Quinoa Or Millet? Confused What To Eat? Here’s An Expert Guide

What to eat for breakfast? What to put in coffee or tea? What to make for lunch? are probably some decisions that many of us make within the first hour of waking up. Yes, there are certain judgements that are easy to make, but there are also those that need a little bit of thinking. So that you may cut through the clutter and make food decisions that are better and healthier for you. Dr. Nandita Iyer, author and a medical doctor who specializes in nutrition, explains some common decisions about food choices in her most recent Instagram post. Here's what She had to say. 

She says, “Trying to help you figure out the answers to common food dilemmas in our everyday lives with some logic and science.” 

Brown rice vs. white rice 

Brown rice is slightly slower to raise blood sugar (lower GI) as compared to white rice, but GI of white rice is reduced when eaten with veg pulses, curries, key etc. White rice is easier to digest than brown rice. 

Brown rice has slightly more fiber and nutrients. The difference can be offset by dishes paired with White rice. 

Brown rice has higher levels of heavy metal arsenic. 


It is fine to eat brown rice if you like its taste, but nutritionally there are no reasons to shame white rice and eat brown rice. 

Quinoa Vs Millets 

Biodiverse millets, grown locally, with a lower carbon footprint, drought resilience and resource efficiency. (Needing less water, fertilizers and pesticides) are more environmentally sustainable. 

Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids and has a higher protein content than millet(1 cup cooked quinoa 8g protein versus 6g in millet). 

Both are rich in fibre, gluten-free and versatile. 

The price gap used to be a lot, now it has narrowed considerably 


Both grains score nearly equal on most fronts. You can use both in your diet by rotation. 

Atta vs Maida 

Maida does not stick to the gut. Being more refined than atta with lower fiber content. It is quicker to digest and raise blood sugar. 

But we do not eat ingredients, we eat food. When roti made with maida is had with chole Or vegetables It is more than makes up for the lack of fibre and micronutrients. 

You may be shocked to know that maida has as much protein as atta at around 11 gram per 100 grams. 

Fiber-wise it does stack up low. At around 3g fibre as against 11g in atta. 


So it's ok to eat maida once in a while in your pizza base or parathas. Just make sure the rest of your plate is balanced with fiber and micronutrients rich vegetables. 

Diet cola Vs Regular cola 

Diet colas save you from having 10 teaspoons sugar pereach can, which contributes to excess calorie intake, weight gain and potential health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes when consumed regularly. 

Artificial sweeteners used in diet cola have undergone extensive safety evaluations and received approval from regulatory agencies like the US FDA, which has established acceptable daily intake levels of artificial sweeteners based on scientific research and safety assessments. 

However, there are potential links between long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners to conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome.  


For an occasional drink, diet cola is safer than colas, but making either a habitual beverage of choice is not advisable. 

Diet Cola or Cola Vs Fruit juice 

A study claimed that diet cola is better for kids than fruit juice. It's common knowledge that eating fruits whole is always better than drinking fruit juice or smoothies. But take a situation where you are on an outing with your kids in hot weather and they want something cold and refreshing. Fruit juice with no added sugars is definitely a better option than colas. 

Diet cola may contain fewer calories (Or zero calories) and sugar than fruit juice. Both colas lack the essential nutrients and health benefits found in fruits. 


It's essential to prioritize nutrient dense foods and beverages as part of a balanced diet while minimizing the intake of processed and artificially sweetened products. 

Definitely fruit juice over colas/diet cola for kids and either drink is OK once in a while for adults. 


STOP Seeking black and white answers to complex food dilemmas. 

Stop believing people on the Internet who demonize foods without any valid science packed approach. 

Approach food choices with nuance, balance, and moderation. 

Prioritize nutrient dense foods and eat a variety of foods and stop worrying about everything else.