Barley vs Vital wheat gluten: Which Is Healthier?
Barley and vital wheat gluten 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 and vital wheat gluten and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a cereal grain widely grown in many parts of the world and has been a staple food for thousands of years. It is closely related to wheat and oats.
Barley 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 is commonly used in brewing beer, animal feed, and as a food grain. It can be used in soups, stews, and as a side dish, either whole or ground into flour. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Barley 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 is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.
Vital wheat gluten
Vital wheat gluten, also known as wheat gluten (Triticum aestivum), is a plant-based protein derived from wheat.
It is a rich source of micro and micronutrients, including essential amino acids, vitamins such as B-vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Consuming vital wheat gluten has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, weight management, and muscle development. It is also a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. It can also be used as a meat substitute.
It is also beneficial for gluten sensitivity as it is gluten-free. Still, it is derived from wheat and contains gluten, so people with celiac disease should avoid it.
Vital wheat gluten is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten Nutrition
Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing barley vs vital wheat gluten.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of barley and vital wheat gluten and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Barley||Vital wheat gluten|
|Energy||354 kcal||370 kcal|
|Carbs||73.5 g||13.8 g|
|Sugar||0.8 g||0 g|
|Fiber||17.3 g||0.6 g|
|Protein||12.5 g||75.2 g|
|Fat||2.3 g||1.85 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.482 g||0.272 g|
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing barley vs vital wheat gluten for weight loss, barley is slightly lower in calories, with 354 calories per 100 grams, compared to 370 calories per 100 grams of vital wheat gluten.
However, both barley and vital wheat gluten 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 vs Vital wheat gluten Protein
Grains and most grain products, including barley and vital wheat gluten, 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.
Vital wheat gluten offers around 83% more protein than barley.
Vital wheat gluten has 75.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley has 12.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten 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 and vital wheat gluten.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 81% higher in barley than in vital wheat gluten. It has 73.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 13.8 grams in vital wheat gluten.
There’s less sugar in vital wheat gluten than in barley, 100% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of vital wheat gluten contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of barley contains 0.8 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley and vital wheat gluten.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 17.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, barley is a better source of fiber than vital wheat gluten which barley offers 0.6 grams per 100 gram portion.
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten Fats
Like most other grains, barley and vital wheat gluten are low in fat.
Fats in barley and vital wheat gluten are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in barley and vital wheat gluten:
- Barley: 2.3 grams per 100 grams
- Vital wheat gluten: 1.9 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, vital wheat gluten is 40% lower in saturated fats.
Vital wheat gluten and barley contain 0.3 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley and vital wheat gluten.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
However, vital wheat gluten 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), vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Barley and vital wheat gluten contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley and vital wheat gluten contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Barley||Vital wheat gluten|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.646 mg||0|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.285 mg||0|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||4.6 mg||0|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.282 mg||0|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.318 mg||0|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||19 µg||0|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.57 mg||0|
|Vitamin K||2.2 µg||0|
Barley vs Vital wheat gluten 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 and vital wheat gluten comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Barley is a better source of calcium, iron, selenium, and sodium than vital wheat gluten.
On the other hand, vital wheat gluten is a higher amount of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Barley and vital wheat gluten contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how barley and vital wheat gluten compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Barley||Vital wheat gluten|
|Calcium||33 mg||142 mg|
|Copper||0.498 mg||0.182 mg|
|Iron||3.6 mg||5.2 mg|
|Magnesium||133 mg||25 mg|
|Phosphorus||264 mg||260 mg|
|Potassium||452 mg||100 mg|
|Selenium||37.7 µg||39.7 µg|
|Sodium||12 mg||29 mg|
|Zinc||2.77 mg||0.85 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between barley and vital wheat gluten.
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.
- It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
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