Couscous vs Semolina: How Are They Different?
Couscous 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 couscous and semolina 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).
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).
Couscous 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 couscous vs semolina.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of couscous and semolina and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||376 kcal||360 kcal|
|Carbs||77.4 g||72.8 g|
|Sugar||0 g||2.67 g|
|Fiber||5 g||3.9 g|
|Protein||12.8 g||12.7 g|
|Fat||0.64 g||1.05 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.117 g||0.15 g|
Couscous vs Semolina Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing semolina vs couscous for weight loss, semolina is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 376 calories per 100 grams of couscous.
However, both couscous 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.
Couscous vs Semolina Protein
Grains and most grain products, including couscous 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.
Couscous offers around 1% more protein than semolina.
Couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams, while semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Couscous 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 couscous and semolina.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 6% higher in couscous than in semolina. It has 77.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in semolina.
There’s less sugar in couscous than in semolina, 100% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of couscous contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in couscous and semolina.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, couscous is a better source of fiber than semolina which couscous offers 3.9 grams per 100 gram portion.
Couscous vs Semolina Fats
Like most other grains, couscous and semolina are low in fat.
Fats in couscous and semolina are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in couscous and semolina:
- Couscous: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
- Semolina: 1.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, couscous is 50% lower in saturated fats.
Couscous and semolina contain 0.1 grams and 0.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Couscous vs Semolina Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of couscous and semolina.
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 B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.
However, semolina has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Couscous and semolina 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 semolina contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.163 mg||0.28 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.078 mg||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||3.49 mg||3.31 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.24 mg||0.58 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.11 mg||0.103 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||20 µg||72 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin K||0||0.1 µg|
Couscous 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 couscous and semolina comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Couscous is a better source of iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc than semolina.
On the other hand, semolina is a higher amount of calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and sodium.
Couscous and semolina contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how couscous and semolina compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||24 mg||17 mg|
|Copper||0.247 mg||0.189 mg|
|Iron||1.08 mg||1.23 mg|
|Magnesium||44 mg||47 mg|
|Manganese||0.78 mg||0.619 mg|
|Phosphorus||170 mg||136 mg|
|Potassium||166 mg||186 mg|
|Selenium||2.8 µg||63.2 µg|
|Sodium||10 mg||1 mg|
|Zinc||0.83 mg||1.05 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between couscous 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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