Difference between: granola and oats

What’s the difference between granola and oats? We have a super simple explanation for you right here.

granola being scooped up with a wooden spoon


  • Granola: a breakfast food consisting of rolled oats, brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit, etc., usually served with milk.
  • Oats: a cereal grass, Avena sativa, cultivated for its edible seed.

Right away, we can see that the latter is an ingredient in the former.

Indeed, granola is a mixture of many different ingredients – oats, nuts, fruit, often with a sweetener added such as molasses or honey. 

Oats are a cereal grain. They’re hardier than many other grains in terms of withstanding difficult growing conditions. Most importantly, when they’re hulled, the bran and germ are left in tact, allowing fiber and other nutrients to hang around (unlike with white rice).

Oats are undoubtedly healthy, while granola often has sugar or another sweetener, making it less so. Although, with the nuts and etc., granola could arguably have more nutrients, but it depends on the recipe used of course.

In short: Oats are a healthful cereal grain, often added to granola. Granola consists of oats and other food items like dried fruits and nuts. Both are typically toasted and often enjoyed for breakfast.