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Lentils vs Lima Beans: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between lentils and lima beans, foods from the legumes and legume product group. Read on to learn more about the lentils vs lima beans comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 7, 2023.

Lentils and lima beans 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 lentils and lima beans and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


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.

Lima Beans

Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus), also known as butter beans, are a type of legume native to Central and South America.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content, as well as their creamy, buttery texture.

Lima beans are also a good source of several important nutrients, including potassium, iron, and folate.

They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, such as lima bean soup, salads, and dips.

In addition to being a nutritious food, lima beans have been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

They have been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Lima Beans 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 E, and Vitamin K.

Lentils vs Lima Beans Nutrition

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

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

LentilsLima Beans
Energy352 kcal338 kcal
Carbs63.4 g63.4 g
Sugar2.03 g8.5 g
Fiber10.7 g19 g
Protein24.6 g21.5 g
Fat1.06 g0.69 g
Saturated Fat0.154 g0.161 g

Lentils vs Lima Beans 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 lima beans vs lentils for weight loss, lima beans are slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 352 calories per 100 grams of lentils.

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

Lentils vs Lima Beans Protein

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

Lentils offer around 13% more protein than lima beans.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while lima beans have 21.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Lentils vs Lima Beans 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 lentils and lima beans.

Lima Beans and lentils contain the same amount of total carbohydrates, 63.4 grams per 100 grams.

There’s less sugar in lentils than in lima beans, 75% precisely.

One handful of lentils (28 grams) contains 0.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lima beans contains 2.4 grams.

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

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

With 5.3 grams of fiber per portion, lima beans are a better source of fiber than lentils which offer 3 grams per portion.

Lentils vs Lima Beans Fats

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

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

Total fat in lentils and lima beans:

  • Lentils: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Lima Beans: 0.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils and lima beans contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.

Lentils vs Lima Beans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of lentils and lima beans.

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

Lentils have a higher amount of vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, lima beans have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Lentils and lima beans contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

LentilsLima Beans
Vitamin A39 IU0
Vitamin C4.5 mg0
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.873 mg0.507 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.211 mg0.202 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)2.6 mg1.54 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)2.14 mg1.36 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.54 mg0.512 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)479 µg395 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.49 mg0.72 mg
Vitamin K5 µg6 µg

Lentils vs Lima Beans 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 lentils and lima beans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Lentils are a better source of calcium, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and sodium than lima beans.

On the other hand, lima beans are a higher amount of copper, and zinc.

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

LentilsLima Beans
Calcium35 mg81 mg
Copper0.754 mg0.74 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron6.51 mg7.51 mg
Magnesium47 mg224 mg
Manganese1.39 mg1.67 mg
Phosphorus281 mg385 mg
Potassium677 mg1720 mg
Selenium0.1 µg7.2 µg
Sodium6 mg18 mg
Zinc3.27 mg2.83 mg

The Final Word

Lentils and lima beans are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both lentils and lima beans 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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