Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour: Which Is Healthier?
Bulgur and whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour 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).
Whole-grain wheat flour (Triticum aestivum) is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel into a fine powder. It is considered a whole grain because it contains all three parts of the wheat kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm.
It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that have been linked to various health benefits, including improved heart health and blood sugar control.
Whole-grain wheat flour is commonly used in baking bread, pastries, and other baked goods and can also be used as a thickener for soups and sauces. It is a healthier option than refined flour as it retains all the nutrients from the wheat kernel and provides more fiber.
Whole-wheat flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E.
Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of bulgur and whole-wheat flour and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing whole-wheat flour vs bulgur for weight loss, whole-wheat flour is slightly lower in calories, with 340 calories per 100 grams, compared to 342 calories per 100 grams of bulgur.
However, both bulgur and whole-wheat flour 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 Whole-wheat flour Protein
Grains and most grain products, including bulgur and whole-wheat flour, 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.
Whole-wheat flour offers around 7% more protein than bulgur.
Whole-wheat flour has 13.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 5% higher in bulgur than in whole-wheat flour. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72 grams in whole-wheat flour.
That said, 100 grams of bulgur and whole-wheat flour contains 0.4 grams of sugar, the same amount.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and whole-wheat flour.
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 whole-wheat flour which bulgur offers 10.7 grams per 100 gram portion.
Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour Fats
Like most other grains, bulgur and whole-wheat flour are low in fat.
Fats in bulgur and whole-wheat flour are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in bulgur and whole-wheat flour:
- Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
- Whole-wheat flour: 2.5 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur is 50% lower in saturated fats.
Bulgur and whole-wheat flour contain 0.2 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Bulgur vs Whole-wheat flour Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and whole-wheat flour.
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 B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
However, whole-wheat flour has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).
Bulgur and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), and vitamin K.
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and whole-wheat flour 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 Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Bulgur is a better source of copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc than whole-wheat flour.
On the other hand, whole-wheat flour is a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Bulgur and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and whole-wheat flour compare when it comes to mineral content.
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between bulgur and whole-wheat flour.
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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