Whether you’re looking to lift a lacklustre side dish or are on the hunt for a healthy grain to make up a main meal, both couscous and rice make for excellent (and delicious) options.
While rice is often served with Asian dishes, couscous is a wheat product that is very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Technically, it’s actually a pasta as it’s made with semolina flour from durum wheat, mixed with water. There are three different types of couscous: Moroccan, the smallest size, Israeli/pearl couscous which is about the size of peppercorns and Lebanese, the largest size shaped like peas.
Couscous can be used as a fluffy grain alternative to rice and while both rice and couscous share many similarities in the way they’re prepared and used in cooking, they have different nutritional values.
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Does couscous have a low GI?
Couscous has a GI rating of 65 per 150g while white rice has a GI rating of 72 per 150, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Low-GI foods are those 55 and under so neither rice nor couscous is considered low GI. However, different types of rice vary in their GI levels as shown in the table below.
For example, brown rice has a GI index of 50 per 150g, so it is a good option if you’re wanting to control your blood sugar levels. If you do go with white rice, opt for high-quality kernals like this one.
(continue reading to find out how healthy rice is compared to couscous)