Durum wheat vs Spelt: Which Is Healthier?
Durum wheat and spelt 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 spelt and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
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.
Spelt (Triticum spelta) is an ancient type of wheat that is believed to have originated in the Near East.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.
Spelt is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and pasta. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Spelt is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to have a positive impact on health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.
Spelt is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.
Durum wheat vs Spelt 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 spelt.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of durum wheat and spelt and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||339 kcal||338 kcal|
|Carbs||71.1 g||70.2 g|
|Sugar||0 g||6.82 g|
|Fiber||3.4 g||10.7 g|
|Protein||13.7 g||14.6 g|
|Fat||2.47 g||2.43 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.454 g||0.406 g|
Durum wheat vs Spelt Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing spelt vs durum wheat for weight loss, spelt is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 339 calories per 100 grams of durum wheat.
However, both durum wheat and spelt 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 Spelt Protein
Grains and most grain products, including durum wheat and spelt, 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.
Spelt offers around 6% more protein than durum wheat.
Spelt has 14.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Durum wheat vs Spelt 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 spelt.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 1% higher in durum wheat than in spelt. It has 71.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 70.2 grams in spelt.
There’s less sugar in durum wheat than in spelt, 100% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of durum wheat contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of spelt contains 6.8 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in durum wheat and spelt.
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, spelt is a better source of fiber than durum wheat which offers 3.4 grams per 100 gram portion.
Durum wheat vs Spelt Fats
Like most other grains, durum wheat and spelt are low in fat.
Fats in durum wheat and spelt are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in durum wheat and spelt:
- Durum wheat: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
- Spelt: 2.4 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, spelt is 20% lower in saturated fats.
Spelt and durum wheat contain 0.4 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Durum wheat vs Spelt Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of durum wheat and spelt.
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 A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.
However, spelt has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin E.
Durum wheat and spelt contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins durum wheat and spelt contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||0||10 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.419 mg||0.364 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.121 mg||0.113 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||6.74 mg||6.84 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.935 mg||1.07 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.419 mg||0.23 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||43 µg||45 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.9 mg||0.79 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.9 µg||3.6 µg|
Durum wheat vs Spelt 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 spelt comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Durum wheat is a better source of iron, and sodium than spelt.
On the other hand, spelt is a higher amount of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Durum wheat and spelt contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how durum wheat and spelt compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||34 mg||27 mg|
|Copper||0.553 mg||0.511 mg|
|Iron||3.52 mg||4.44 mg|
|Magnesium||144 mg||136 mg|
|Manganese||3.01 mg||2.98 mg|
|Phosphorus||508 mg||401 mg|
|Potassium||431 mg||388 mg|
|Selenium||89.4 µg||11.7 µg|
|Sodium||2 mg||8 mg|
|Zinc||4.16 mg||3.28 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between durum wheat and spelt.
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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