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Couscous vs Rye grain: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between couscous and rye grain, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the couscous vs rye grain comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 25, 2023.

Couscous 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 couscous and rye grain 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).

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.

Couscous 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 couscous vs rye grain.

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

CouscousRye grain
Energy376 kcal338 kcal
Carbs77.4 g75.9 g
Sugar0 g0.98 g
Fiber5 g15.1 g
Protein12.8 g10.3 g
Fat0.64 g1.63 g
Saturated Fat0.117 g0.197 g

Couscous vs Rye grain Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rye grain vs couscous for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 376 calories per 100 grams of couscous.

However, both couscous 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.

Couscous vs Rye grain Protein

Grains and most grain products, including couscous 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.

Couscous offers around 20% more protein than rye grain.

Couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Couscous 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 couscous and rye grain.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in couscous than in rye grain. It has 77.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 75.9 grams in rye grain.

There’s less sugar in couscous than in rye grain, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of couscous contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of rye grain contains 1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in couscous 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 couscous which offers 5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Couscous vs Rye grain Fats

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

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

Total fat in couscous and rye grain:

  • Couscous: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Rye grain: 1.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, couscous is 50% lower in saturated fats.

Couscous and rye grain contain 0.1 grams and 0.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Couscous vs Rye grain Vitamins Content

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

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 A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Couscous 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 couscous and rye grain contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

CouscousRye grain
Vitamin A011 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.163 mg0.316 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.078 mg0.251 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.49 mg4.27 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.24 mg1.46 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.11 mg0.294 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg38 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.85 mg
Vitamin K05.9 µg

Couscous 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 couscous and rye grain comparison focuses on their mineral content.

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

On the other hand, rye grain is a higher amount of sodium.

Couscous and rye grain contain the same amount of calcium, and fluoride.

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

CouscousRye grain
Calcium24 mg24 mg
Copper0.247 mg0.367 mg
Iron1.08 mg2.63 mg
Magnesium44 mg110 mg
Manganese0.78 mg2.58 mg
Phosphorus170 mg332 mg
Potassium166 mg510 mg
Selenium2.8 µg13.9 µg
Sodium10 mg2 mg
Zinc0.83 mg2.65 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between couscous 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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