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Barley flour vs Pasta: Difference & Similarities

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

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 28, 2023.

Barley flour and pasta 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 barley flour and pasta and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Barley flour

Barley flour (Hordeum vulgare) is made from ground barley, which is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Barley flour is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and porridge. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Barley flour is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Barley flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.


Pasta is a traditional Italian food made from wheat flour and water. The most common types of pasta include spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and fettuccine. Still, there are many other varieties available.

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body. It also contains small amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the type of pasta and the flour used.

It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for weight management and a balanced diet. It can be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet when paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Pasta can be enjoyed in a variety of ways; it can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. There are also different types of pasta available for those who are gluten intolerant or prefer a lower-carb option, such as rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and lentil pasta.

Pasta is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Barley flour vs Pasta Nutrition

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

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

Barley flourPasta
Energy345 kcal371 kcal
Carbs74.5 g74.7 g
Sugar0.8 g2.67 g
Fiber10.1 g3.2 g
Protein10.5 g13 g
Fat1.6 g1.51 g
Saturated Fat0.335 g0.277 g

Barley flour vs Pasta Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing barley flour vs pasta for weight loss, barley flour is slightly lower in calories, with 345 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.

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

Barley flour vs Pasta Protein

Grains and most grain products, including barley flour and pasta, 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.

Pasta offers around 19% more protein than barley flour.

Pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley flour has 10.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Pasta 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 barley flour and pasta.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 0% higher in pasta than in barley flour. It has 74.7 grams per 100 grams, compared to 74.5 grams in barley flour.

There’s less sugar in barley flour than in pasta, 70% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of barley flour contains 0.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pasta contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley flour and pasta.

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

With 10.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, barley flour is a better source of fiber than pasta which barley flour offers 3.2 grams per 100 gram portion.

Barley flour vs Pasta Fats

Like most other grains, barley flour and pasta are low in fat.

Fats in barley flour and pasta are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in barley flour and pasta:

  • Barley flour: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Pasta: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, barley flour and pasta contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.3 grams per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Pasta Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley flour and pasta.

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

Barley flour has a higher amount of vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, pasta has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Barley flour and pasta contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley flour and pasta contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Barley flourPasta
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.37 mg0.09 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.114 mg0.06 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.27 mg1.7 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.145 mg0.431 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.396 mg0.142 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)8 µg18 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.11 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg0.1 µg

Barley flour vs Pasta 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 barley flour and pasta comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley flour is a better source of selenium, and sodium than pasta.

On the other hand, pasta is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Barley flour and pasta contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how barley flour and pasta compare when it comes to mineral content.

Barley flourPasta
Calcium32 mg21 mg
Copper0.343 mg0.289 mg
Iron2.68 mg1.3 mg
Magnesium96 mg53 mg
Manganese1.03 mg0.917 mg
Phosphorus296 mg189 mg
Potassium309 mg223 mg
Selenium37.7 µg63.2 µg
Sodium4 mg6 mg
Zinc2 mg1.41 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between barley flour and pasta.

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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