Is Oatmeal Wheat? See Their Differences

Is oatmeal made from wheat grain? Does it have gluten?

Oats are a popular grain eaten in many parts of the world. With the need for more gluten-free food, it is important to find out where oatmeal comes from and to know if it’s gluten-free.

Oats are completely different from wheat. Both grains are from the family of Avena sativa plants but oatmeal is gluten-free while wheat isn’t. Read more about their differences in this article.

What is oatmeal?

Oatmeal is simply edible oats. It is a meal made from raw oats grain and water or milk.

The oats used to make oatmeal goes through the process of de-husking, steaming, flattening, and hulling. Furthermore, this popular breakfast meal is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

These nutrients make oatmeal a great weight-loss meal. It also helps to lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels.

Types of oats

Oatmeal can be made from different types of oats. They include steel-cut oats, rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats. Oats are differentiated by their level of processing. And they are used differently.

Steel-cut oats are oats that are cut in pieces with large steel blades. They are great for breakfast and do not require a long cooking time.

Rolled oats are steamed and flattened by large rollers. Rolled oats cook faster and have a creamy texture. Quick oats are further processed rolled oats that are cut into smaller pieces and cooked in minutes.

Instant oats are cooked fully, ground into a fine powder, and mixed with sugar and coloring. Oat flour is ground dehulled oat germs that are used in making batter for baked foods.

What is wheat?

Wheat is a kind of grass grown for its seed. It is a popular grain and staple food with which we produce flour.

Wheat flour is widely commercialized across the world and is useful for making bread, cake, pastries, etc.

The usage of wheat also spans beyond baking alone. The wheat plant is highly fermentable and is therefore good for producing beer. Biofuel is also a byproduct of wheat and its straws are used as thatch for roofing.

Differences between oatmeal and wheat

Oats or oatmeal and wheat are cereal grains from the grass family but of different species. Triticum Aestivum is the most common wheat strain, however, other wheat strains produce grains like oat.

One of the most important differences to note is that oats are gluten-free while wheat isn’t. Oats contain a protein called avenin; a gluten-kind of protein. This protein is why oats are mistaken for gluten grains.

Oat is naturally gluten-free and highly recommended for people with gluten sensitivity. However, oat grains may contain gluten if it is processed in a facility where other gluten grains are processed.

Nutritional differences between oat and wheat

Below are the basic nutritional differences between oat and wheat:

Fiber16.5 g11 g
Carbs103 g72 g
Protein26.4 g13 g
Saturated fat1.9 g0.4 g
Calcium8 %3 %
Total fat10.8 g2.5 g

Benefits of eating oatmeal

  • Oats are high in fiber and hold up longer in the stomach thereby reducing hunger pangs and daily calorie consumption. This makes oatmeal a great addition to any weight-loss diet
  • The presence of soluble and insoluble fiber in oats also helps to balance cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and improve metabolism
  • The fiber content also helps to balance vowel movements, thereby improving metabolism and reducing constipation
  • The protein and fat in oatmeal also make it a source of energy for the body
  • Oats are also sugar- and gluten-free. This makes oatmeal a safe cereal option for diabetics and gluten-intolerant individuals
  • Taking oats as a regular breakfast can help reduce asthma attacks.
  • Oats contain vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, iron, and antioxidants that improve overall body health

Side effects of eating oatmeal

The side effects of eating oatmeal are associated with the overconsumption of fiber. They include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Muscle mass shedding
  • Malnutrition in some cases


Which is healthier oats and wheat?

According to research, an oat diet reduced LDL by 2.5% while the wheat diet increased the value by 8%.

Is oat milk gluten-free?

Oat milk is naturally gluten-free. However, oat milk processed in facilities where gluten is present may not be gluten-free.

Moreover, some colorings and additives that manufacturers include in the milk may not be gluten-free.

Can you eat oatmeal if you have a wheat allergy?

Yes, you can. Oats are not wheat; therefore, they are safe for wheat allergies. But, you must be sure that the oats are not processed in a wheat facility.


Oatmeal doesn’t come from wheat. Although oats and wheat are grains from the grass family, they are not of the same species.

More oatmeal is a healthier option than wheat because it contains much more nutrients and is gluten-free. As a result, it’s better for diabetics and gluten-intolerant individuals.

I hope this article helped you. Thanks for reading.

Read more articles on the nutritional value of your favorite breakfast meals on Millenora.