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Teff vs Whole-wheat flour: How To Choose?

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

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

Teff 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 teff and whole-wheat flour and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


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).

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.

Teff 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 teff vs whole-wheat flour.

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

TeffWhole-wheat flour
Energy367 kcal340 kcal
Carbs73.13 g72 g
Sugar1.84 g0.41 g
Fiber8 g10.7 g
Protein13.3 g13.2 g
Fat2.38 g2.5 g
Saturated Fat0.449 g0.43 g

Teff vs Whole-wheat flour Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing whole-wheat flour vs teff for weight loss, whole-wheat flour is slightly lower in calories, with 340 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

However, both teff 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.

Teff vs Whole-wheat flour Protein

Grains and most grain products, including teff 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.

Teff offers around 1% more protein than whole-wheat flour.

Teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while whole-wheat flour has 13.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Teff 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 teff and whole-wheat flour.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in teff than in whole-wheat flour. It has 73.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72 grams in whole-wheat flour.

There’s less sugar in whole-wheat flour than in teff, 78% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of whole-wheat flour contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of teff contains 1.8 grams.

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

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

With 10.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, whole-wheat flour is a better source of fiber than teff which offers 8 grams per 100 gram portion.

Teff vs Whole-wheat flour Fats

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

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

Total fat in teff and whole-wheat flour:

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

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

Teff vs Whole-wheat flour Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of teff 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.

Teff has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

However, whole-wheat flour has a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

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

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

TeffWhole-wheat flour
Vitamin A9 IU9 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.39 mg0.502 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.27 mg0.165 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.363 mg4.96 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.942 mg0.603 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.482 mg0.407 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)044 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.08 mg0.71 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg1.9 µg

Teff 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 teff and whole-wheat flour comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Teff is a better source of selenium than whole-wheat flour.

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

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

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

TeffWhole-wheat flour
Calcium180 mg34 mg
Copper0.81 mg0.41 mg
Iron7.63 mg3.6 mg
Magnesium184 mg137 mg
Manganese9.24 mg4.07 mg
Phosphorus429 mg357 mg
Potassium427 mg363 mg
Selenium4.4 µg61.8 µg
Sodium12 mg2 mg
Zinc3.63 mg2.6 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between teff 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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