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Semolina vs Lentils: What’s The Difference?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between semolina and lentils, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the semolina vs lentils comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 11, 2023.

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


Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.

Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), 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.

Semolina 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 semolina vs lentils.

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

Energy360 kcal352 kcal
Carbs72.8 g63.4 g
Sugar2.67 g2.03 g
Fiber3.9 g10.7 g
Protein12.7 g24.6 g
Fat1.05 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.15 g0.154 g

Semolina 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 semolina for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of semolina.

However, both semolina 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.

Semolina vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 48% more protein than semolina.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Semolina 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 semolina and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 13% higher in semolina than in lentils. It have 72.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

There’s less sugar in lentils than in semolina, 14% precisely.

One handful of lentils (28 grams) contains 0.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 0.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in semolina 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 semolina which offer 1.1 grams per portion.

Semolina vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in semolina and lentils:

  • Semolina: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

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

Semolina vs Lentils Vitamins Content

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

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

Semolina has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin).

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

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

Vitamin A039 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.28 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.08 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.31 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.58 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.103 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)72 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K0.1 µg5 µg

Semolina 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 semolina and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Semolina is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than lentils.

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

Semolina and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride, and magnesium.

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

Calcium17 mg35 mg
Copper0.189 mg0.754 mg
Iron1.23 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium47 mg47 mg
Manganese0.619 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus136 mg281 mg
Potassium186 mg677 mg
Selenium63.2 µg0.1 µg
Sodium1 mg6 mg
Zinc1.05 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both semolina 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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