Cream of Wheat vs. Oatmeal. It is a debate that has long been fought by both sides. Some people would even debate that they are the same thing. Not true; in fact, there are a number of similarities and difference between the two.
Both are breakfast food staples and share similar physical properties. In this article, we get down to the nitty-gritty of the two sides, tackling the health benefits of Cream of Wheat, the downsides of oatmeal, and the nutritional facts about both. This is the breakfast battle you’ve been waiting for. It’s Cream of Wheat vs. Oatmeal!
Cream of Wheat vs. Oatmeal: What Are They Made of?
At some point or another, almost every young child in North America has asked: “What is Cream of Wheat made out of?” or “What is oatmeal?” “What is Cream of Wheat?” Due to its texture, consistency, and many a schoolyard rumor, these are pretty fair questions that we hope to resolve here.
Firstly, Cream of Wheat is actually a brand name. Much like escalator or elevator, it has just been used as a common term for one product.
Cream of Wheat and other hot breakfast cereals like it are made from farina, a form of milled wheat. How it’s prepared is similar to grits except it’s made with wheat as opposed to corn.
Oatmeal is made from oats that have been rolled, steel cut, or ground. Add hot water, and that’s about it. Now, obviously, both Cream of Wheat and oatmeal can have things added to them, especially when you buy the pre-packaged versions of both. So, what health benefits do Cream of Wheat and oatmeal provide? Is one actually better for you than the other?
Health Benefits of Cream of Wheat and Oatmeal
Let us be honest here. When you think of prisoners being fed in some far off prison, the food product you think of looks a lot like Cream of Wheat or possibly oatmeal.
This makes many people wonder: Is Cream of Wheat Healthy? Is Cream of Wheat good for you? Which is healthier, Cream of Wheat or oatmeal? As it turns out, the answer is yes, both oatmeal and Cream of Wheat are good for you and both have health benefits.
Cream of Wheat has a ton of vitamin B, iron, and calcium, all of which are good for you. Oatmeal is low on the glycemic index, so it’s a great food for diabetics as well as pre-diabetes.
It can also help reduce your blood pressure, which is good for your heart. As it is high in fiber, it may also be a good food to help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Now combine these with any combination of healthy toppings like fruit, and you can make a very healthy breakfast with many health benefits for yourself. But which one is better for you? Is it Cream of Wheat or oatmeal?
Oatmeal has much more fiber than an equal portion of Cream of Wheat. In fact, the Arizona Republic reports one cup of cooked oatmeal nearly has double the soluble fiber of a cup of regular Cream of Wheat.
On the other hand, Cream of Wheat has nearly double the amount of niacin and folate of oatmeal. Both foods are high in iron, but Cream of Wheat has more iron than oatmeal.
As with most comparisons like this, in many ways, it comes down to personal preference and needs. Look at the facts on oatmeal nutrition and Cream of Wheat nutrition, and figure out what is best for you and your diet.
If you need more iron, Cream of Wheat is probably a better option. For more fiber, oatmeal is your friend.
With the health and nutrition angle out of the way, you may be wondering which of the two foods, if either, is good for a weight loss diet. Can Cream of Wheat help you with weight loss? Is oatmeal bad for a weight loss diet? The final round of Cream of Wheat vs Oatmeal!
Which is Better for Losing Weight? Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal
The question that always comes up when comparing any two foods is which one is better for weight loss. Will you lose more weight eating Cream of Wheat, or is oatmeal the better choice? Will you gain weight by eating either of these? The answer is yes, but you have to pay attention to what you’re buying.
Cream of Wheat can help with a weight loss diet if you are eating the version made from whole wheat. A fiber-filled Cream of Wheat can help you feel fuller, leading to fewer calories consumed through the rest of the day, which is good for weight loss.
It should be noted, however, that Cream of Wheat by itself is not a great breakfast for weight loss. For a more balanced meal, try adding a few nuts, fruit, or low-fat dairy products. Oatmeal carries similar positives and negatives.
Oatmeal’s fiber can help you feel filled up and keep your digestive system running smoothly, but it’s not a balanced meal by itself. You also need to stick to the less processed oatmeal as opposed to instant oatmeal, which may have higher sugar content.
Adding Cream of Wheat or oatmeal to your diet is a good thing either way. The health benefits outweigh anything that might be perceived as a possible negative. The main thing to remember is to pick the food that best fits your health needs and diet goals.
Also, remember to make it part of a well-balanced breakfast rather than eat it by itself. And keep in mind, no food is a miracle weight loss instrument, but in conjunction with a few other things, it can help you. In the case of Cream of Wheat vs oatmeal, we’ll call this battle a draw.
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Borreli, L. “Benefits Of Oatmeal: Why You Should Add The Power Food To Your High-Fiber Diet,” Medical Daily, April 9, 2015, http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-oatmeal-why-you-should-add-power-food-your-high-fiber-diet-328788
“What are the Health benefits of Cream of Wheat,” Healthy Eating, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-cream-wheat-4399.html