What’s the Best Breakfast Cereal:  Chewy Oats Vs Crunch Corn Flakes?

Rohit Panwar

The oats vs corn flakes debate is worth exploring given the popularity of the classic breakfast options. 

As a nutritionist engaged in guiding clients towards healthier lifestyles, I take you through the intricate nutritional profiles of oats and corn flakes. Let’s explore the two and see which has a more positive impact on overall well-being.

Oats Vs Corn Flakes: Making An Informed Choice

Let’s begin by taking a quick look at steel cut vs Corn Flakes benefits and nutritional profiles:


Low – High

Corn Flakes



Chewy & Nutty

Corn Flakes

Crunchy & Sweet


Easy to Moderate

Corn Flakes



Very Good

Corn Flakes



½ Cup

Corn Flakes

½ -1 Cup



Corn Flakes



27 g*

Corn Flakes

28 g*


2.5 g*

Corn Flakes

0 g*


5 g*

Corn Flakes

2 g*


4 g*

Corn Flakes

1 g*



Corn Flakes



Very Good

Corn Flakes



Very Good

Corn Flakes



Very Good

Corn Flakes



Very Good

Corn Flakes




Corn Flakes



Up to 2 years

Corn Flakes

Up to 1 year

*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is Serving size  

The Origin & Source of Oats Vs Corn Flakes As Breakfast Cereals

Derived from whole grains, oats have their roots tracing back to ancient civilizations. Depending on how they are processed, oats are available in different forms: old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, and instant oats. 

The birth of corn flakes can be attributed to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who in the late 19th century developed it as a health food to battle digestive issues. 

Corn flakes are made from corn and undergo cooking, flattening and toasting before they can reach our breakfast tables. 

Oats or Corn Flakes: Which One’s More Appealing In Terms of Taste & Texture 

Oats have a hearty, nutty flavor and are chewy texture. So, when you eat them , you really get a mouthful experience. 

Conversely, corn flakes are light, crispy and crunchy which is what makes them so interesting. If eaten on their own, they have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

What is More Ease of Prepare & Consume: Oats or Corn Flakes?

Both oats and corn are super easy to prepare. Depending on the kind of oats, you may have to cook them for 2-20 minutes. Instant or microwaveable forms are a quick and adaptable choice for those with busy mornings.

Corn flakes require no cooking at all. Just add in your milk and enjoy. This simplicity makes them a time-saving,  hassle-free breakfast solution.

More Versatile Cereal: Oats or Corn Flakes

Oats, definitely take the lead over corn flakes in terms of usage. 

All forms of oats can be used in a wide range of preparations, from traditional oatmeal to overnight oats, granola bars, and even savory dishes like oat risotto.

Corn flakes are meant to be a breakfast option and have limited adaptability. 

Although you can add it to add crunch to your desserts or other dishes. I like to use it in chaats – a mix of flattened rice, chopped onions, tomato, cilantro, lemon and peanuts. 

How Much Oats or Cornflakes Can You Consume Daily?

As a nutritionist, I always recommend clients to stick to the standard serving size. 

For oats, 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked oats provides a good balance of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

In case of cornflakes, up to 1 cup a day is fine. But make sure  you choose plain cornflakes and not the flavored ones since they contain a lot of added sugar. 

Better Option for Low Calorie Breakfast: Oats or Corn Flakes?

Both oats and corn flakes have almost the same calories, provided we are considering the plain, unsweetened versions. 

Oats and cornflakes are often lower in calories than some other cereals. So, when you pick your pack, make sure to read the nutritional labels.

What is Higher in Carbohydrates: Oats or Corn Flakes?

Both oats and corn flakes are moderately high in carbs. So, people on low carb diets should limit the consumption of these foods. 

Now, what’s important to remember here is that the source of carbs in oats and cornflakes differs. In the case of oats, the high carbs can be attributed to dietary fiber, which is a complex carb – a high quality carb. 

In the case of cornflakes, most of the carbs are simple carbs – considered as low quality. Therefore, despite being carb rich, oats is a better choice for sure. 

Higher in Fats: Oats or Corn Flakes

Again, as in the case of carbs, when considering fats, it’s essential to pay attention not only to the quantity but also to the quality of fats.

Oats contain a higher amount of fats compared to corn flakes. However, the fats in oats are primarily unsaturated fats or good fats that are considered heart-healthy.

Since corn flakes  is a more processed cereal, it has zero to no fat content compared to oats. So, they may have a lower fat content but may lack some of the nutritional benefits found in oats. 

Oats or Corn Flakes: Better Quality & Quantity of Protein 

Oats provide a better quality and quantity of protein compared to corn flakes. 

Oats are a good source of plant-based protein and contain all essential amino acids. 

Corn flakes may contain some protein, but are not as protein-dense as oats. The protein in corn flakes is also less complete, and they lack certain essential amino acids.

If protein content is a significant consideration in your diet, choosing oats over corn flakes would be a preferable option. 

Are Oats or Corn Flakes a Better Source of Fiber?

Yes, most certainly! Oats are a much better source of fiber compared to corn flakes. 

Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, known for its heart-health benefits and ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. 

On the other hand, corn flakes are processed and lack whole grain components

So, if you’re looking to increase your fiber intake, oats, particularly rolled oats or steel-cut oats, would be a more favorable choice over corn flakes.

Which Has a Lower Glycemic Index: Oats or Corn Flakes?

Oats generally have a lower glycemic index (GI) compared to corn flakes. Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. 

Oats have a slower impact on blood sugar due to their complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

Corn flakes, being a processed cereal, have a higher glycemic index. Additionally, some corn flakes may contain added sugars, which can contribute to a faster rise in blood sugar levels.

Which Has More Nutrients – Rolled Oats or Cornflakes?

Rolled oats and oats in general have more nutrients compared to cornflakes. 

Oats, being a whole grain, are a good source of various essential nutrients. They contain vitamins (such as B vitamins), and minerals (including iron and magnesium).

Cornflakes, while they may provide some vitamins and minerals, are more processed, and the refining process strips away certain nutrients present in the whole corn. 

If you’re seeking a nutrient-dense option,  oats, especially the less processed varieties like old-fashioned rolled oats or steel-cut oats, are a great choice. 

Which One Keeps You Full for Longer – Oats Vs Corn Flakes?

Oats keep you full for a longer duration compared to corn flakes. Reason – the high fiber. 

On the other hand, corn flakes, while providing a quick burst of energy, do not have the same satiating effect. 

The simple carbohydrates in corn flakes can lead to a faster increase in blood sugar levels, followed by a quicker decline, potentially leaving you feeling hungry sooner.

If you’re looking for a breakfast option that helps keep you full for an extended period, opting for oats is a better option.

Easier on the Digestion – Oats Vs Corn Flakes 

Oats are easy on the stomach since they are rich in soluble fiber. This kind of fiber aids digestion by promoting a healthy gut environment and regulating bowel movements. 

Corn flakes are pretty easy on the tummy too. In fact it was invented as a food to help with indigestion.  

Oats Vs Maize: More Allergy Friendly

Oats are generally more allergy-friendly compared to maize (corn). 

Oats do not contain gluten, but they may be processed in facilities that also handle wheat, which can cause contamination. So, if you’re gluten allergic, choose certified gluten-free options.

Maize, on the other hand, is a common source of food allergies. Corn allergies are primarily linked to proteins found in corn, and symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Better For Our Planet: Oats or Corn Flakes

Oats are a hardy crop that can thrive in diverse climates. They require relatively less water and fewer pesticides compared to corn. Additionally, oats often have a lower carbon footprint and environmental impact per unit produced.

Corn cultivation, particularly for processed products like corn flakes, can involve intensive farming practices that may contribute to soil erosion, water pollution, and higher greenhouse gas emissions.

Choosing oats over corn flakes, especially those produced sustainably and locally, can be a more eco-friendly choice. 

Which One Has A Longer Shelf Life & Easier to Store: Oats or Corn Flakes?

Oats, particularly in their dry form such as rolled oats or steel-cut oats, have a relatively extended shelf life, often lasting for months when stored in a cool, dry place. 

On the other hand, corn flakes, being a more processed cereal, are generally more susceptible to becoming stale or losing their crispness over time. 

Use sealed containers to store oats and corn flakes to help prevent moisture and pests.

In conclusion, oats are generally a better breakfast option when compared to corn flakes because of their dense nutrient value. However, eating corn flakes, now and then won’t harm you either. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.