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Barley flour vs Tempeh: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between barley flour and tempeh, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the barley flour vs tempeh comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on February 19, 2023.

Although barley flour and tempeh belong to different food groups, while barley flour belong is a grain, and tempeh belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares barley flour and tempeh, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how barley flour and tempeh compare specifically.

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.


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.

It is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to its high protein and fiber content, as well as its distinctive, nutty flavor.

Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter culture, which gives it a firm, cake-like texture, and a unique flavor.

It can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tempeh stir-fries, tempeh sandwiches, and tempeh bacon.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, tempeh has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

It is a good source of antioxidants and has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Tempeh is also a good source of several important minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Tempeh is an excellent source of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin K.

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

Barley flour vs Tempeh 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 tempeh.

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

Barley flourTempeh
Energy345 kcal192 kcal
Carbs74.5 g7.64 g
Sugar0.8 g7.33 g
Fiber10.1 g9.3 g
Protein10.5 g20.3 g
Fat1.6 g10.8 g
Saturated Fat0.335 g2.54 g

Barley flour vs Tempeh Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing tempeh vs barley flour for weight loss, tempeh is slightly lower in calories, with 192 calories per 100 grams, compared to 345 calories per 100 grams of barley flour.

However, both barley flour and tempeh 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 Tempeh Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including barley flour and tempeh, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Tempeh offers around 48% more protein than barley flour.

Tempeh has 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley flour has 10.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Tempeh 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 tempeh.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 90% higher in barley flour than in tempeh. It have 74.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 7.6 grams in tempeh.

There’s less sugar in barley flour than in tempeh, 90% precisely.

One handful of barley flour (28 grams) contains 0.2 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tempeh contains 2.1 grams.

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

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

With 2.8 grams of fiber per portion, barley flour is a better source of fiber than tempeh which barley flour offers 2.6 grams per portion.

Barley flour vs Tempeh Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, barley flour and tempeh are low in fat.

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

Total fat in barley flour and tempeh:

  • Barley flour: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 10.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, barley flour is 88% lower in saturated fats.

Barley flour and tempeh contain 0.3 grams and 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Barley flour vs Tempeh Vitamins Content

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

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 B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tempeh has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Barley flour and tempeh contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

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

Barley flourTempeh
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.37 mg0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.114 mg0.358 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.27 mg2.64 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.145 mg0.278 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.396 mg0.215 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)8 µg24 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00.08 µg
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg47 µg

Barley flour vs Tempeh 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 tempeh comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley flour is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, potassium, and sodium than tempeh.

On the other hand, tempeh is a higher amount of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

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

Barley flourTempeh
Calcium32 mg111 mg
Copper0.343 mg0.56 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron2.68 mg2.7 mg
Magnesium96 mg81 mg
Manganese1.03 mg1.3 mg
Phosphorus296 mg266 mg
Potassium309 mg412 mg
Selenium37.7 µg0
Sodium4 mg9 mg
Zinc2 mg1.14 mg

The Final Word

Barley flour and tempeh are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both barley flour and tempeh are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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