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Rye grain vs Lentils: Difference & Similarities

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

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

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

Rye grain

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a cereal grain that is closely related to wheat and barley.

It is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including B vitamins like niacin and folate, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The high fiber content of rye grain has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique type of dietary fiber called arabinoxylan, which has been shown to have a prebiotic effect on gut health.

Rye grain is commonly used in bread making and traditional dishes such as rye porridge and crisp bread. It can also be milled into flour and used in baking or cooked and eaten as a side dish.

Rye grain is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

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


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.

Rye grain 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 rye grain vs lentils.

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

Rye grainLentils
Energy338 kcal352 kcal
Carbs75.9 g63.4 g
Sugar0.98 g2.03 g
Fiber15.1 g10.7 g
Protein10.3 g24.6 g
Fat1.63 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.197 g0.154 g

Rye grain 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 rye grain vs lentils for weight loss, rye grain is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 352 calories per 100 grams of lentils.

However, both rye grain 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.

Rye grain vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 58% more protein than rye grain.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rye grain has 10.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Rye grain 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 rye grain and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 16% higher in rye grain than in lentils. It have 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

There’s less sugar in rye grain than in lentils, 50% precisely.

One handful of rye grain (28 grams) contains 0.3 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lentils contains 0.6 grams.

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

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

With 4.2 grams of fiber per portion, rye grain is a better source of fiber than lentils which rye grain offers 3 grams per portion.

Rye grain vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in rye grain and lentils:

  • Rye grain: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

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

Rye grain vs Lentils Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of rye grain and lentils.

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

Rye grain has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

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

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

Rye grainLentils
Vitamin A11 IU39 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.316 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.251 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.27 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.46 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.294 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)38 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.85 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K5.9 µg5 µg

Rye grain 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 rye grain and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Rye grain is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc than lentils.

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

Rye grain and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Rye grainLentils
Calcium24 mg35 mg
Copper0.367 mg0.754 mg
Iron2.63 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium110 mg47 mg
Manganese2.58 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus332 mg281 mg
Potassium510 mg677 mg
Selenium13.9 µg0.1 µg
Sodium2 mg6 mg
Zinc2.65 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both rye grain 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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