quinoa vs oatmeal. Before picking any product from the grocery aisle, you need to be well informed about the necessary information about the product. To spare your sanity and make sure you are making a healthy choice, we outlined the factors you need to pay attention about quinoa vs oatmeal.
Comparison Between Quinoa and Oatmeal
Here are the factors you need to consider
1. Nutritional Value of Quinoa vs Oatmeal
Quinoa and oatmeal are both nutritious foods and comes in different varieties. Some of the nutrients found in quinoa are also in the oatmeal. To determine which grain is superior, we will compare the nutritional content of these two.
The tables below contain the summary of the nutritional content of quinoa vs oatmeal. Table below states the general nutritional value of both foods.
Table 1 - Nutritional Value of Quinoa and Oatmeal (Serving Size: 100 g or 3.5 oz)
Calories from Fat
Table 2 - Mineral Content of Quinoa and Oatmeal (Serving Size: 100 g or 3.5 oz)
The table above show that both quinoa and oatmeal are low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat. Now, let’s point out the strong points of quinoa vs oatmeal.
- Saturated fat. Table 1 clearly shows that oatmeal has a higher fat content. However, the difference is tolerable and not significant. It is also important to point out that both quinoa and oatmeal have low saturated fats content compared to other breakfast cereals which make them the ideal food to promote the heart health.
- Protein. As stated previously, the nutritional value of quinoa is comparable to a dried whole milk, hence the table shows that quinoa has higher protein content. Quinoa's high protein content makes it an excellent source of amino acids like threonine, lysine, and methionine.
- Total carbohydrates. Both quinoa and oatmeal have a moderate amount of carbs. The low fat and considerably low carbohydrates content of quinoa and oatmeal makes them as a good go-to food for a weight-loss diet. The carbohydrates content of quinoa and oatmeal is enough to control your hunger.
- Dietary fiber. Eating foods with high fiber content can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood. In this category, oatmeal has the higher content. The high fiber content of oatmeal supports your body to prevent the diseases related to your digestive system, maintain proper bowel movements and most importantly reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Minerals and vitamin. For this category, oatmeal has a slight edge over quinoa. But, overall, quinoa and oatmeal have almost equal quantities of minerals and vitamin content.
- Calorie content. The calorie content of oatmeal is higher compared to quinoa.
2. Controlling Your Cholesterol Level
Quinoa and oatmeal are slow good for reducing cholesterol level. The fibers and beta-glucan content of oatmeal help clump cholesterol while quinoa increases HDL cholesterol and lowers cholesterol level. Oatmeal also aids your digestion because of the fiber content whereas quinoa helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
3. Is It Gluten-free?
If you have a gluten allergy, quinoa is the better option for you. With the rising popularity of gluten-free diet, quinoa is the better choice for those individuals who can’t tolerate eating wheat products.
4. Glycemic Index
Glycemic index is a major factor to consider if you are on a strict diet. Controlling your weight also means keeping in check that the food you'll consume has a low-glycemic index. Fortunately, quinoa and oatmeal both have a low-glycemic index which means that they are great foods for improving satiety and sustaining energy levels.
Price is one of the main determining factors. If you are on a budget, you need to be sure that you are spending your money wisely. The well-known national brands of instant oatmeal packets are priced at around $0.15 - $0.20 per ounce while quinoa is available at the cost of $0.30 - $0.50 per ounce. Quinoa is obviously the more expensive option. If you’re on a tight budget, then you’ll probably pick oatmeal. Before dropping a final verdict, it is wise if you’ll reevaluate first your overall dietary patterns.
Conclusion: Quinoa vs Oatmeal
The high dietary fiber content of oatmeal reduces cravings which make it an ideal food for weight-loss diet. On the other hand, Quinoa has a low calories content and also prevents any hunger pangs. In the end, we can assert that both quinoa and oatmeal are low fat grains which support weight loss.
If you are interested in how long does cooked quinoa last, please refer to here for more information.
The final verdict? After going through all the nutritional value and other factors, we can conclude that the main advantage of quinoa is its high protein content while oatmeal's fiber content edge over quinoa. If you ask me, I'll take oatmeal over quinoa since I preferred a heavier meal and its price is just right for my budget. What about you? Share us your thoughts.