Pasta vs Teff: Which Is Healthier?
Pasta 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 pasta and teff and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
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 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).
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).
Pasta 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 pasta vs teff.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of pasta and teff and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||371 kcal||367 kcal|
|Carbs||74.7 g||73.13 g|
|Sugar||2.67 g||1.84 g|
|Fiber||3.2 g||8 g|
|Protein||13 g||13.3 g|
|Fat||1.51 g||2.38 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.277 g||0.449 g|
Pasta vs Teff Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing teff vs pasta for weight loss, teff is slightly lower in calories, with 367 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.
However, both pasta 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.
Pasta vs Teff Protein
Grains and most grain products, including pasta 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.
Teff offers around 2% more protein than pasta.
Teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Pasta 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 pasta and teff.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in pasta than in teff. It has 74.7 grams per 100 grams, compared to 73.1 grams in teff.
There’s less sugar in teff than in pasta, 33% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of teff contains 1.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pasta contains 2.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in pasta 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 pasta which offers 3.2 grams per 100 gram portion.
Pasta vs Teff Fats
Like most other grains, pasta and teff are low in fat.
Fats in pasta and teff are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in pasta and teff:
- Pasta: 1.5 grams per 100 grams
- Teff: 2.4 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, pasta is 25% lower in saturated fats.
Pasta and teff contain 0.3 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Pasta vs Teff Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of pasta and teff.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
Pasta has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin K.
However, teff has a higher amount of vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
Pasta and teff contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins pasta and teff contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||0||9 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.09 mg||0.39 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.06 mg||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.7 mg||3.363 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.431 mg||0.942 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.142 mg||0.482 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||18 µg||0|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.11 mg||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.1 µg||1.9 µg|
Pasta 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 pasta and teff comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Pasta is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than teff.
On the other hand, teff is a higher amount of selenium.
Pasta and teff contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how pasta and teff compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||21 mg||180 mg|
|Copper||0.289 mg||0.81 mg|
|Iron||1.3 mg||7.63 mg|
|Magnesium||53 mg||184 mg|
|Manganese||0.917 mg||9.24 mg|
|Phosphorus||189 mg||429 mg|
|Potassium||223 mg||427 mg|
|Selenium||63.2 µg||4.4 µg|
|Sodium||6 mg||12 mg|
|Zinc||1.41 mg||3.63 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between pasta 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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