Quinoa Vs Couscous: Which is Healthier?

February 15, 2022 0 Comments

Nutritionists recommend Quinoa and Couscous as two healthier alternatives to rice. Quinoa vs Couscous both are similar in size and have a grainy texture, with a light nutty taste. However, despite their similar appearances, the recipes are very distinct.

Quinoa Vs Couscous

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is derived from the seed of a plant similar to spinach and beetroot. It is naturally gluten-free as a seed and has interesting nutritional properties, such as high protein and fiber. Cooked Quinoa has 39 g of carbohydrates, 8 g of protein, 4 g of fat, 5 g of fiber, and 222 calories per cup. It is particularly high in B vitamins and iron.

What is Couscous?

Couscous is a type of small pasta made from semolina wheat flour. Couscous is not gluten-free since it contains maize. 1 cup cooked Couscous has 37g of carbohydrates, 6g of protein, 2g of fiber, and 176 calories. As a result, it has fewer calories and fat than Quinoa but less protein, iron, and magnesium.

Basic Difference Between Quinoa and Couscous

Gluten FreeYesNo
Nutrition BenefitsFilled with protein and dietary fibersFewer calories and fat
Cooking TimeBoiling time is 10 to 15 minutesLet it rest for 5 to 10 minutes after adding hot water
VarietiesWhite, red, and blackInstant Couscous and pearl Couscous

Recipes Wars: Quinoa or Couscous

Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa can be used instead of rice as a snack “oatmeal” or to increase the nutritional value of salads. You can pair it with Fox nuts and milk to make a quick dessert. Fox nuts benefits make it evident that this recipe is good for people with diabetes. Some popular Quinoa recipes include Quinoa salad recipe, Quinoa and Strawberry Parfait, Quinoa Khichdi, etc.

Couscous Recipes

Quinoa and Couscous Recipe

Couscous is a low-calorie grain that can be substituted for brown rice, used as a basis for roasted vegetables, or blended into salads. Some of the best couscous recipes include couscous salad, mixed-veg couscous, feta cheese couscous bites, and more.

Nutritional Facts about Quinoa and Couscous

Now, let us have a balanced view of both these grains by quickly viewing Quinoa or Couscous Nutrition per 100g figures.

NutrientsQuinoa Per 100gCouscous Per 100g
Dietary Fibre2.7 g1.4g
Carbohydrates20g23 g
Potassium164mg58 mg


  • Both foods are primarily carbohydrate-based and have high protein content.
  • Both have low-fat content by nature. On the other hand, Quinoa has about 12 times the fat content of Couscous and is mostly made up of heart-healthy fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6.

Also Read: Cow Ghee Vs Buffalo Ghee

Quinoa Vs Couscous – Effects on Your Health

Couscous has a lot of selenium in it. This trace metal helps the immune system and thyroid function, and it may help you avoid heart disease and cancer. It’s also a potent antioxidant that battles the damaging effects of free radicals, which have been related to cancer and premature aging.

Quinoa also contains a lot of antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and terpenoids, which make it anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory. In addition, Quinoa has a lower glycemic index (GI) of 53 than Couscous, which has a GI of 65. A high GI indicates that food will cause your blood sugar levels to surge, while a low GI means that food will cause your blood sugar levels to rise slowly and steadily. Hence, eating low-GI foods like Quinoa or sticking to a low-GI diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The Drawbacks

Due to its wheat origins, Couscous is rich in gluten, a protein mainly found in wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, it may not be safe for celiac disease or gluten allergy sufferers.

Quinoa, on the other hand, is naturally gluten-free. It does, however, include prolamins, a protein family found in gluten. According to a test-tube report, these proteins can cause symptoms in some people.

In a Nutshell

Quinoa vs Couscous are both delicious, versatile, and simple to prepare. In addition, they can have a variety of health benefits, such as immune system assistance, better heart health and blood glucose regulation, and cancer prevention. However, if you’re trying to enhance a meal’s nutritional profile, increase your protein intake, or follow a gluten-free lifestyle, Quinoa should be your pick. On the other hand, Couscous might add some variation to your daily meals if you’re merely looking to spice up your usual serving of pasta or rice. Only keep in mind that Couscous isn’t suitable for a gluten-free diet.

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