How are Oats different from Wheat?

Oats and Wheat are both cereal grains. The two major differences are:

Method of Consumption

Impact of Protein

Method of Consumption:

To understand it better, let us first learn what constitutes a grain:

Bran: Outer covering of grain kernel; Rich in Fiber

Germ: Embryo, the part that sprouts when seed is planted; Nutrient Rich

Endosperm; remaining bulk of the kernel; contains some vitamins and minerals; exists solely to provide food for the developing seed early in its life

Oat seeds are called “Groats” and Wheat seeds are called “Berries”. While both Oats and Wheat are both very healthy when eaten in Whole Grain form, Wheat is normally NOT consumed as Whole Grain. Most wheat flour is only composed of the Endosperm, and therefore the bulk of nutrient benefit is lost. On the other hand, Oats in all its forms is consumed in its Whole Grain form, ensuring that it retains most of its nutrients.

Note: When Wheat is consumed is Whole Wheat form, like ‘atta’ flour, it retains the original nutritional value

Nutritional Chart Comparison: Oats vs Whole Wheat

Protein Comparison: Oats vs Wheat

Oats contain 17 gm of protein per 100gm as compared to 13 gm for Whole Wheat flour.
So Oats are higher in Protein content than Whole Wheat.

Gluten Vs Avenalin

Further, the primary protein in Wheat, Barley, Rye and related cereals is GLUTEN. It constitutes 75-80% of the total protein content in these grains.

Celiac Disease

GLUTEN has been linked with Celiac Disease, which occurs when gluten causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine. This intestinal damage, if continued unchecked, can lead to conditions like malnutrition and osteoporosis.

It is estimated that every 1 in 100 people suffers from Celiac Disease.

Gluten Intolerance

While research is still being done on this subject, it is hypothesized that Gluten Intolerance is a separate condition, unconnected with Celiac Disease. In this case, the affected person has a direct reaction to gluten. The body treats Gluten as invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside the digestive tract.

Avenalin (Oats Protein)

The major protein in oats is called avenalin, which constitutes 80% of the Oats protein content. Avenalin is a legume-like protein, as compared to Gluten, which is a cereal-like protein. Avenalin has a far lower tendency to cause an autoimmune response from the body than Gluten

This makes Oats far better than Wheat for people diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

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