• Home
  • Guides
  • Durum wheat vs Pasta: Which Is Healthier?

Durum wheat vs Pasta: Which Is Healthier?

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

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

Durum wheat and pasta 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 pasta 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.


Pasta is a traditional Italian food made from wheat flour and water. The most common types of pasta include spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and fettuccine. Still, there are many other varieties available.

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body. It also contains small amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the type of pasta and the flour used.

It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for weight management and a balanced diet. It can be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet when paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Pasta can be enjoyed in a variety of ways; it can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. There are also different types of pasta available for those who are gluten intolerant or prefer a lower-carb option, such as rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and lentil pasta.

Pasta is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Durum wheat vs Pasta 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 pasta.

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

Durum wheatPasta
Energy339 kcal371 kcal
Carbs71.1 g74.7 g
Sugar0 g2.67 g
Fiber3.4 g3.2 g
Protein13.7 g13 g
Fat2.47 g1.51 g
Saturated Fat0.454 g0.277 g

Durum wheat vs Pasta Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing durum wheat vs pasta for weight loss, durum wheat is slightly lower in calories, with 339 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.

However, both durum wheat and pasta 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 Pasta Protein

Grains and most grain products, including durum wheat and pasta, 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 5% more protein than pasta.

Durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Durum wheat vs Pasta 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 pasta.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 5% higher in pasta than in durum wheat. It has 74.7 grams per 100 grams, compared to 71.1 grams in durum wheat.

There’s less sugar in durum wheat than in pasta, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of durum wheat contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pasta contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in durum wheat and pasta.

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

With 3.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, durum wheat is a better source of fiber than pasta which durum wheat offers 3.2 grams per 100 gram portion.

Durum wheat vs Pasta Fats

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

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

Total fat in durum wheat and pasta:

  • Durum wheat: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Pasta: 1.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, pasta is 40% lower in saturated fats.

Pasta and durum wheat contain 0.3 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Durum wheat vs Pasta Vitamins Content

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

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

However, pasta has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Durum wheat and pasta contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Durum wheatPasta
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.419 mg0.09 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.121 mg0.06 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.74 mg1.7 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.935 mg0.431 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.419 mg0.142 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)43 µg18 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.9 mg0.11 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg0.1 µg

Durum wheat vs Pasta 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 pasta comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Durum wheat is a better source of sodium than pasta.

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

Durum wheat and pasta contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Durum wheatPasta
Calcium34 mg21 mg
Copper0.553 mg0.289 mg
Iron3.52 mg1.3 mg
Magnesium144 mg53 mg
Manganese3.01 mg0.917 mg
Phosphorus508 mg189 mg
Potassium431 mg223 mg
Selenium89.4 µg63.2 µg
Sodium2 mg6 mg
Zinc4.16 mg1.41 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between durum wheat and pasta.

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.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.