Monday, 1 April 2013

What is the difference between Oat Bran and Wheat Bran?

Two similar foods with different properties and it's easy to muddle the two.  Remember every grain is made up of the germ, the endosperm and bran.  When manufacturing processes refine grains, the bran and endosperm are removed which really is taking away a lot of the goodness, hence explaining why whole foods are always going to be better than refined foods.

Oat bran

A good source of soluble fibre which is important in our diets which contributes towards a healthy digestive system and may assist with the right balance of cholesterol in our bodies.  This is achieved by helping to bind cholesterol together in a sticky gel-like substance and then allow it to pass through the bowels.  For every 100g there is 9.3g of dietary fibre and 383 calories so you won't become obese with some of this in your diet.  Quite the opposite in fact as it is liked by successful slimmers.

It also contains Beta Glucan, which is the ingredient which helps bind cholesterol together and, according to HeartUK, it can help regulate the absorption of sugars and control blood sugar levels which is helpful to diabetics.


Wheatbran has a higher content of insoluble fibre i.e. the bulk that will pass through you and the importance of this should not be underestimated.  The Western diet typically has insufficient fibre which is why various avoidable problems can occur; these may include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) etc.  It is a really good source of this valuable fibre in a way that doesn't involve shovelling in lots of additional calories  According to my packet of Neal's Yard bran, a 100g only contains 206 calories.  The 100g actually contains 36.4g of dietary fibre which is quite an impressive amount - but do not consume this all in one go!!!! This bran is best added as a spoonful to a soup, a bread mix, breakfast cereal etc and consumed with plenty of fluids throughout the day so that you don't create any blockages in your gut (which can be painful).  Actually I think it is best, if you're changing your diet to include more fibre, to do this gradually and build this up over a period of time so as to avoid any undue consequences.

Wheatbran contains Vitamin B6 and niacin, together with some micronutrients such as iron, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium which are useful.


Both of these foods keep very well in cool airtight containers and are available for little cost via Amazon (see my Affiliate link) or from your local health food shop.  It is an inexpensive food to buy and we never buy it boxed or in fancy packaging.

These brans can be added (i.e. sprinkled) into a variety of dishes so it's easy to increase our intake without feeling we're living on a sawdust diet - in fact if you use it thoughtfully you won't even notice it and yet you will realise the health benefits.  Rachel quite often puts some into our homemade bread which I never tire of at all; it's just good wholesome food and the kind I love so much.

1 comment:

  1. hmm, refined grains are bran and germ being removed, not bran and endosperm..