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Comparing grains

Updated: Jan 5, 2019



I’ve been realising that there is so much misinformation about health floating around. So I’d like to help clarify things and show how easy it can be to make healthy choices.


For example, which type of grain gives you the most bang for your buck? That, of course, depends on which bang you’re looking for. Do you want high protein, low carb or low fat? And what about fibre and minerals?


I was wondering how much difference there is between pasta and quinoa, and between whole wheat and regular pasta. So I did a bit of research and compared some grains*. Here’s what I found.


*Quinoa is technically a seed, but it’s eaten as a grain. Same for buckwheat (soba noodles), it has nothing to do with wheat.


Macro-nutrients

  • Most protein: white pasta

  • Least carbohydrates: bulgur

  • Least fat: soba noodles

Extras

  • Most fibre: whole wheat pasta

  • Most iron: amaranth

So what's your best bet? That depends on what you're looking for? Need to up your iron intake? Go for amaranth. Are you minimising carbs? Go for bulgur.


In comparison to other grains, amaranth packs quite a nutritional punch!


What is amaranth and where can I get it?


Wikipedia tells me: “Amaranth has been cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years. It was a staple food of the Aztecs, and was used as an integral part of Aztec religious ceremonies.”

Its protein is very high quality and it’s also gluten-free.


To cook amaranth, use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of dry amaranth grains and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. This will become about 3 cups of cooked amaranth.


Food blog The Kitchn has some good tips on how to use amaranth.


It can be found quite easily online and in health food shops. My favourite package free shop in Antwerp , Robuust, also has it.


Nutritional information overview


Want to know which grain is best for you? Here’s an overview of nutritional data for amaranth, bulgur, pasta, quinoa, rice and many more.


Which one is your go-to grain? And does this information make you want to try something else?

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