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Durum wheat vs Teff: Which Is Healthier?

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

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

Durum wheat and teff 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 teff 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.


Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a small, gluten-free ancient grain that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It is a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin and thiamin. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and essential amino acids.

Teff has been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and weight management. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Teff can be cooked and eaten as a porridge, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make bread, pancakes, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a replacement for grains like quinoa, millet, or oats in recipes.

Teff is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Durum wheat vs Teff 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 teff.

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

Durum wheatTeff
Energy339 kcal367 kcal
Carbs71.1 g73.13 g
Sugar0 g1.84 g
Fiber3.4 g8 g
Protein13.7 g13.3 g
Fat2.47 g2.38 g
Saturated Fat0.454 g0.449 g

Durum wheat vs Teff Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing durum wheat vs teff for weight loss, durum wheat is slightly lower in calories, with 339 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

However, both durum wheat and teff 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 Teff Protein

Grains and most grain products, including durum wheat and teff, 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 3% more protein than teff.

Durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Durum wheat vs Teff 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 teff.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 3% higher in teff than in durum wheat. It has 73.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 71.1 grams in durum wheat.

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

That said, 100 grams of durum wheat contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of teff contains 1.8 grams.

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

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

With 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, teff is a better source of fiber than durum wheat which offers 3.4 grams per 100 gram portion.

Durum wheat vs Teff Fats

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

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

Total fat in durum wheat and teff:

  • Durum wheat: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Teff: 2.4 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, teff is 20% lower in saturated fats.

Teff and durum wheat contain 0.4 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Durum wheat vs Teff Vitamins Content

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

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 B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin K.

However, teff has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

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

Durum wheatTeff
Vitamin A09 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.419 mg0.39 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.121 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.74 mg3.363 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.935 mg0.942 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.419 mg0.482 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)43 µg0
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.9 mg0.08 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg1.9 µg

Durum wheat vs Teff 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 teff comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Durum wheat is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and sodium than teff.

On the other hand, teff is a higher amount of phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Durum wheat and teff contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Durum wheatTeff
Calcium34 mg180 mg
Copper0.553 mg0.81 mg
Iron3.52 mg7.63 mg
Magnesium144 mg184 mg
Manganese3.01 mg9.24 mg
Phosphorus508 mg429 mg
Potassium431 mg427 mg
Selenium89.4 µg4.4 µg
Sodium2 mg12 mg
Zinc4.16 mg3.63 mg

The Final Word

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

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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