Bulgur vs Semolina: Which Is Better?
Bulgur and semolina 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 semolina 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).
Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.
Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.
Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Bulgur vs Semolina 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 semolina.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of bulgur and semolina and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||342 kcal||360 kcal|
|Carbs||75.9 g||72.8 g|
|Sugar||0.41 g||2.67 g|
|Fiber||12.5 g||3.9 g|
|Protein||12.3 g||12.7 g|
|Fat||1.33 g||1.05 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.232 g||0.15 g|
Bulgur vs Semolina Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing bulgur vs semolina for weight loss, bulgur is slightly lower in calories, with 342 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of semolina.
However, both bulgur and semolina 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 Semolina Protein
Grains and most grain products, including bulgur and semolina, 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.
Semolina offers around 3% more protein than bulgur.
Semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Bulgur vs Semolina 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 semolina.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in bulgur than in semolina. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in semolina.
There’s less sugar in bulgur than in semolina, 85% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of bulgur contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and semolina.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 12.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, bulgur is a better source of fiber than semolina which bulgur offers 3.9 grams per 100 gram portion.
Bulgur vs Semolina Fats
Like most other grains, bulgur and semolina are low in fat.
Fats in bulgur and semolina are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in bulgur and semolina:
- Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
- Semolina: 1.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur and semolina contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.
Bulgur vs Semolina Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and semolina.
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 B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
However, semolina has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin K.
Bulgur and semolina contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and semolina contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||9 IU||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.232 mg||0.28 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.115 mg||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||5.11 mg||3.31 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.04 mg||0.58 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.342 mg||0.103 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||27 µg||72 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.06 mg||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.9 µg||0.1 µg|
Bulgur vs Semolina 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 semolina comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Bulgur is a better source of selenium than semolina.
On the other hand, semolina is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Bulgur and semolina contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and semolina compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||35 mg||17 mg|
|Copper||0.335 mg||0.189 mg|
|Iron||2.46 mg||1.23 mg|
|Magnesium||164 mg||47 mg|
|Manganese||3.05 mg||0.619 mg|
|Phosphorus||300 mg||136 mg|
|Potassium||410 mg||186 mg|
|Selenium||2.3 µg||63.2 µg|
|Sodium||17 mg||1 mg|
|Zinc||1.93 mg||1.05 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between bulgur and semolina.
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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