Whoever quinoa is paying to do its marketing, it should give them a raise! Right now it seems that everyone is talking about quinoa and it can do no wrong. The only other contender that can match its rising stardom is arguably avocado. How long until cousacado becomes a thing in the tabloids?
In all seriousness though, quinoa is rightfully celebrated for numerous health benefits and is a great ingredient for a healthy and low-carb diet. It’s not quite the cure for all of the world’s troubles that many people think it is but it’s certainly a good thing to have around and doesn’t taste all that bad either!
But what about couscous? No one ever talks about couscous despite the fact that it’s pretty much the same thing. So the question is: is couscous not healthy? And if it is, why is no one getting excited about it?
One cup of cooked couscous nets you 176 calories, 36 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. It’s a sugar free ingredient, which is very good news for those looking to keep their sugar intake down.
But 176 calories isn’t all that low. It’s actually not that much less than the number of calories in a cup of pasta.
What about nutrition? Well in that regard you need to recognize that couscous can actually come in a number of different formats. The regular couscous is really just… tiny pasta! That means that you’ll get roughly the same nutritional value… which is to say you won’t get a lot…
You do get some protein from a cup of couscous (about 6 grams) and as there’s no fat, it is relatively lean. Not a bad option to go with a chicken breast for a bodybuilder’s dinner then! It’s also a small source of dietary fiber giving you about 2.2 grams per serving.
It contains small quantities of calcium (1%DV), iron and magnesium. It also offers 60% of your DV for selenium which may be useful for cognitive function but isn’t a terribly ‘sought after’ nutrient as it goes.
Overall then, couscous isn’t bad for you but it’s not really good for you either. It certainly isn’t going to be stealing quinoa’s crown any time soon. But then why would it? Just because it looks similar doesn’t mean it has anything else in common!