Porridge: Rice vs Oat

“One step forward is a better than none” – unknown

In many Asian countries, the word porridge means soft, watery white rice. It is eaten as a savory meal with chicken, egg, onion spring, or fried dough (known as cak-we). In western countries, porridge means oatmeal and usually eaten as sweet meal. It is mixed with honey, fruits, peanut butter, jam, or yogurt. Although it has different meaning, both is usually eaten for breakfast.

Oat vs Rice – which one is better? Well, as always, it depends on how you define better.

To start, I checked the macro nutrition for both:

Nutrition per 100g (uncooked)Rice, short grainOat
Calories 358 kcal379 kcal
Protein6.5 g13.15 g
Carbohydrate79.15 g67.7 g
Fat0.52 g6.5 g
Fiber2.8 g10.1 g
Macro nutrition for rice vs oat based on USDA

Then, I checked the micro nutrition content. I won’t list all in details as it will be a bit too much but you can check the details here for rice and oats. In general, oat has higher mineral nutrients. Depends on which mineral, the difference can be significantly higher. For example, oat has 52 g calcium while rice only has 3 g of calcium per 100 g. However, rice has high folic acid, while oat has 0 g. Rice also has higher glutamic acid while oat has none.

Now, which one is better? It depends on your goal. As you can see, both food is a carb dominant food. However, because of my PCOS and situation, oat fits me better.

Rice has higher glutamic acid level while oat has none. I’ve been trying to consume food with low glutamic index (GI) level to ‘cured’ my PCOS situation. Oats is in the list while rice has higher GI level. It’s been suggested eating food with low GI level can help in maintaining PCOS.

For me, oat fits me better because I’d like to have good amount of dietary fiber for my healthy digestion so I can go to the toilet on a regular basis. Eating oat helps me get this on top of vegetables and fruit.

Another very insignificant reason is protein. Oat has higher protein and I’d love to hit my daily protein level. Every little thing helps. This is a very small amount so I don’t actually consider this as my reasoning and stick with the two above.

Understanding this, I modified my Indonesian chicken porridge (known as bubur ayam) to use oat instead of rice. It actually tastes good. I make rolled oat, add some chicken breast, green onion, and pour a little bit of kecap manis ( it’s sweet soy souce).

What is your preference?

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