Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate: Which Is Healthier?
Lentils and soy protein isolate 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 soy protein isolate 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.
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy protein isolate is a highly purified form of protein derived from soybeans.
It is made by removing most of the fats and carbohydrates from soybeans, leaving mostly protein behind. It is a popular ingredient in many processed foods, such as protein bars and powders, as well as in meat and dairy alternatives.
Soy protein is also used as a binder and emulsifier in various foods.
Soy protein isolate is a good source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It is also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a heart-healthy option.
Additionally, it may help to lower cholesterol levels, improve bone health and support weight management. It can also be a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Soy Protein Isolate is an excellent source of Vitamin B9 (Folate).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 soy protein isolate.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of lentils and soy protein isolate and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Lentils||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Energy||352 kcal||335 kcal|
|Carbs||63.4 g||0 g|
|Sugar||2.03 g||0 g|
|Fiber||10.7 g||0 g|
|Protein||24.6 g||88.32 g|
|Fat||1.06 g||3.39 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.154 g||0.422 g|
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 soy protein isolate vs lentils for weight loss, soy protein isolate is slightly lower in calories, with 335 calories per 100 grams, compared to 352 calories per 100 grams of lentils.
However, both lentils and soy protein isolate 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 Soy Protein Isolate Protein
Legumes and most legume products, including lentils and soy protein isolate, are important sources of plant-based protein.
Soy Protein Isolate offers around 72% more protein than lentils.
Soy Protein Isolate has 88.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 soy protein isolate.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 100% higher in lentils than in soy protein isolate. They have 63.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 0 grams in soy protein isolate.
There’s less sugar in soy protein isolate than in lentils, 100% precisely.
One handful of soy protein isolate (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 lentils and soy protein isolate.
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 soy protein isolate which lentils offer 0 grams per portion.
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate Fats
Like most other legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, lentils and soy protein isolate are low in fat.
Fats in lentils and soy protein isolate are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in lentils and soy protein isolate:
- Lentils: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
- Soy Protein Isolate: 3.4 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 50% lower in saturated fats.
Lentils and soy protein isolate contain 0.2 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of lentils and soy protein isolate.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
However, soy protein isolate has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Lentils and soy protein isolate contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins lentils and soy protein isolate contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Lentils||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Vitamin A||39 IU||0|
|Vitamin C||4.5 mg||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.873 mg||0.176 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.211 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||2.6 mg||1.438 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||2.14 mg||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.54 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||479 µg||176 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.49 mg||0|
|Vitamin K||5 µg||0|
Lentils vs Soy Protein Isolate 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 soy protein isolate comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Lentils are a better source of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc than soy protein isolate.
On the other hand, soy protein isolate is a higher amount of magnesium, and potassium.
Lentils and soy protein isolate contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how lentils and soy protein isolate compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Lentils||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Calcium||35 mg||178 mg|
|Copper||0.754 mg||1.599 mg|
|Iron||6.51 mg||14.5 mg|
|Magnesium||47 mg||39 mg|
|Manganese||1.39 mg||1.493 mg|
|Phosphorus||281 mg||776 mg|
|Potassium||677 mg||81 mg|
|Selenium||0.1 µg||0.8 µg|
|Sodium||6 mg||1005 mg|
|Zinc||3.27 mg||4.03 mg|
The Final Word
Lentils and soy protein isolate are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.
Both lentils and soy protein isolate 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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