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Durum wheat vs Lentils: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between durum wheat and lentils, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the durum wheat vs lentils comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on February 17, 2023.

Although durum wheat and lentils belong to different food groups, while durum wheat belong is a grain, and lentils belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

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

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how durum wheat and lentils compare specifically.

Durum wheat

Durum wheat (Triticum durum) is a type of wheat that is known for its high protein and gluten content.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and essential amino acids, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Durum wheat is commonly used in the production of pasta and couscous and also in traditional dishes like semolina porridge and bread. It is also used in some breakfast cereals and snacks. The high gluten content of durum wheat gives pasta and other products made from it a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Durum wheat is gluten-rich. Thus, it is unsuitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It can be enjoyed as a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Durum wheat is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.


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.

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat vs lentils.

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

Durum wheatLentils
Energy339 kcal352 kcal
Carbs71.1 g63.4 g
Sugar0 g2.03 g
Fiber3.4 g10.7 g
Protein13.7 g24.6 g
Fat2.47 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.454 g0.154 g

Durum wheat vs Lentils Calories

Most calories in raw grains and 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 durum wheat vs lentils for weight loss, durum wheat is slightly lower in calories, with 339 calories per 100 grams, compared to 352 calories per 100 grams of lentils.

However, both durum wheat 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.

Durum wheat vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 44% more protein than durum wheat.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while durum wheat has 13.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 11% higher in durum wheat than in lentils. It have 71.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

There’s less sugar in durum wheat than in lentils, 100% precisely.

One handful of durum wheat (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 durum wheat and lentils.

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

With 3 grams of fiber per portion, lentils are a better source of fiber than durum wheat which offer 1 grams per portion.

Durum wheat vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in durum wheat and lentils:

  • Durum wheat: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 60% lower in saturated fats.

Lentils and durum wheat contain 0.2 grams and 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Durum wheat vs Lentils Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of durum wheat and lentils.

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

Durum wheat has a higher amount of vitamin A, 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 B3 (Niacin), and vitamin E.

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

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

Durum wheatLentils
Vitamin A039 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.419 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.121 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.74 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.935 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.419 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)43 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.9 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg5 µg

Durum wheat 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 durum wheat and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Durum wheat is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, potassium, and sodium than lentils.

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

Durum wheat and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Durum wheatLentils
Calcium34 mg35 mg
Copper0.553 mg0.754 mg
Iron3.52 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium144 mg47 mg
Manganese3.01 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus508 mg281 mg
Potassium431 mg677 mg
Selenium89.4 µg0.1 µg
Sodium2 mg6 mg
Zinc4.16 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both durum wheat 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 grains 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 and grains 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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