Durum wheat vs Millet: How To Choose?

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

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 28, 2023.

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat and millet and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Durum wheat

Durum wheat (Triticum durum) is a type of wheat that is known for its high protein and gluten content.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and essential amino acids, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Durum wheat is commonly used in the production of pasta and couscous and also in traditional dishes like semolina porridge and bread. It is also used in some breakfast cereals and snacks. The high gluten content of durum wheat gives pasta and other products made from it a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Durum wheat is gluten-rich. Thus, it is unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It can be enjoyed as a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Durum wheat is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.


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).

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat vs millet.

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

Durum wheatMillet
Energy339 kcal378 kcal
Carbs71.1 g72.8 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber3.4 g8.5 g
Protein13.7 g11 g
Fat2.47 g4.22 g
Saturated Fat0.454 g0.723 g

Durum wheat vs Millet Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing durum wheat vs millet for weight loss, durum wheat is slightly lower in calories, with 339 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of millet.

However, both durum wheat 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.

Durum wheat vs Millet Protein

Grains and most grain products, including durum wheat 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.

Durum wheat offers around 20% more protein than millet.

Durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while millet has 11 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat and millet.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in millet than in durum wheat. It has 72.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 71.1 grams in durum wheat.

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

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in durum wheat 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 durum wheat which offers 3.4 grams per 100 gram portion.

Durum wheat vs Millet Fats

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

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

Total fat in durum wheat and millet:

  • Durum wheat: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Millet: 4.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, durum wheat is 29% lower in saturated fats.

Durum wheat and millet contain 0.5 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Durum wheat vs Millet Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of durum wheat and millet.

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

Durum wheat has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, millet has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin E.

Durum wheat and millet 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 durum wheat and millet contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Durum wheatMillet
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.419 mg0.421 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.121 mg0.29 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.74 mg4.72 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.935 mg0.848 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.419 mg0.384 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)43 µg85 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.9 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg0.9 µg

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat and millet comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Durum wheat is a better source of copper, and sodium than millet.

On the other hand, millet is a higher amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Durum wheat and millet contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Durum wheatMillet
Calcium34 mg8 mg
Copper0.553 mg0.75 mg
Iron3.52 mg3.01 mg
Magnesium144 mg114 mg
Manganese3.01 mg1.63 mg
Phosphorus508 mg285 mg
Potassium431 mg195 mg
Selenium89.4 µg2.7 µg
Sodium2 mg5 mg
Zinc4.16 mg1.68 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between durum wheat 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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