Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about millet, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Millet is a type of gluten-free whole grain it’s always smart to check the packaging to make sure it didn’t come into contact with foods containing gluten. You can boil Millet and then eat it on its own but more often it is added to other recipes.
There are different types of millet but they have similar nutritional values.
There are more helpful foods but many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole millet. Find out just how good millet is, ways to eat it, and how it compares to certain other grains for weight loss.
Micronutrients in millet
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in millet.
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 millet provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 14% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Magnesium: 11% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 10% of the DV
- Copper: 8% of the DV
- Niacin: 7% of the DV
- Thiamin: 7% of the DV
- Zinc: 6% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
- Folate: 5% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to many whole foods but many small amounts do add up.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals millet is not the best food choice to help you with this but it can round off a varied nutritious diet.
Fiber in millet for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cooked millet contains around 1.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
This is a decent 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 millet you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a decent amount.
Protein in millet for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Cooked millet contains about 3.5 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 millet 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 millet good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat millet while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in millet.
Boiled millet contains around 119 calories per 100 grams. 97 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (23.7 g per 100 grams of which 1.3 g fiber). 1 cup of boiled millet (174 g) contains about 207 calories.
Millet is generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in boiled millet is higher than most vegetables and fruits but even with that in mind this number is medium to low compared to many other foods. Compared to other whole grains, millet is on the high side when it comes to calories.
Together with the amount of fiber and the small amount of protein this means that boiled millet 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 millet to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight. You do need to know that there are better foods that millet for losing weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with millet 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 millet.
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 millet and may want to choose other foods as well.
How to cook millet for weight loss
You can implement millet in different ways into your diet. Some are better than others for weight loss. You definitely need to cook millet 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 millet to:
When trying to lose weight you generally want to avoid millet flour and recipes that use this as an ingredient like pancakes, noodles, bread, cookies, and cake. Making flour usually involves removing a lot of fiber which is arguably the most useful nutrient for weight loss.
Millet vs other foods for weight loss
You now know how good millet is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other grains and pseudocereals? Find out how good millet is for weight loss vs quinoa, sorghum, brown rice, and whole wheat. These comparisons will use the raw grain and pseudocereal nutritional values.
Millet vs quinoa
First of all, the comparison between millet and quinoa, a very popular type of pseudocereal. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that quinoa contains slightly less. Raw millet contains around 378 calories per 100 grams vs the 368 calories per 100 grams in quinoa (3, 4).
Millet contains around 8.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A small amount higher than the 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams in quinoa. Quinoa contains about 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams. Quinoa contains higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than millet.
The difference won’t be that big but quinoa is likely better for weight loss than millet.
Millet vs sorghum
Next, the comparison between millet and sorghum, another type of whole grain. Sorghum is lower in calories, about 339 calories per 100 grams (5).
Sorghum is slightly lower in fiber with 6.3 grams per 100 grams. Sorghum contains negligibly more protein, 11.3 grams per 100 grams. Millet contains bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals than sorghum.
The extra fiber in millet is helpful but likely not enough to compensate for the difference in calories. Sorghum is likely better for weight loss than millet.
Millet vs rice
White and brown rice are some of the most popular grains all over the world. If you’re only looking at calories, brown rice contains a slightly lower number of calories, 370 calories per 100 grams (6).
Millet contains about 8.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs brown rice with about 3.5 grams per 100 grams. Millet also has more protein, 11 grams per 100 grams, than brown rice with 7.9 grams per 100 grams. These two foods are similar in amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Millet is likely better for weight loss than brown rice.
Millet vs whole wheat
Lastly the comparison between millet and whole wheat. Whole wheat is lower in calories with 340 calories per 100 grams vs raw millet which has about 378 calories per 100 grams (7).
On top of that, whole wheat is higher in fiber, 12.7 grams per 100 grams. Whole wheat does contain slightly 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 millet.
Chart of millet 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 millet (3), quinoa (4), sorghum (5), brown rice (6), and whole wheat (7), to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Millet||Quinoa||Sorghum||Brown Rice||Whole Wheat|
|Calories||378 calories||368 calories||339 calories||370 calories||340 calories|
|Fiber||8.5 g||7 g||6.3 g||3.5 g||12.7 g|
|Protein||11 g||14.1 g||11.3 g||7.9 g||10.7 g|