Not everyone in North America is familiar with couscous even though it’s probably been around for millennia in northern Africa. Although it’s sometimes mistaken for a grain or seed, couscous is actually a pasta made from semolina (wheat). If you are interested in couscous, you might be wondering if it’s okay for your dog to eat it, too. We have the answers for you about couscous below.
Couscous has long been a food staple in north African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. It’s also found in Sicily and France, on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea.
Couscous is traditionally made from semolina, the hardest part of the grain of durham wheat – the hardest kind of wheat. The semolina is resistant to the grindstone. It is sprinkled with water and rolled by hand into tiny pellets. They are sprinkled with flour and sieved, then rolled again. This continues until they are formed into the tiny granules of couscous.
Today, couscous production is largely mechanized. It’s widely available in supermarkets in the United States and Canada. It’s an easy and fast dish to prepare. You can cook it in a small amount of water or broth in about five minutes with a little olive oil or butter added.
Couscous is light and fluffy. It goes well with many different vegetables. It’s also good with chicken and other meat dishes.
Nutritionally, couscous offers some nice benefits. It is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It’s a very good source of selenium. It also provides some niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate, and manganese. Plus, it has a surprising amount of protein.
One cup of cooked couscous has 85 percent carbohydrates, 1 percent fat, and 14 percent protein. Plus, it only has 176 calories. So, while it is high in carbohydrates, it is very low in fat and calories.
That one cup of couscous has 36.5 grams of carbohydrates and 2.2 grams of dietary fiber. It has 0.2 grams of sugars and 0.3 grams of total fat. It has 0 grams of saturated fat. It has 5.9 grams of protein. As you can see, couscous is not especially high in fiber, despite some online sources. The same serving of brown rice provides twice as much fiber. If you want more fiber from your couscous, you will need to look for whole wheat couscous.
Couscous provides some health benefits, too. The selenium in couscous is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body repair damaged cells. It also helps decrease inflammation. Selenium is also essential for proper thyroid function.
Selenium may also help reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s believed to reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries and lower LDL cholesterol. Selenium is also thought to help decrease the risk of some kinds of cancer.
Couscous is also a good source of plant-based protein. It should be combined with other protein sources to make sure you get all of the amino acids you require but it’s one of the better plant-based protein sources.
Compared to other forms of pasta, couscous is not as processed or refined. It’s a good alternative to many of the traditional forms of paste found in stores. It’s also easy to prepare.
There are some drawbacks to eating couscous. First, it is high in gluten. It is a wheat product made from semolina. If you have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, you will need to avoid eating couscous.
Only about 1 percent of the popular has the gluten intolerance known as celiac disease. However, it’s estimated that between 0.5-13 percent of people may have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Eating couscous could be harmful to these people.
Couscous is high in carbohydrates. If you have problems with your blood sugar or with diabetes, you should be cautious about eating high carb foods such as couscous. They can result in a spike in blood sugar levels. However, if you eat a moderate amount of couscous with other sources of protein or with foods that are rich in soluble fiber, you may be able to eat this food without problems with your blood sugar levels. Consult your physician if you have questions.
Couscous does contain protein and small amounts of other nutrients, but it is not considered to be loaded with nutrients. It has a small amount of fiber that acts as a prebiotic to help gut health but there are better sources of fiber. If you are looking for good sources of these nutrients, there are better foods, including whole grains, especially if you have any issues that might be problematic.
Can dogs eat couscous?
Yes, dogs can eat couscous. In fact, some people who make homemade meals for their dogs regularly use couscous as part of their dog’s diet. It’s a good source of carbohydrates in the dog’s diet in those cases.
If you want to add some couscous to your dog’s meals occasionally, most dogs enjoy it in moderate amounts.
There are some cautions, of course. If your dog is allergic to wheat, you should not give him couscous since it is made from wheat.
If your dog is gluten-sensitive, you should probably avoid giving him couscous since it is considered to be a high gluten food.
If your dog is diabetic or has any problems with blood sugar levels, you may need to avoid giving him couscous because it is high in carbohydrates. It can affect blood sugar levels, especially if it is eaten alone. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions.
When making couscous to give to your dog, make sure that you don’t add ingredients such as onions or garlic. It’s best if you don’t add any salt. If you use broth to make the couscous, we recommend using a low sodium version if possible. Dogs don’t really need any added sodium or salt in their diet.
When you buy packaged couscous, check the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain any spices that might be harmful to your dog. Some couscous is sold plain but other couscous is sold with flavors already added. It’s a good idea to make sure the couscous is safe for your dog.
How much couscous can dogs eat?
Couscous is very high in carbohydrates so it’s best not to give your dog too much. These are simple carbs so they turn into quick energy. Even if your dog doesn’t have any problems with blood sugar levels, eating a lot of carbs can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. Your dog could be in for a sugar rush, zoomies, and a sugar crash from all the carbs.
Although couscous is not high in calories, it’s best to only give your dog small amounts. A small dog could have about ¼ cup of couscous. A medium dog could have about ½ cup. Large dogs could have about ¾ of a cup. It’s best if you mix the couscous with other foods to help avoid a sugar rush.
How often can you give your dog couscous?
You could give your dog couscous once or twice per week in small amounts.
If you are making your dog’s meals, try to rotate couscous with other grains and carb sources.
Couscous is a delicious food that is a staple part of the diet in northern Africa. It’s becoming increasingly popular in North America. It’s a good source of plant protein and provides some other nutrients. Dogs can safely enjoy couscous as long as they don’t have a wheat allergy or gluten-sensitivity. It’s best to give your dog small amounts because the food is high in carbohydrates.