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All-purpose flour vs Quinoa: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between all-purpose flour and quinoa, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the all-purpose flour vs quinoa comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 30, 2023.

All-purpose flour and quinoa belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare all-purpose flour and quinoa and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

All-purpose flour

All-purpose wheat flour (Triticum aestivum) is a type of flour that is made from hard or soft wheat. It is called ‘all-purpose’ because it can be used in various baking applications, including bread, cakes, pastries, and more.

All-purpose wheat flour is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also gluten-rich, allowing it to rise and develop a structure in baking.

All-purpose wheat flour is widely used in baking and cooking and can replace other flours in most recipes. It is also a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes such as bread, pastries, and cakes.

All-purpose wheat flour is not gluten-free and unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It can be enjoyed as a balanced diet combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

All-purpose flour is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.

It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin E.

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing all-purpose flour vs quinoa.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of all-purpose flour and quinoa and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

All-purpose flourQuinoa
Energy364 kcal368 kcal
Carbs76.3 g64.2 g
Sugar0.27 g1.45 g
Fiber2.7 g7 g
Protein10.3 g14.1 g
Fat0.98 g6.07 g
Saturated Fat0.155 g0.706 g

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing all-purpose flour vs quinoa for weight loss, all-purpose flour is slightly lower in calories, with 364 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, both all-purpose flour and quinoa can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Protein

Grains and most grain products, including all-purpose flour and quinoa, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Quinoa offers around 27% more protein than all-purpose flour.

Quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while all-purpose flour has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in all-purpose flour and quinoa.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 16% higher in all-purpose flour than in quinoa. It has 76.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 64.2 grams in quinoa.

There’s less sugar in all-purpose flour than in quinoa, 80% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of all-purpose flour contains 0.3 grams of sugar, while the same amount of quinoa contains 1.5 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in all-purpose flour and quinoa.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, quinoa is a better source of fiber than all-purpose flour which offers 2.7 grams per 100 gram portion.

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Fats

Like most other grains, all-purpose flour and quinoa are low in fat.

Fats in all-purpose flour and quinoa are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in all-purpose flour and quinoa:

  • All-purpose flour: 1 grams per 100 grams
  • Quinoa: 6.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, all-purpose flour is 71% lower in saturated fats.

All-purpose flour and quinoa contain 0.2 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of all-purpose flour and quinoa.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

All-purpose flour has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

However, quinoa has a higher amount of vitamin K.

All-purpose flour and quinoa contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins all-purpose flour and quinoa contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

All-purpose flourQuinoa
Vitamin A014 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.12 mg0.36 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.04 mg0.318 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.25 mg1.52 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.438 mg0.772 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.044 mg0.487 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)26 µg184 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg2.44 mg
Vitamin K0.3 µg0

All-purpose flour vs Quinoa Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the all-purpose flour and quinoa comparison focuses on their mineral content.

All-purpose flour is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than quinoa.

On the other hand, quinoa is a higher amount of selenium.

All-purpose flour and quinoa contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how all-purpose flour and quinoa compare when it comes to mineral content.

All-purpose flourQuinoa
Calcium15 mg47 mg
Copper0.144 mg0.59 mg
Iron1.17 mg4.57 mg
Magnesium22 mg197 mg
Manganese0.682 mg2.03 mg
Phosphorus108 mg457 mg
Potassium107 mg563 mg
Selenium33.9 µg8.5 µg
Sodium2 mg5 mg
Zinc0.7 mg3.1 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between all-purpose flour and quinoa.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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