Semolina vs White rice: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between semolina and white rice, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the semolina vs white rice comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 24, 2023.

Semolina 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 semolina and white rice and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.

Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

White rice

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).

Semolina 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 semolina vs white rice.

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

SemolinaWhite rice
Energy360 kcal360 kcal
Carbs72.8 g79.3 g
Sugar2.67 g1.88 g
Fiber3.9 g3.3 g
Protein12.7 g6.61 g
Fat1.05 g0.58 g
Saturated Fat0.15 g0.158 g

Semolina vs White rice Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing white rice vs semolina for weight loss, semolina and white rice contain the same amount of calories, 360 per 100 grams.

However, both semolina 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.

Semolina vs White rice Protein

Grains and most grain products, including semolina 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.

Semolina offers around 48% more protein than white rice.

Semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, while white rice has 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Semolina 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 semolina and white rice.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 8% higher in white rice than in semolina. It has 79.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in semolina.

There’s less sugar in white rice than in semolina, 30% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of white rice contains 1.9 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in semolina and white rice.

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

With 3.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams, semolina is a better source of fiber than white rice which semolina offers 3.3 grams per 100 gram portion.

Semolina vs White rice Fats

Like most other grains, semolina and white rice are low in fat.

Fats in semolina and white rice are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in semolina and white rice:

  • Semolina: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
  • White rice: 0.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, semolina and white rice contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.

Semolina vs White rice Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of semolina and white rice.

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

Semolina 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).

Semolina 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 semolina and white rice contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

SemolinaWhite rice
Vitamin A062 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.28 mg0.07 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.08 mg0.048 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.31 mg1.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.58 mg1.34 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.103 mg0.145 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)72 µg9 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0.37 mg
Vitamin K0.1 µg0.5 µg

Semolina 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 semolina and white rice comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Semolina is a better source of manganese, selenium, and zinc than white rice.

On the other hand, white rice is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Semolina and white rice contain the same amount of fluoride, and sodium.

Check out the table below to learn how semolina and white rice compare when it comes to mineral content.

SemolinaWhite rice
Calcium17 mg9 mg
Copper0.189 mg0.11 mg
Iron1.23 mg0.8 mg
Magnesium47 mg35 mg
Manganese0.619 mg1.1 mg
Phosphorus136 mg108 mg
Potassium186 mg86 mg
Selenium63.2 µg78.8 µg
Sodium1 mg1 mg
Zinc1.05 mg1.16 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between semolina 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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