Pasta vs White rice: What’s The Difference?
Pasta and white rice 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 white rice 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).
White rice (Oryza sativa) has had its husk, bran, and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This process, called milling, makes the rice less nutritious but increases its shelf life and gives it a lighter color and texture.
White rice is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, and fiber. It is gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
White rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads and sushi. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.
White rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, brown rice and other types of whole grains are less nutritious than brown rice, as it has had its bran and germ removed.
White rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Pasta vs White rice 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 white rice.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of pasta and white rice and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
Pasta vs White rice Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing white rice vs pasta for weight loss, white rice is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.
However, both pasta and white rice 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 White rice Protein
Grains and most grain products, including pasta and white rice, 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.
Pasta offers around 49% more protein than white rice.
Pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams, while white rice has 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Pasta vs White rice 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 white rice.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 6% higher in white rice than in pasta. It has 79.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 74.7 grams in pasta.
There’s less sugar in white rice than in pasta, 30% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of white rice contains 1.9 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 white rice.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 3.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, white rice is a better source of fiber than pasta which offers 3.2 grams per 100 gram portion.
Pasta vs White rice Fats
Like most other grains, pasta and white rice are low in fat.
Fats in pasta and white rice are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in pasta and white rice:
- Pasta: 1.5 grams per 100 grams
- White rice: 0.6 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, white rice is 33% lower in saturated fats.
White rice and pasta contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Pasta vs White rice Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of pasta and white rice.
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 B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin E, and vitamin K.
However, white rice has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B9 (Folate).
Pasta and white rice contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins pasta and white rice contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Pasta vs White rice 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 white rice comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Pasta is a better source of manganese, and selenium than white rice.
On the other hand, white rice is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Pasta and white rice contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how pasta and white rice compare when it comes to mineral content.
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between pasta and white rice.
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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- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
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