Bulgur vs White rice: What’s The Difference?
Bulgur and white rice 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 white rice 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).
White rice (Oryza sativa) has had its husk, bran, and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This process, called milling, makes the rice less nutritious but increases its shelf life and gives it a lighter color and texture.
White rice is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, and fiber. It is gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
White rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads and sushi. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.
White rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, brown rice and other types of whole grains are less nutritious than brown rice, as it has had its bran and germ removed.
White rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Bulgur vs White rice 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 white rice.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of bulgur and white rice and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
Bulgur vs White rice Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing bulgur vs white rice for weight loss, bulgur is slightly lower in calories, with 342 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of white rice.
However, both bulgur and white rice 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 White rice Protein
Grains and most grain products, including bulgur and white rice, 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 46% more protein than white rice.
Bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while white rice has 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Bulgur vs White rice 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 white rice.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in white rice than in bulgur. It has 79.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 75.9 grams in bulgur.
There’s less sugar in bulgur than in white rice, 79% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of bulgur contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of white rice contains 1.9 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and white rice.
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 white rice which bulgur offers 3.3 grams per 100 gram portion.
Bulgur vs White rice Fats
Like most other grains, bulgur and white rice are low in fat.
Fats in bulgur and white rice are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in bulgur and white rice:
- Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
- White rice: 0.6 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur and white rice contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.
Bulgur vs White rice Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and white rice.
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 B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin E.
However, white rice has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.
Bulgur and white rice contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and white rice contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Bulgur vs White rice 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 white rice comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Bulgur is a better source of selenium than white rice.
On the other hand, white rice is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Bulgur and white rice contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and white rice compare when it comes to mineral content.
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between bulgur and white rice.
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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