Quinoa vs Rice

Quinoa-GrainsQuinoa vs Rice – Who Wins?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately along the lines of is quinoa fattening and is quinoa good for you?

Today I thought I would take a break from quinoa recipes and we would have a contest looking at quinoa vs rice and see who wins.

The rules are that the one that provides the greatest amount of significant nutritional and health benefits from a lower quantity gets more points. Mere presence of a beneficial ingredient will score one point, while a greater amount of the beneficial element will score 1,2,3 … 10 as a comparison. If Q has 1mg or less of vitamin x and R has 3mg, then Q will score 1 point while R scores 3. Where one has an ingredient which is absent in the others, the score will be 10 against nil. The highest score for any constituent will be 10 and the lowest will be 1 for presence. While the majority of rice consumers eat it white, let us look at both brown and white rice. Our comparison will be based on 100 grams of the raw edible food. The quinoa nutrition facts won’t lie, so lets see who wins!

So here we go – Quinoa vs Rice!

Carbohydrate content – Quinoa vs Rice

This food group is usually taken for granted, but carbohydrates are the fuel that keeps the body working. Without them, it would be impossible for the body and its systems to carry out the thousands of processes necessary to keep living. Quinoa contains 63g, brown rice 72.8g, white rice 79g.

Score: quinoa 6, brown rice 7, white rice 8.

Protein content – Quinoa vs Rice

Proteins constitute the building blocks of muscles, tissues, skin, hair and nails. There cannot be a human being without them. Proteins also act as a secondary source of energy in the absence of carbohydrates in instances such as starvation. Quinoa has 13.1g, brown rice 7.5g, white rice 6.6g.

Score: quinoa 10, brown rice 8, white rice 7.

Dietary fiber – Quinoa vs Rice

Fiber is an important component of health giving foods. Some dietary fiber is soluble and is absorbed into the blood stream where it helps in the reduction of bad cholesterol, LDL. Insoluble fiber is not absorbed into the bloodstream but it helps keep the digestive system clean by absorbing water and various poisons and travelling with these out as part of the excreta. Quinoa contains 5.9g, brown rice has 3.4g and white rice has nil.

Score: quinoa 6, brown rice 3, white rice 0.

Fat – Quinoa vs Rice

The two cereals have largely unsaturated fat which has nutritional and health benefits. Quinoa contains 5.8g, brown rice 2.68g, white rice 0.58g.

Score: quinoa 6, brown rice 3, white rice 1.

Vitamins and minerals – Quinoa vs Rice

These have a wide range of uses within the body. They help in various metabolic processes, help protect and fight against diseases, aid in digestion and the general maintenance of the body including assimilation of nutrients and other vitamins. Both quinoa and rice contain a range of vitamins and minerals which we shall score as per the following table.

VITB1mg VIT B2mg NIACINmg VIT B 6mg FOLATEug VIT Eug Calciummg Phosphorousmg Ironmg Potassiummg Zincmg Magnesiummg Score
QUINOA 0.198 0.396 2.93 0.223 49 60 41 9.25 740 3.3 210
Score 2 4 3 2 5 6 1 10 7 3 6 49
BROWN RICE 0.413 0.043 5.91 0.509 20 0.661 33 264 1.8 268 2.02 143
Score 4 1 6 5 2 10 3 5 2 3 2 4 47
WHITE RICE 0.07 0.048 2.88 0.145 9 9 108 0.8 86 1.16 35
Score 1 1 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 14

Table of comparison of vitamin and mineral composition per 100gm of raw edible Quinoa, Brown and White Rice

Carbohydrates Proteins Dietary Fiber Fats Vitamins & Minerals Total Score
Quinoa 6 10 6 6 49 77
Brown Rice 7 8 3 3 47 68
White Rice 8 7 0 1 14 30

Scorecard for rating major components of Quinoa, Brown and White Rice

Quinoa and brown rice have similar compositions, however as shown in our table and scorecard, the refining process that produces white rice strips it of more than half its worth. And real factual figures don’t lie – quinoa nutrition facts are nothing short of stellar. Side by side, the rice vs quinoa contest has quinoa as the winner.

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