Rye grain vs Teff: Which Is Better?

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

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 23, 2023.

Rye grain 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 rye grain and teff and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

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.


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).

Rye grain 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 rye grain vs teff.

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

Rye grainTeff
Energy338 kcal367 kcal
Carbs75.9 g73.13 g
Sugar0.98 g1.84 g
Fiber15.1 g8 g
Protein10.3 g13.3 g
Fat1.63 g2.38 g
Saturated Fat0.197 g0.449 g

Rye grain vs Teff Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rye grain vs teff for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

However, both rye grain 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.

Rye grain vs Teff Protein

Grains and most grain products, including rye grain 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 23% more protein than rye grain.

Teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Rye grain 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 rye grain and teff.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in rye grain than in teff. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 73.1 grams in teff.

There’s less sugar in rye grain than in teff, 44% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of rye grain contains 1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of teff contains 1.8 grams.

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

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 teff which rye grain offers 8 grams per 100 gram portion.

Rye grain vs Teff Fats

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

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

Total fat in rye grain and teff:

  • Rye grain: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Teff: 2.4 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, rye grain is 50% lower in saturated fats.

Rye grain and teff contain 0.2 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Rye grain vs Teff Vitamins Content

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

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

Rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

However, teff has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

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

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

Rye grainTeff
Vitamin A11 IU9 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.316 mg0.39 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.251 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.27 mg3.363 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.46 mg0.942 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.294 mg0.482 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)38 µg0
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.85 mg0.08 mg
Vitamin K5.9 µg1.9 µg

Rye grain 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 rye grain and teff comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Rye grain is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc than teff.

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

Rye grain and teff contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Rye grainTeff
Calcium24 mg180 mg
Copper0.367 mg0.81 mg
Iron2.63 mg7.63 mg
Magnesium110 mg184 mg
Manganese2.58 mg9.24 mg
Phosphorus332 mg429 mg
Potassium510 mg427 mg
Selenium13.9 µg4.4 µg
Sodium2 mg12 mg
Zinc2.65 mg3.63 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between rye grain 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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