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Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

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  • Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Elle
    • Joined on 9 Jan 2006
    • United Kingdom
    • Posts
      6,270

    I bought some quinoa the other day as I passed it in the supermarket, thought back to all the times I had heard it referred to as being a healthy alternative to pasta, couscous, rice etc, so bought some and decided to give it a go.

    Anyway, got it home and out of curiosity compared it to the pack of couscous we had.  There doesn't actually seem to be much difference between the two in terms of nutritional value:

    Typical value per 100g for quinoa is:

     Energy - 387kcal

    Protein - 11.7g

    Carbs - 72.2g  of which sugars is 36.7g

    Fat - 5.7g of which 0.7 is saturated, 1.8g mono-unsaturates, of which oleic acid is 1.7g, 3.2g of polyunsaturates of which 2.6g is linoleic acid and 0.5g id alpha linolenic acid

    Fibre - 8.9g

     

    Typical value per 100g for couscous is:

     Energy - 365kcal

    Protein - 15.1g

    Carbs - 73.1g of which sugars is 2.8g

    Fat - 1.1g of which saturates is 0.2g

    Fibre - 0.8g

    Sodium - 0.1g

     So why is quinoa raved about as being so much better for you?  The only real difference I can see is the fibre content, and couscous seems to have less fat (which I was surprised at).

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Jenbo
    • Joined on 26 Jun 2003
    • Between a rock and a hard place
    • Posts
      4,390

    I don't know the finer points of nutrional value but I'd rather eat couscous than quinoa any day!

     

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Zebra
    • Joined on 18 Nov 2003
    • United Kingdom
    • Posts
      45,605

    Couscous is a pasta made from wheat flour - lots of people are intolerant to wheat and it's a processed food.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couscous

    Quinoa is a type of seed, is unusual in that it contains the full range of essential amino acids and is quite high in fibre. I understand it's much less processed than couscous.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

     Finally, couscous is revolting, nasty stuff and quinoa is absolutely delicious!

     It's interesting though how misleading a basic comparison between the two things is just looking at the label.

     

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    i like them both, but i did think quinoa had more protein for some unknown reason 

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Zebra
    • Joined on 18 Nov 2003
    • United Kingdom
    • Posts
      45,605

    '

    legless:
    i like them both, but i did think quinoa had more protein for some unknown reason 

     

    I think it's the quality of the protein that quinoa is "famous" for rather than the quantity but I'm fairly certain that it has higher protein than say rice or potatos.

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Elle
    • Joined on 9 Jan 2006
    • United Kingdom
    • Posts
      6,270

     

    I've not tried the quinoa yet, but am intrigued by the 'soft on the outside, crunchy on the inside' description that's on the box. - from Zebra's and Jenbo's posts I wonder if it is a bit of a 'marmite' food.Laugh

    I hadn't taken into account that it was processed either. 

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    • Peter
    • Joined on 7 Jan 2005
    • Hertfordshire/Essex border
    • Posts
      10,155

    To be honest, I have tried both and IMHO Quinoa sucks. Couscous, prepared properly using virgin olive oil I much prefer.

    Taste is taste and we are all different in what we like. No right, no wrong, simply preference.

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    cous cous is very highly processed. think white bread over granary, brown over white rice etc. very high GI, you'll be hungrier sooner etc.

    quinoa, as Zeb days, is famed (god that sounds wa nky Laugh) fro the quality of it's protein. i think it's a 'complete' protein? much  better for you and  low GI etc.

    it takes a bit of practice to cook it right, and i sometimes still get it wrong, but i flipping love quinoa. i wouldn't have cous cous regularly, it's as much as a 'treat' as white bread / potatoes for me.

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

    Elle:

     

    I've not tried the quinoa yet, but am intrigued by the 'soft on the outside, crunchy on the inside' description that's on the box. - from Zebra's and Jenbo's posts I wonder if it is a bit of a 'marmite' food.Laugh

    I hadn't taken into account that it was processed either. 

     Armadillo, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, Aaarmadillo!!!

    Dime, soft on the outside, crunchy in the middle!

    Affected by advertising, moi? Laugh

    Baby girl June 2011

    #2 due April 2013

  • Re: Quinoa v Couscous - nutritional value

     I like both of them, but really didn't expect to like quino, having seen it endorsed by "Dr" Gillian McBleurgh. It's fab stuff. My top tip is to use it in home-made burgers, meatballs etc (cooked) - it bulks up the meat and makes them amazingly moist.

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