Oats vs Lentils: Which Is Healthier?

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

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on February 15, 2023.

Although oats and lentils belong to different food groups, while oats 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 oats 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 oats and lentils compare specifically.


Oats (Avena sativa) is a type of cereal grain grown for their edible seeds, also known as groats.

They are a good source of dietary fibers, particularly beta-glucan, which has been linked to various health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels and improving digestion. They also provide a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, iron, and manganese.

Oats are a staple ingredient in many breakfast foods such as oatmeal, granola, and muesli. They can also be used as an ingredient in baking, added to smoothies, and used as breading for meat and fish dishes. Oat flour, made from ground oats, can also be a gluten-free alternative in baking.

Oats are also considered a functional food, as they have been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Oats is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).


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.

Oats 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 oats vs lentils.

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

Energy389 kcal352 kcal
Carbs66.3 g63.4 g
Sugar0 g2.03 g
Fiber10.6 g10.7 g
Protein16.9 g24.6 g
Fat6.9 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat1.22 g0.154 g

Oats 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 lentils vs oats for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 389 calories per 100 grams of oats.

However, both oats 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.

Oats vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 31% more protein than oats.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while oats has 16.9 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Oats 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 oats and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in oats than in lentils. It have 66.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

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

One handful of oats (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 oats and lentils.

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

Oats and lentils contain the same amount of fiber, 3 grams per portion.

Oats vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in oats and lentils:

  • Oats: 6.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 83% lower in saturated fats.

Lentils and oats contain 0.2 grams and 1.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Oats vs Lentils Vitamins Content

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

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

Oats 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.

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

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

Vitamin A039 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.763 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.139 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.961 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.35 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.119 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)56 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg5 µg

Oats 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 oats and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Oats is a better source of copper, iron, potassium, and sodium than lentils.

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

Oats and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Calcium54 mg35 mg
Copper0.626 mg0.754 mg
Iron4.72 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium177 mg47 mg
Manganese4.92 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus523 mg281 mg
Potassium429 mg677 mg
Selenium2.7 µg0.1 µg
Sodium2 mg6 mg
Zinc3.97 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both oats 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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