It’s the showdown of the grains! The traditional rice against the trendy (at least in North America) quinoa. Be a grain guru and find out who comes out on top!
|Brown Rice (100g)
|South East Asia||Origin||Andean Region|
|112 kcal||Calories||120 kcal|
|0.83 g||Total Fat||1.92 g|
*For the cost we tried to make an even match by selecting an Organic Short Grain Brown Rice and Organic Quinoa. The prices are from spud.ca, an online grocery ordering service.
No Baloney’s results? Rice and quinoa are nutritious sources of essential nutrients and we would recommend including both in your diet for some variety. Especially if you are trying to eat gluten free! Rice wins on cost (and you can certainly find a much cheaper rice than the one we used here), but we have to give the health win to quinoa, particularly if you are vegetarian or vegan.
Although both rice and quinoa provide some protein, quinoa is considered to be a complete protein (rare among plant foods), whereas rice is lacking in the essential amino acid lysine. The quinoa also provides twice as much protein as an equal amount of brown rice. Otherwise the two are quite similar with respect to micronutrients – quinoa contains slightly more iron and calcium though.
If selecting rice, be sure to select a whole grain variety such as brown rice rather than the overly-processed, white rice for the higher fibre content. Of course sometimes some sushi and sticky white rice is where it’s at! A little indulgence is okay. In all cases, you can increase the nutrient content of these grains by carefully choosing the other foods in your meal. You can also bump up the protein of a quinoa or rice-based meal by including lean cuts of meat, tofu, nuts/seeds and legumes. Throw in some spinach, broccoli or kale for some veggie sources of calcium too.
We also encourage you to live on the grain *wild side* and try bulgur, amaranth, millet and teff.
*Nutrition information from the Canadian Nutrient File: “grains, rice, brown, medium-grain, cooked” and “grains, quinoa, cooked”