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Bulgur vs Rye grain: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between bulgur and rye grain, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the bulgur vs rye grain comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 3, 2023.

Bulgur and rye grain 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 bulgur and rye grain and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Bulgur (Triticum aestivum) is a type of whole wheat that is made by steaming, drying, and then coarsely grinding wheat berries.

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

Bulgur is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, often used in dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh. It can also be used in soups, stews, and as a stuffing. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Bulgur 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.

Bulgur is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

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

Rye grain

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain that is closely related to wheat and barley.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins like niacin and folate, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The high fiber content of rye grain has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique type of dietary fiber called arabinoxylan, which has been shown to have a prebiotic effect on gut health.

Rye grain is commonly used in bread making and traditional dishes such as rye porridge and crisp bread. It can also be milled into flour and used in baking or cooked and eaten as a side dish.

Rye grain is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.

Bulgur vs Rye grain Nutrition

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

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

BulgurRye grain
Energy342 kcal338 kcal
Carbs75.9 g75.9 g
Sugar0.41 g0.98 g
Fiber12.5 g15.1 g
Protein12.3 g10.3 g
Fat1.33 g1.63 g
Saturated Fat0.232 g0.197 g

Bulgur vs Rye grain Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rye grain vs bulgur for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 342 calories per 100 grams of bulgur.

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

Bulgur vs Rye grain Protein

Grains and most grain products, including bulgur and rye grain, 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.

Bulgur offers around 16% more protein than rye grain.

Bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Rye grain 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 bulgur and rye grain.

Rye grain and bulgur contain the same amount of total carbohydrates, 75.9 grams per 100 grams.

There’s less sugar in bulgur than in rye grain, 60% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of bulgur contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of rye grain contains 1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and rye grain.

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

With 15.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, rye grain is a better source of fiber than bulgur which offers 12.5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Bulgur vs Rye grain Fats

Like most other grains, bulgur and rye grain are low in fat.

Fats in bulgur and rye grain are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in bulgur and rye grain:

  • Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
  • Rye grain: 1.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur and rye grain contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Rye grain Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and rye grain.

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

Bulgur has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Bulgur and rye grain contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and rye grain contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

BulgurRye grain
Vitamin A9 IU11 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.232 mg0.316 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.115 mg0.251 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)5.11 mg4.27 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.04 mg1.46 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.342 mg0.294 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)27 µg38 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg5.9 µg

Bulgur vs Rye grain 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 bulgur and rye grain comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Bulgur is a better source of copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than rye grain.

On the other hand, rye grain is a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium.

Bulgur and rye grain contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and rye grain compare when it comes to mineral content.

BulgurRye grain
Calcium35 mg24 mg
Copper0.335 mg0.367 mg
Iron2.46 mg2.63 mg
Magnesium164 mg110 mg
Manganese3.05 mg2.58 mg
Phosphorus300 mg332 mg
Potassium410 mg510 mg
Selenium2.3 µg13.9 µg
Sodium17 mg2 mg
Zinc1.93 mg2.65 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between bulgur and rye grain.

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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