Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about buckwheat, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Buckwheat is a “pseudocereal” which means commonly used as a whole grain but technically a seed that doesn’t grow on grasses. This makes buckwheat naturally gluten-free but it’s always smart to check the packaging to make sure it didn’t come into contact with foods containing gluten.
The nutritional values in this article will mainly use buckwheat groats. These are the hulled seeds. You can boil buckwheat groats and then eat them on their own but more often they are combined with other foods and recipes.
Like many pseudocereals, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole buckwheat. Find out just how good buckwheat is, ways to eat it, and how it compares to certain other foods for weight loss.
Micronutrients in buckwheat
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in buckwheat.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cooked buckwheat groats provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Magnesium: 13% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 7% of the DV
- Copper: 7% of the DV
- Niacin: 5% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. Besides manganese, these are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to many whole foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals buckwheat is not the best food choice to help you with this.
Fiber in buckwheat for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cooked buckwheat groats contain around 2.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods. For most people more fiber is a good thing for weight loss.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cooked buckwheat you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Protein in buckwheat for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Cooked buckwheat groats contain about 3.4 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2).
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in cooked buckwheat is a nice bonus but unlikely to contribute a lot towards any protein goals you may have. You will inevitably also need protein from other foods.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Is buckwheat good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat buckwheat while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in buckwheat.
Boiled buckwheat groats contain around 92 calories per 100 grams. 75.4 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (19.9 g per 100 grams of which 2.7 g fiber). 1 cup of boiled buckwheat groats (168 g) contains about 155 calories.
Buckwheat is generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in boiled buckwheat is higher than most vegetables and fruits but even with that in mind this number is low compared to many other foods. Compared to other whole grains, buckwheat is rather low in calories.
Together with the amount of fiber and the small amount of protein this means that boiled buckwheat groats can help you feel fuller without adding that many calories to your diet.
This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. And for most people that, and thus adding boiled buckwheat groats to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with buckwheat in terms of calories, in that case it could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point with boiled buckwheat.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to wheat products. These individuals should avoid this food anyway. Others are not very tolerant of buckwheat and may want to choose other foods as well.
How to cook buckwheat for weight loss
You can implement buckwheat in different ways into your diet. Some are better than others for weight loss. You definitely need to cook buckwheat before eating it. Boiling is the preferred cooking method if you’re trying to lose weight.
After that you can eat it on its own or as an ingredient in other healthy dishes. Here are some examples of weight loss friendly recipes you can add buckwheat to:
When trying to lose weight you generally want to avoid buckwheat flour and recipes that use this as an ingredient like pancakes, noodles, waffles, cookies, and cake. Making flour usually involves removing a lot of fiber which is arguably the most useful nutrient for weight loss.
Buckwheat vs other foods for weight loss
You now know how good buckwheat is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other grains and pseudocereals? Find out how good buckwheat is for weight loss vs whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice, and oats. These comparisons will use the raw grain and pseudocereal nutritional values.
Buckwheat vs whole wheat
First of all the comparison between buckwheat and whole wheat. Whole wheat is negligibly lower in calories with 340 calories per 100 grams vs raw buckwheat which has about 343 calories per 100 grams (3, 4).
On the other hand, whole wheat is higher in fiber, 12.7 grams per 100 grams. Whole wheat does contain less protein, 10.7 grams per 100 grams. These two foods are similar when it comes to the amounts of vitamins and minerals.
All in all, whole wheat is likely better for weight loss than buckwheat.
Buckwheat vs quinoa
Next, buckwheat vs quinoa. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that quinoa contains slightly more. Raw buckwheat contains around 343 calories per 100 grams vs the 368 calories per 100 grams in quinoa (5).
Buckwheat contains around 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A good amount higher than the 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams in quinoa. Quinoa contains about 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams. Buckwheat and quinoa contain similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.
When looking at some of the most important weight loss nutrients it’s likely that buckwheat is better for weight loss than quinoa.
Buckwheat vs rice
Buckwheat contains about 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs brown rice with about 3.5 grams per 100 grams. Buckwheat also has more protein, 13.2 grams per 100 grams than brown rice, 7.9 grams per 100 grams. These two foods are similar in amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Buckwheat is likely better for weight loss than brown rice.
Buckwheat vs oats
Lastly, the comparison between buckwheat and oats, which is a very popular whole grain. Oats are higher in calories, about 389 calories per 100 grams (7).
On the other hand, oats are slightly higher in fiber with 10.6 grams per 100 grams. Oats also contain more protein, 16.9 grams per 100 grams. These two foods are very similar in terms of vitamin and mineral amounts.
The extra protein and fiber are helpful but likely not enough to compensate. Buckwheat is likely better for weight loss than oats.
Chart of buckwheat vs other popular grains
All in all, the differences between these grains and pseudocereals won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these foods equally you might as well choose the alternatives that are slightly better for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for buckwheat (4), whole wheat (3), quinoa (5), brown rice (6), and oats (7), to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Buckwheat||Whole Wheat||Quinoa||Brown Rice||Oats|
|Calories||343 calories||340 calories||368 calories||370 calories||389 calories|
|Fiber||10 g||12.7 g||7 g||3.5 g||10.6 g|
|Protein||13.2 g||10.7 g||14.1 g||7.9 g||16.9 g|