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Rice noodles vs Lentils: Which One is Better for You?

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

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on February 20, 2023.

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

Rice noodles

Rice noodles (Oryza sativa) are a type of pasta made from rice flour and water and are commonly used in many Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese.

They are a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein and fibers. They are gluten-free and easy to digest, making them a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Rice noodles can be used in various dishes such as soups, stir-fries, and salads. They are often used in traditional Asian dishes like pho, pad Thai, and chow mein. They are also available in different widths and lengths and can be used in various ways to suit different dishes and preferences.

Rice noodles are considered a functional food, as they have been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. They are also a sustainable crop, as they are easy to grow and have a low environmental impact.

Rice noodles is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.


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.

Rice noodles 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 rice noodles vs lentils.

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

Rice noodlesLentils
Energy364 kcal352 kcal
Carbs80.2 g63.4 g
Sugar0.12 g2.03 g
Fiber1.6 g10.7 g
Protein5.95 g24.6 g
Fat0.56 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.153 g0.154 g

Rice noodles 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 rice noodles for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 364 calories per 100 grams of rice noodles.

However, both rice noodles 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.

Rice noodles vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 76% more protein than rice noodles.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rice noodles has 6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Rice noodles 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 rice noodles and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 21% higher in rice noodles than in lentils. It have 80.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

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

One handful of rice noodles (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 rice noodles 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 rice noodles which offer 0.4 grams per portion.

Rice noodles vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in rice noodles and lentils:

  • Rice noodles: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

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

Rice noodles vs Lentils Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of rice noodles and lentils.

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

Rice noodles 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.

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

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

Rice noodlesLentils
Vitamin A039 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.031 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.017 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.221 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.051 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.015 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)3 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K05 µg

Rice noodles 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 rice noodles and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Rice noodles is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than lentils.

On the other hand, lentils are a higher amount of selenium, and sodium.

Rice noodles and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Rice noodlesLentils
Calcium18 mg35 mg
Copper0.078 mg0.754 mg
Iron0.7 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium12 mg47 mg
Manganese0.498 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus153 mg281 mg
Potassium30 mg677 mg
Selenium15.1 µg0.1 µg
Sodium182 mg6 mg
Zinc0.74 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both rice noodles 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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