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Couscous vs Whole-wheat flour: How To Choose?

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

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

Couscous 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 couscous and whole-wheat flour 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).

Whole-wheat flour

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.

Couscous 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 couscous vs whole-wheat flour.

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

CouscousWhole-wheat flour
Energy376 kcal340 kcal
Carbs77.4 g72 g
Sugar0 g0.41 g
Fiber5 g10.7 g
Protein12.8 g13.2 g
Fat0.64 g2.5 g
Saturated Fat0.117 g0.43 g

Couscous vs Whole-wheat flour Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing whole-wheat flour vs couscous for weight loss, whole-wheat flour is slightly lower in calories, with 340 calories per 100 grams, compared to 376 calories per 100 grams of couscous.

However, both couscous 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.

Couscous vs Whole-wheat flour Protein

Grains and most grain products, including couscous 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 3% more protein than couscous.

Whole-wheat flour has 13.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while couscous has 12.8 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Couscous 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 couscous and whole-wheat flour.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 7% higher in couscous than in whole-wheat flour. It has 77.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72 grams in whole-wheat flour.

There’s less sugar in couscous than in whole-wheat flour, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of couscous contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of whole-wheat flour contains 0.4 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in couscous and whole-wheat flour.

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

With 10.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, whole-wheat flour is a better source of fiber than couscous which offers 5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Couscous vs Whole-wheat flour Fats

Like most other grains, couscous and whole-wheat flour are low in fat.

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

Total fat in couscous and whole-wheat flour:

  • Couscous: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Whole-wheat flour: 2.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, couscous is 75% lower in saturated fats.

Couscous and whole-wheat flour contain 0.1 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Couscous vs Whole-wheat flour Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of couscous 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.

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

However, whole-wheat flour has a higher amount of vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Couscous and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

CouscousWhole-wheat flour
Vitamin A09 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.163 mg0.502 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.078 mg0.165 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.49 mg4.96 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.24 mg0.603 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.11 mg0.407 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg44 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E00.71 mg
Vitamin K01.9 µg

Couscous 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 couscous and whole-wheat flour comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Couscous is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than whole-wheat flour.

On the other hand, whole-wheat flour is a higher amount of sodium.

Couscous and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how couscous and whole-wheat flour compare when it comes to mineral content.

CouscousWhole-wheat flour
Calcium24 mg34 mg
Copper0.247 mg0.41 mg
Iron1.08 mg3.6 mg
Magnesium44 mg137 mg
Manganese0.78 mg4.07 mg
Phosphorus170 mg357 mg
Potassium166 mg363 mg
Selenium2.8 µg61.8 µg
Sodium10 mg2 mg
Zinc0.83 mg2.6 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between couscous 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.


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