• Home
  • Guides
  • Quinoa vs Rye grain: How Do They Compare?

Quinoa vs Rye grain: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between quinoa and rye grain, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the quinoa vs rye grain comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 22, 2023.

Quinoa and rye grain 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 quinoa and rye grain and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.

It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

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

Rye grain

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain that is closely related to wheat and barley.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins like niacin and folate, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The high fiber content of rye grain has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique type of dietary fiber called arabinoxylan, which has been shown to have a prebiotic effect on gut health.

Rye grain is commonly used in bread making and traditional dishes such as rye porridge and crisp bread. It can also be milled into flour and used in baking or cooked and eaten as a side dish.

Rye grain is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.

Quinoa vs Rye grain Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing quinoa vs rye grain.

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

QuinoaRye grain
Energy368 kcal338 kcal
Carbs64.2 g75.9 g
Sugar1.45 g0.98 g
Fiber7 g15.1 g
Protein14.1 g10.3 g
Fat6.07 g1.63 g
Saturated Fat0.706 g0.197 g

Quinoa vs Rye grain Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rye grain vs quinoa for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, both quinoa and rye grain can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Quinoa vs Rye grain Protein

Grains and most grain products, including quinoa and rye grain, 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.

Quinoa offers around 27% more protein than rye grain.

Quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Quinoa vs Rye grain 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 quinoa and rye grain.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 15% higher in rye grain than in quinoa. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 64.2 grams in quinoa.

There’s less sugar in rye grain than in quinoa, 33% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of rye grain contains 1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of quinoa contains 1.5 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in quinoa and rye grain.

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

With 15.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, rye grain is a better source of fiber than quinoa which offers 7 grams per 100 gram portion.

Quinoa vs Rye grain Fats

Like most other grains, quinoa and rye grain are low in fat.

Fats in quinoa and rye grain are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in quinoa and rye grain:

  • Quinoa: 6.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Rye grain: 1.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, rye grain is 71% lower in saturated fats.

Rye grain and quinoa contain 0.2 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Quinoa vs Rye grain Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of quinoa and rye grain.

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

Quinoa has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin K.

However, rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

Quinoa and rye grain contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins quinoa and rye grain contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

QuinoaRye grain
Vitamin A14 IU11 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.36 mg0.316 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.318 mg0.251 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.52 mg4.27 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.772 mg1.46 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.487 mg0.294 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)184 µg38 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E2.44 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K05.9 µg

Quinoa vs Rye grain 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 quinoa and rye grain comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Quinoa is a better source of manganese, and selenium than rye grain.

On the other hand, rye grain is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Quinoa and rye grain contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how quinoa and rye grain compare when it comes to mineral content.

QuinoaRye grain
Calcium47 mg24 mg
Copper0.59 mg0.367 mg
Iron4.57 mg2.63 mg
Magnesium197 mg110 mg
Manganese2.03 mg2.58 mg
Phosphorus457 mg332 mg
Potassium563 mg510 mg
Selenium8.5 µg13.9 µg
Sodium5 mg2 mg
Zinc3.1 mg2.65 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between quinoa and rye grain.

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.