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Chia Seeds vs Lentils: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between chia seeds and lentils, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the chia seeds vs lentils comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on March 12, 2023.

Although chia seeds and lentils belong to different food groups, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

While chia seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, lentils belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares chia seeds and lentils, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from nuts and seeds group are usually higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs than legumes, but both are valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how chia seeds and lentils compare specifically.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are small, black seeds that come from the chia plant, which is native to Central and South America.

These seeds have gained popularity recently as a health food due to their high fiber and nutrient content.

Chia seeds have a slightly nutty and slightly earthy flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

They can be added to a variety of dishes, including smoothies, cereals, and baked goods, or used as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Chia seeds are also available in oil form, which can be used in cooking or as a salad dressing.

Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.

They are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Overall, chia seeds are a nutritious and versatile food that can be a valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

If you’re looking to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet, consider giving chia seeds a try. They are versatile, nutritious, and may have a variety of health benefits.

Chia Seeds is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Lentils (Lens culinaris) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and have been consumed for thousands of years.

They are small, round, and come in various colors, including green, brown, red, and yellow. Lentils are a popular ingredient in many cuisines worldwide and are highly valued for their nutritional content.

One of the main health benefits of lentils is their high protein content. In fact, lentils are one of the highest plant-based protein sources, making them a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Lentils are also high in fiber, which can help to improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels.

They are rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and B vitamins. They also contain many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Regarding versatility, lentils can be easily incorporated into various dishes, such as soups, stews, and salads.

They are also budget-friendly ingredients that can be used in place of meat to add protein and nutrients to meals.

Lentils are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing chia seeds vs lentils.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of chia seeds and lentils and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Chia SeedsLentils
Energy486 kcal352 kcal
Carbs42.1 g63.4 g
Sugar2.03 g
Fiber34.4 g10.7 g
Protein16.5 g24.6 g
Fat30.7 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat3.33 g0.154 g

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Calories

Comparing lentils vs chia seeds for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 486 calories per 100 grams of chia seeds.

However, both chia seeds and lentils can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including chia seeds and lentils, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Lentils offer around 33% more protein than chia seeds.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while chia seeds has 16.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in chia seeds and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 34% higher in lentils than in chia seeds. They have 63.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 42.1 grams in chia seeds.


There’s less sugar in chia seeds than in lentils, 100% precisely.

One handful of chia seeds (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lentils contains 0.6 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in chia seeds and lentils.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 9.6 grams of fiber per portion, chia seeds is a better source of fiber than lentils which chia seeds offers 3 grams per portion.

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Fats

Fats in chia seeds and lentils are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in chia seeds and lentils:

  • Chia Seeds: 30.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 94% lower in saturated fats.

Lentils and chia seeds contain 0.2 grams and 3.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of chia seeds and lentils.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Chia Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin E.

Chia Seeds and lentils contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins chia seeds and lentils contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Chia SeedsLentils
Vitamin A54 IU39 IU
Vitamin C1.6 mg4.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.62 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.17 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)8.83 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)02.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)00.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)49 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.5 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K05 µg

Chia Seeds vs Lentils Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the chia seeds and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Chia Seeds is a better source of potassium than lentils.

On the other hand, lentils are a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

Chia Seeds and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how chia seeds and lentils compare when it comes to mineral content.

Chia SeedsLentils
Calcium631 mg35 mg
Copper0.924 mg0.754 mg
Iron7.72 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium335 mg47 mg
Manganese2.72 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus860 mg281 mg
Potassium407 mg677 mg
Selenium55.2 µg0.1 µg
Sodium16 mg6 mg
Zinc4.58 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

Chia Seeds and lentils are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both chia seeds and lentils are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes, nuts and seeds are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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