What's The Difference Between Naan And Pita?

Sweet potatoes and yams, soybeans and chickpeas, bananas and plantainsparsley and cilantro, peaches and nectarines. These are just a few of the many foods that look similar to each other and are, therefore, often mistaken for one another, as Bright Side explains. Naan and pita are another example of two foods that look a lot alike, but have a few key differences.

Both are types of flatbread made with flour, and both have the same muted yellow color. Both breads also originated outside of the United States, according to Busby's Bakery. They also share a similar baking process, in that they're both, "mixed, kneaded and then left to rest for an hour or so."

But despite these many shared qualities between the two flatbreads, naan and pita differ quite a bit in ingredients, shape and texture, countries of origin, and nutrients. Also — perhaps to the interest of many — one bread is considered to be healthier than the other based on its nutritional value. Here's what to know about the difference between naan and pita.

The breads hail from two parts of Asia

ScienceDirect defines pita as a, "circular, leavened double-layered flat bread that originated in the Middle East." It requires only a few ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and water. Pita, also known as pocket bread, is commonly served in Mediterranean restaurants. 

The "pocket bread" description stems from the fact that the bread has a hollow center and can be stuffed with meats, vegetables, and other foods. According to Verywell Fit, pita has a "billowy texture" and is considered a low-fat food. It also contains several vitamins and minerals, and offers a range of health benefits, including its ability to lower glucose levels and aid in digestion.

Naan, on the other hand, is described as an, "unique and popular flatbread with a chewy texture that has roots in India," and is often in a tear-drop shape, according to TasteAtlas. It's made with the same four ingredients as pita, with the addition of eggs, milk, and sugar. However, Busby's Bakery claims a naan recipe can contain yogurt, oil, or butter can also be used.

Like pita, this fluffy Indian flatbread offers several nutrients, including iron, protein, and B vitamins (via Healthline), but which one is healthier? Healthline names naan as the winner, since it contains more nutrients than pita. Naan offers more protein and fiber, but if sugar and carbs are a concern for you, pita may be the better choice between the two.