I’ve been realizing that there is so much misinformation about health floating around. So I’d like to help clarify things and show how easy it can be to make healthy choices.
For example, which type of grain gives you the most bang for your buck? That, of course, depends on which bang you’re looking for. Do you want high-protein, low-carb or low fat; and what about fibre and minerals?
I was wondering how much difference there is between pasta and quinoa, and between whole wheat and regular pasta. So I did a bit of research and compared some grains*. Here’s what I found.
*Quinoa is technically a seed, but it’s eaten as a grain. Same for buckwheat (soba noodles), it has nothing to do with wheat.
- Most protein: whole wheat pasta
- Least carbs: bulgur
- Least fat: soba noodles
- Most fibre: bulgur
- Most calcium: amaranth
- Most iron: amaranth
- Most potassium: quinoa
While tracking my food for two weeks I noticed that I had trouble reaching my protein quota. So I should go for whole wheat pasta when choosing a grain. I’m wheat intolerant so my best wheat-free option is quinoa. I also don’t eat meat very often so adding iron is important for me. Amaranth is a good choice for iron and many more nutrients. Amaranth packs quite a nutritional punch!
What is amaranth and where can I get it?
Wikipedia tells me: “Amaranth has been cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years. It was a staple food of the Aztecs, and was used as an integral part of Aztec religious ceremonies.”
Its protein is very high quality and it’s also gluten-free.
To cook amaranth, use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of dry amaranth grains and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. This will become about 3 cups of cooked amaranth.
Food blog The Kitchn has some good tips on how to use amaranth.
It can be found quite easily online and in health food shops. My favourite package free shop in Antwerp , Robuust, also has it.
Want to know which grain is best for you? Here’s an overview of nutritional data for amaranth, bulgur, pasta, quinoa, rice and many more.
Which one is your go-to grain? And does this info make you want to try something else?