Couscous vs Millet: How To Choose?

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

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 25, 2023.

Couscous and millet 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 couscous and millet and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Couscous (Couscous) is a type of pasta made from small, round granules of semolina, which is the coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat.

It is a good source of carbohydrates and small amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the ingredients used in the dish’s preparation.

Couscous is a staple food in North Africa and the Middle East and is traditionally served as a side dish or as a base for stews and salads. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest.

Couscous can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. It can also be paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Couscous is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Millet (Panicum miliaceum) is an ancient grain that is grown in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Europe.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Millet has a mild and nutty flavor and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour and used in baking. It can also be used as a replacement for other grains in recipes. It is often used in traditional African and Asian dishes and an important food source for people in these regions.

Millet 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).

Couscous vs Millet Nutrition

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

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

Energy376 kcal378 kcal
Carbs77.4 g72.8 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber5 g8.5 g
Protein12.8 g11 g
Fat0.64 g4.22 g
Saturated Fat0.117 g0.723 g

Couscous vs Millet Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing couscous vs millet for weight loss, couscous is slightly lower in calories, with 376 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of millet.

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

Couscous vs Millet Protein

Grains and most grain products, including couscous and millet, 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.

Couscous offers around 14% more protein than millet.

Couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams, while millet has 11 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Couscous vs Millet 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 couscous and millet.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 6% higher in couscous than in millet. It has 77.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in millet.

That said, 100 grams of couscous and millet contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in couscous and millet.

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

With 8.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, millet is a better source of fiber than couscous which offers 5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Couscous vs Millet Fats

Like most other grains, couscous and millet are low in fat.

Fats in couscous and millet are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in couscous and millet:

  • Couscous: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Millet: 4.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, couscous is 86% lower in saturated fats.

Couscous and millet contain 0.1 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Couscous vs Millet Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of couscous and millet.

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

Couscous has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, millet has a higher amount of vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Couscous and millet contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.163 mg0.421 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.078 mg0.29 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.49 mg4.72 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.24 mg0.848 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.11 mg0.384 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg85 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.05 mg
Vitamin K00.9 µg

Couscous vs Millet 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 couscous and millet comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Couscous is a better source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than millet.

On the other hand, millet is a higher amount of calcium, selenium, and sodium.

Couscous and millet contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how couscous and millet compare when it comes to mineral content.

Calcium24 mg8 mg
Copper0.247 mg0.75 mg
Iron1.08 mg3.01 mg
Magnesium44 mg114 mg
Manganese0.78 mg1.63 mg
Phosphorus170 mg285 mg
Potassium166 mg195 mg
Selenium2.8 µg2.7 µg
Sodium10 mg5 mg
Zinc0.83 mg1.68 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between couscous and millet.

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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