Couscous Fattening or Slimming? – Health Blog

Today we are going to explore more technical details about couscous, a very popular food in Brazil, especially in the northeast region, and answer the most common questions: does couscous make you fat or thin?

Does eating couscous at night make you fat? What is the best type of couscous to eat: Moroccan, tapioca or corn?

We will cover the benefits, nutritional properties and impact of couscous on weight.

about couscous

Traditional couscous originates from the Middle East and is known as Moroccan couscous. It is made from semolina, a form of wheat, and can be served in many ways: as a side dish, salad and even dessert.

It is a versatile food that can replace rice or quinoa in everyday life. In Brazil, we find couscous made from flour, starch, rice and cassava, with several recipes available.

benefits of couscous

Couscous is basically a source of starch, that is, of carbohydrates. It is low in vitamins and minerals and low in protein. In 100 grams of corn couscous, for example, there are 360 ​​calories and 80 grams of carbohydrates.

Therefore, couscous serves as a source of energy, but not as a source of nutrition.

  1. Power supply: Because it is rich in complex carbohydrates, couscous provides energy to the body, making it an interesting option to be consumed for breakfast or before physical activity.
  2. As gluten: Couscous is made from corn, a grain that does not contain gluten. This makes it a safe option for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  3. fiber source: Couscous contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, improves intestinal transit and contributes to the feeling of satiety.
  4. Rich in vitamins and minerals: Couscous is a source of B vitamins, such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3), as well as minerals such as iron, phosphorus and potassium.

Couscous in healthy eating

Although couscous is not part of the ideal diet, called “strong food”, it is possible to include it occasionally if you already have balanced metabolic health and do not want to lose weight.

In these cases, couscous can be consumed without further damage to health, but it is important to remember that it does not replace more nutritious foods and should be consumed in moderation.

Couscous nutritional information

about the couscous

Comparing traditional Moroccan couscous with brown rice, it is slightly less caloric (about 180 calories in 1 cooked cup), but with more protein (6g of protein, while brown rice has 5g). However, brown rice offers more nutrients, such as magnesium, iron and B vitamins.

What will make your couscous more nutritious is what you add to it. It can be raisins, apricots, nuts, peas, corn, boiled eggs or meat. Depending on what you add, your couscous will be healthier and less caloric. Among the types of couscous, Moroccan is the most interesting because of its higher protein and fiber content.

What is the best type of couscous?

Regarding the different types of couscous (rice, tapioca, corn and wheat), the ranking would be as follows:

  1. rice couscous
  2. Tapioca cuscuz
  3. corn couscous
  4. wheat couscous

The criterion used for this classification considers the lowest negative impact on the body, the lowest load of antinutrients and the lowest inflammatory potential.

The choice between consuming dehydrated or hydrated couscous is also a matter of practicality. Some people prefer weighing raw couscous and others weighing ready-made couscous. Regardless of the option chosen, it is crucial to use the correct nutritional table to avoid dietary errors.

Couscous fattening?

Many people believe that couscous is fattening, but compared to rice or pasta, it has a similar amount of carbohydrates, if not more, but with less fiber and protein. Moroccan couscous, in particular, is a more interesting option to include in your diet.

Couscous has a slightly high glycemic index, and it is important to think of ways to reduce it to lessen the impact of insulin secretion and fat accumulation. One tip is to add protein to carbohydrate. For example, cook couscous with braised chicken, ensuring protein, fiber and improving the glycemic index.

Avoid adding more carbohydrates to couscous, such as peas, corn, raisins or apricots. If you want to enrich the dish, opt for vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, which do not significantly increase the carbohydrate content.

Couscous and weight gain

weight 2

While couscous has many benefits, its high carbohydrate content and high glycemic index can negatively impact weight for some people.

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food is able to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high glycemic index, such as couscous, can cause insulin spikes, which leads to fat storage in the body.

In this way, couscous can contribute to weight gain, especially if consumed in large quantities or as part of a diet high in carbohydrates and calories.

To avoid this, it’s important to balance the amount of couscous with other foods rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats, in addition to controlling portions and exercising regularly.

couscous and slimming

If you want to lose weight or have metabolic problems such as diabetes, couscous is not the best food option.

Because it’s high in starch, it quickly raises blood glucose levels, which can impair sugar control and weight loss. In addition, its low amount of protein does not favor satiety.

In terms of carbs, hydrated couscous is similar to rice, pasta, and sweet potatoes. However, it has a lower amount of calories than these foods, which can be beneficial for those looking to lose weight.


In summary, couscous is a tasty, accessible, nutritious and gluten-free food, but it should be consumed in moderation, especially by those who are in the process of losing weight. Always remember to balance your diet and make conscious choices to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Couscous is a source of energy, but not nutrition. It can be consumed by healthy people, but it is not the most suitable food for those who want to lose weight or improve metabolic problems. To achieve your health and fitness goals, it’s critical to prioritize nutritious foods and cut back on refined and processed foods like couscous.


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