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Should I Eat Oatmeal vs Cream of Wheat For Breakfast?

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Let’s take a closer look at the oatmeal vs cream of wheat cereal dilemma, weighing the health benefits and taste preferences for an informed start to your busy caregiver day.


As caregivers, eating a healthy breakfast is important, and warm cereals provide a comforting and cozy start to the day. So should it be a serving of oatmeal vs cream of wheat? Let’s look at the ideal breakfast option for caregivers.

Oatmeal and cream of wheat stand as timeless breakfast cereals. They are some of the most popular grains and are loved for their versatility, nutritional value, and comforting textures.

Both of these grain-based, healthier food options provide a warm and nutritious start to the day and cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences.

When I was a little girl, my mom made me and my brothers a lot of cream of wheat, much more than oatmeal. Now as an adult, I love oatmeal and make all kinds of goodies using steel-cut and rolled oats.

I still enjoy a comforting bowl of cream of wheat, so I started looking into which warm cereals are healthier for breakfast – oatmeal vs cream of wheat. Especially for us caregivers who need to stay energized throughout the day.

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Oatmeal vs Cream of Wheat: Nutrition Profile

Although oatmeal and cream of wheat are both whole grain breakfast staples, their nutrition profiles differ.

Each breakfast cereal provides a unique combination of essential nutrients, dietary fiber, and calories. This allows us to choose which hot breakfast cereal we prefer based on our personal dietary needs and preferences.


Nutritional Benefits of Oatmeal

Here are the nutrition facts for 40 g of organic rolled oats made with water.

NOTE: This nutrition profile is based on one simple ingredient, organic rolled oats, with nothing else added.

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Total Fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 mcg
  • Calcium: 0 mg
  • Iron: 1.7 mg
  • Potassium: 140 mg

Nutritional Benefits of Cream of Wheat

Here are the nutrition facts for 40 g of dry cream of wheat made with water.

NOTE: This nutrition profile is based on one simple ingredient, organic wheat, with nothing else added.

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 mcg
  • Calcium: 7 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg
  • Potassium: 50 mg

Oatmeal vs Cream of Wheat: A Side-By-Side Comparison

As you can see, oatmeal and cream of wheat have a pretty similar nutritional profile. There are a few differences however that may help you decide what is the best hot cereal for you for breakfast.


Cream of wheat has about 10 fewer calories than oatmeal, and depending on where those extra calories come from, they won’t make a huge difference. Perhaps oatmeal having a bit more protein and fiber contributes to this discrepancy.


Protein helps build and repair cells in our body, and they are the building blocks of life. We need protein in our diet to build and maintain muscle mass, bones, and skin (1).

Oatmeal contains more grams of protein than cream of wheat (5 grams vs 4 grams). However, both have a nice amount of protein and are a good option for warm breakfast cereals.

Total Carbohydrates

Cream of wheat contains more total grams of carbohydrates than oatmeal (31 grams vs 27 grams) but it is important to look further into the breakdown of carbohydrates, including fiber and sugar.


Dietary Fiber

Oatmeal contains more grams of fiber than cream of wheat (4 grams vs 2 grams). This is an important factor.

Fiber is incredibly important, and for optimal health, we must be aware of the amount of fiber in our diet. Generally speaking, we should aim for 25-35 grams of fiber each day (2).

Fiber does not break down into sugar like other carbohydrates, and it helps to regulate blood sugar, keep hunger at bay, and promote a healthy gut and digestive system (2).


Per 40 grams, neither oatmeal nor cream of wheat contain a significant amount of sugar. This is excellent on both fronts.

It is important to be mindful of the toppings you put on your oatmeal or cream of wheat, making sure the added sugar is as natural and unprocessed as possible (Examples: Fruit and honey).

Total Fat

Both oatmeal and cream of wheat, per 40 grams, contain 0 grams of fat, including saturated fat, which is good.

Although both cereals are excellent choices for low-fat diets, this does not mean they do not contain ANY fat, including healthy fats.

Just that rolled oats and cream of wheat, per 40 grams, do not contain ENOUGH fat to be required by regulations to be disclosed on the nutrition facts label.


Neither oatmeal nor cream of wheat contains enough sodium to have to put on the nutrition facts label (o micrograms each). Both healthy grains are an excellent choice when you are watching your sodium intake.



Cream of wheat contains more calcium, per 40 grams, than oatmeal (7 milligrams vs 0 milligrams), which is something to consider.

Calcium is the most prevalent mineral in the body and it plays an important role in maintaining bone and teeth structure. Calcium is essential for supporting normal body movement and ensures the strength and flexibility of tissues (3).


Per 40 grams, oatmeal contains more milligrams of iron than cream of wheat (1.7 milligrams vs 1 milligram).

Iron is a mineral found naturally, and is also sometimes added to food products. Our bodies use iron to make hemoglobin which is a protein in red blood cells and helps transfer oxygen from the lungs to the rest of our body (4).

Iron is also responsible for physical growth, neurological development, and the synthesis of hormones (4).


Oatmeal contains more potassium than cream of wheat, per 40 grams (140 milligrams vs 50 milligrams).

Potassium is an important mineral found in many foods and is needed for almost everything we do. From how well our heart functions to kidney function to muscle contraction and nerve transmission (5).

Things to consider when deciding on oatmeal vs cream of wheat

When deciding to eat oatmeal vs cream of wheat for breakfast, the choice is ultimately personal. However, exploring the considerations for each option may help to assist you in making an informed decision.

Oatmeal stands out when it comes to heart health, lowering cholesterol, and blood sugar regulation due to its slightly higher fiber content than cream of wheat (6).

Although oatmeal and cream of wheat are both excellent nutritious breakfast options, oatmeal may be a better option over cream of wheat when it comes to antioxidants, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. Oatmeal also contains quality B essential vitamins that help us maintain energy throughout the day (6).

Oatmeal is quite versatile when it comes to different flavors and toppings. From fresh fruit and nuts to all-natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

Cream of wheat is also a good choice, being easily adaptable with its slightly milder taste. This makes it a great base for both sweet and savory additions.

Oatmeal can accommodate different textures and taste preferences, ranging from a creamy texture to a hearty, more chewy, texture depending on how you cook them and the type of oats used. Be it instant oats, rolled oats, or steel-cut oats.


Cream of wheat provides a more smooth texture, similar to a type of porridge, which may appeal to some. Ultimately the choice between the two instant cereals depends on individual preferences for texture.

Both oatmeal and cream of wheat are fairly quick and convenient to prepare. Oatmeal may take a longer time to cook but it can be made via the stovetop, microwave, or even by soaking overnight. Whereas cream of wheat is usually made on the stove but with a shorter cooking time.

Oatmeal tends to be less expensive and more accessible in comparison to cream of wheat, making it a budget-friendly option for many households. Oatmeal’s versatility, with its different varieties, fits different budgets and provides an affordable and easy-access breakfast choice for many.

Dietary Considerations between oatmeal and cream of wheat

When it comes to considering oatmeal vs cream of wheat for breakfast, there are some dietary considerations to be mindful of.

  • Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity: While oatmeal is inherently gluten-free, cross-contamination during processing can occur. Therefore, if you adhere to a gluten-free diet, it is important to look for a certified gluten-free oat when shopping at your local grocery store.
    Cream of wheat contains gluten because it is directly made from wheat so it is unsuitable for those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.
  • Satiety: Oatmeal and its higher fiber content may contribute to a greater sense of fullness and satiety, which can help with food portion control and weight management.
  • Weight management: While cream of wheat contains many vitamins and nutrients, it does not have as much fiber as oatmeal. It may not give you the same amount of fullness and therefore may not be the most favorable choice for those who are working on weight loss or weight management.

Oatmeal vs Cream of Wheat for Breakfast: A Personal Preference

The joy of breakfast lies in the array of choices, and the decision between oatmeal vs cream of wheat depends on your unique personal preferences, dietary requirements, and lifestyle factors.

For those prioritizing heart health or blood sugar control, a cup of oatmeal that’s fiber-filled may be your best choice.

For those with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease considerations, perhaps a naturally gluten-free cup of cream of wheat, like buckwheat, may be a nice option.

Or opt for both and switch off depending on your taste preferences – chewy steel cut oatmeal texture one day, and then the smooth, soft, comforting cream of wheat the next.

All that said, both choices offer a wholesome foundation for a wonderful and delicious breakfast tailored to your individual specific needs.

Delicious Oatmeal Recipes

If you are looking for delicious oat recipes, look no further. Here are some easy, vegan, and nutritious oatmeal recipes for you to enjoy.

Additional Posts For Caregiver Support

Let’s Connect

I hope you enjoyed this post comparing oatmeal and cream of wheat for breakfast. If you did, I would be grateful if you also shared it with your friends and family.

Which warm cereal do you prefer for breakfast – oatmeal or cream of wheat? Please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.


  1. https://medlineplus.gov/dietaryproteins.html
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
  3. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/
  5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-Consumer/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8625765/

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