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Whole-wheat flour vs Tempeh: Which Is Healthier?

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

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on February 9, 2023.

Although whole-wheat flour and tempeh belong to different food groups, while whole-wheat flour belong is a grain, and tempeh belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

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

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how whole-wheat flour and tempeh compare specifically.

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.


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.

Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour vs tempeh.

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

Whole-wheat flourTempeh
Energy340 kcal192 kcal
Carbs72 g7.64 g
Sugar0.41 g7.33 g
Fiber10.7 g9.3 g
Protein13.2 g20.3 g
Fat2.5 g10.8 g
Saturated Fat0.43 g2.54 g

Whole-wheat flour vs Tempeh Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing tempeh vs whole-wheat flour for weight loss, tempeh is slightly lower in calories, with 192 calories per 100 grams, compared to 340 calories per 100 grams of whole-wheat flour.

However, both whole-wheat flour 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.

Whole-wheat flour vs Tempeh Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including whole-wheat flour and tempeh, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Tempeh offers around 35% more protein than whole-wheat flour.

Tempeh has 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while whole-wheat flour has 13.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour and tempeh.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 89% higher in whole-wheat flour than in tempeh. It have 72 grams per 100 grams, compared to 7.6 grams in tempeh.

There’s less sugar in whole-wheat flour than in tempeh, 95% precisely.

One handful of whole-wheat flour (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 whole-wheat flour and tempeh.

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

With 3 grams of fiber per portion, whole-wheat flour is a better source of fiber than tempeh which whole-wheat flour offers 2.6 grams per portion.

Whole-wheat flour vs Tempeh Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, whole-wheat flour and tempeh are low in fat.

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

Total fat in whole-wheat flour and tempeh:

  • Whole-wheat flour: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 10.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, whole-wheat flour is 84% lower in saturated fats.

Whole-wheat flour and tempeh contain 0.4 grams and 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Whole-wheat flour vs Tempeh Vitamins Content

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

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

Whole-wheat flour has a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tempeh has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Whole-wheat flour and tempeh contain the same amount of vitamin C, and vitamin D.

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

Whole-wheat flourTempeh
Vitamin A9 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.502 mg0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.165 mg0.358 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.96 mg2.64 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.603 mg0.278 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.407 mg0.215 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)44 µg24 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00.08 µg
Vitamin E0.71 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg47 µg

Whole-wheat flour 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 whole-wheat flour and tempeh comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Whole-wheat flour is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, potassium, and sodium than tempeh.

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

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

Whole-wheat flourTempeh
Calcium34 mg111 mg
Copper0.41 mg0.56 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron3.6 mg2.7 mg
Magnesium137 mg81 mg
Manganese4.07 mg1.3 mg
Phosphorus357 mg266 mg
Potassium363 mg412 mg
Selenium61.8 µg0
Sodium2 mg9 mg
Zinc2.6 mg1.14 mg

The Final Word

Whole-wheat flour and tempeh are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both whole-wheat flour 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 grains 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 and grains 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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