Chickpeas vs Lentils: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between chickpeas and lentils, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the chickpeas vs lentils comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on January 11, 2023.

Chickpeas and lentils belong to the legumes and legume products food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Legumes and most legume products are an affordable source of plant protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

This article will thoroughly compare chickpeas and lentils and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content and their versatility in cooking.

Chickpeas can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including hummus, falafel, and curry, and can also be ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and cookies.

Chickpea pasta is also available.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, chickpeas have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They are a good source of antioxidants, and have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Chickpeas are also a good source of several important minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium, all important nutrients for vegans.

Chickpeas 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, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.


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.

Chickpeas 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 chickpeas vs lentils.

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

Energy378 kcal352 kcal
Carbs63 g63.4 g
Sugar10.7 g2.03 g
Fiber12.2 g10.7 g
Protein20.5 g24.6 g
Fat6.04 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.603 g0.154 g

Chickpeas vs Lentils Calories

Most calories in raw legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing lentils vs chickpeas for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of chickpeas.

However, both chickpeas 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.

Chickpeas vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 17% more protein than chickpeas.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while chickpeas have 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Chickpeas 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 chickpeas and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 1% higher in lentils than in chickpeas. They have 63.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63 grams in chickpeas.


There’s less sugar in lentils than in chickpeas, 80% precisely.

One handful of lentils (28 grams) contains 0.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of chickpeas contains 3 grams.

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

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

With 3.4 grams of fiber per portion, chickpeas are a better source of fiber than lentils which chickpeas offer 3 grams per portion.

Chickpeas vs Lentils Fats

Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, chickpeas and lentils are low in fat.

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

Total fat in chickpeas and lentils:

  • Chickpeas: 6 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 67% lower in saturated fats.

Lentils and chickpeas contain 0.2 grams and 0.6 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Chickpeas vs Lentils Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of chickpeas and lentils.

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

Chickpeas have a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

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

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

Vitamin A67 IU39 IU
Vitamin C4 mg4.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.477 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.212 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.54 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.59 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.535 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)557 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.82 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K9 µg5 µg

Chickpeas 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 chickpeas and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Chickpeas are a better source of copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc than lentils.

On the other hand, lentils are a higher amount of calcium, fluoride, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and sodium.

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

Calcium57 mg35 mg
Copper0.656 mg0.754 mg
Fluoride2.2 µg0
Iron4.31 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium79 mg47 mg
Manganese21.3 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus252 mg281 mg
Potassium718 mg677 mg
Selenium00.1 µg
Sodium24 mg6 mg
Zinc2.76 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both chickpeas 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 beans 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 are 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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