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Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between spelt and whole-wheat flour, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the spelt vs whole-wheat flour comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 29, 2023.

Spelt and whole-wheat flour 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 spelt and whole-wheat flour and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Spelt (Triticum spelta) is an ancient type of wheat that is believed to have originated in the Near East.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Spelt is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and pasta. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Spelt is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to have a positive impact on health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Spelt is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.

Whole-wheat flour

Whole-grain wheat flour (Triticum aestivum) is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel into a fine powder. It is considered a whole grain because it contains all three parts of the wheat kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that have been linked to various health benefits, including improved heart health and blood sugar control.

Whole-grain wheat flour is commonly used in baking bread, pastries, and other baked goods and can also be used as a thickener for soups and sauces. It is a healthier option than refined flour as it retains all the nutrients from the wheat kernel and provides more fiber.

Whole-wheat flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E.

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing spelt vs whole-wheat flour.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of spelt and whole-wheat flour and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

SpeltWhole-wheat flour
Energy338 kcal340 kcal
Carbs70.2 g72 g
Sugar6.82 g0.41 g
Fiber10.7 g10.7 g
Protein14.6 g13.2 g
Fat2.43 g2.5 g
Saturated Fat0.406 g0.43 g

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing spelt vs whole-wheat flour for weight loss, spelt is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 340 calories per 100 grams of whole-wheat flour.

However, both spelt and whole-wheat flour can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour Protein

Grains and most grain products, including spelt and whole-wheat flour, 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.

Spelt offers around 10% more protein than whole-wheat flour.

Spelt has 14.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while whole-wheat flour has 13.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour 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 spelt and whole-wheat flour.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 3% higher in whole-wheat flour than in spelt. It has 72 grams per 100 grams, compared to 70.2 grams in spelt.

There’s less sugar in whole-wheat flour than in spelt, 94% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of whole-wheat flour contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of spelt contains 6.8 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in spelt and whole-wheat flour.

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

Spelt and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of fiber, 10.7 grams per 100 gram portion.

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour Fats

Like most other grains, spelt and whole-wheat flour are low in fat.

Fats in spelt and whole-wheat flour are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in spelt and whole-wheat flour:

  • Spelt: 2.4 grams per 100 grams
  • Whole-wheat flour: 2.5 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, spelt and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.4 grams per 100 grams.

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of spelt and whole-wheat flour.

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

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

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

Spelt and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins spelt and whole-wheat flour contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

SpeltWhole-wheat flour
Vitamin A10 IU9 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.364 mg0.502 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.113 mg0.165 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.84 mg4.96 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.07 mg0.603 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.23 mg0.407 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)45 µg44 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.79 mg0.71 mg
Vitamin K3.6 µg1.9 µg

Spelt vs Whole-wheat flour 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 spelt and whole-wheat flour comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Spelt is a better source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium than whole-wheat flour.

On the other hand, whole-wheat flour is a higher amount of copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Spelt and whole-wheat flour contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how spelt and whole-wheat flour compare when it comes to mineral content.

SpeltWhole-wheat flour
Calcium27 mg34 mg
Copper0.511 mg0.41 mg
Iron4.44 mg3.6 mg
Magnesium136 mg137 mg
Manganese2.98 mg4.07 mg
Phosphorus401 mg357 mg
Potassium388 mg363 mg
Selenium11.7 µg61.8 µg
Sodium8 mg2 mg
Zinc3.28 mg2.6 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between spelt and whole-wheat flour.

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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