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Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh: Difference, Benefits, More

This article explains the key similarities and differences between sesame seeds and tempeh, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the sesame seeds vs tempeh comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on March 21, 2023.

Although sesame seeds and tempeh belong to different food groups, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

While sesame seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, tempeh belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares sesame seeds and tempeh, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from nuts and seeds group are usually higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs than legumes, but both are valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how sesame seeds and tempeh compare specifically.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) are the seeds of the sesame plant, which is native to tropical regions of Africa and is now grown in many parts of the world.

These seeds have a slightly nutty and slightly sweet flavor, and are often used in a variety of dishes, including breads, pastries, and savory dishes.

Sesame seeds are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

There are many ways to incorporate sesame seeds into your diet.

They can be eaten raw or roasted, and are often used as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Sesame seeds are widely available and can be found at most grocery stores.

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious seed to add to your diet, consider giving sesame seeds a try.

They are flavorful, versatile, and have a variety of health benefits.

Sesame Seeds is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.

It is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to its high protein and fiber content, as well as its distinctive, nutty flavor.

Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter culture, which gives it a firm, cake-like texture, and a unique flavor.

It can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tempeh stir-fries, tempeh sandwiches, and tempeh bacon.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, tempeh has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

It is a good source of antioxidants and has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Tempeh is also a good source of several important minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Tempeh is an excellent source of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin K.

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh Nutrition

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

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

Sesame SeedsTempeh
Energy573 kcal192 kcal
Carbs23.45 g7.64 g
Sugar0.3 g7.33 g
Fiber11.8 g9.3 g
Protein17.73 g20.3 g
Fat49.67 g10.8 g
Saturated Fat6.957 g2.54 g

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh Calories

Comparing tempeh vs sesame seeds for weight loss, tempeh is slightly lower in calories, with 192 calories per 100 grams, compared to 573 calories per 100 grams of sesame seeds.

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

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including sesame seeds and tempeh, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Tempeh offers around 13% more protein than sesame seeds.

Tempeh has 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while sesame seeds has 17.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh 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 sesame seeds and tempeh.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 68% higher in sesame seeds than in tempeh. It have 23.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 7.6 grams in tempeh.

There’s less sugar in sesame seeds than in tempeh, 95% precisely.

One handful of sesame seeds (28 grams) contains 0.1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tempeh contains 2.1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in sesame seeds and tempeh.

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 portion, sesame seeds is a better source of fiber than tempeh which sesame seeds offers 2.6 grams per portion.

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh Fats

Fats in sesame seeds and tempeh are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in sesame seeds and tempeh:

  • Sesame Seeds: 49.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 10.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, tempeh is 64% lower in saturated fats.

Tempeh and sesame seeds contain 2.5 grams and 7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of sesame seeds and tempeh.

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

Sesame Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tempeh has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Sesame Seeds and tempeh contain the same amount of vitamin C, and vitamin D.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins sesame seeds and tempeh contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Sesame SeedsTempeh
Vitamin A9 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.791 mg0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.247 mg0.358 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.515 mg2.64 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.05 mg0.278 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.79 mg0.215 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)97 µg24 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00.08 µg
Vitamin E0.25 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K047 µg

Sesame Seeds vs Tempeh 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 sesame seeds and tempeh comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Sesame Seeds is a better source of fluoride than tempeh.

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

Check out the table below to learn how sesame seeds and tempeh compare when it comes to mineral content.

Sesame SeedsTempeh
Calcium975 mg111 mg
Copper4.082 mg0.56 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron14.55 mg2.7 mg
Magnesium351 mg81 mg
Manganese2.46 mg1.3 mg
Phosphorus629 mg266 mg
Potassium468 mg412 mg
Selenium34.4 µg0
Sodium11 mg9 mg
Zinc7.75 mg1.14 mg

The Final Word

Sesame Seeds and tempeh are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both sesame seeds and tempeh are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes, nuts and seeds are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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