White rice vs Lentils: Difference & Similarities
Although white rice and lentils belong to different food groups, while white rice 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 white rice 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 white rice and lentils compare specifically.
White rice (Oryza sativa) has had its husk, bran, and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This process, called milling, makes the rice less nutritious but increases its shelf life and gives it a lighter color and texture.
White rice is a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein, and fiber. It is gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
White rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads and sushi. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.
White rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, brown rice and other types of whole grains are less nutritious than brown rice, as it has had its bran and germ removed.
White rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), 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.
White rice 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 white rice vs lentils.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of white rice and lentils and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||360 kcal||352 kcal|
|Carbs||79.3 g||63.4 g|
|Sugar||1.88 g||2.03 g|
|Fiber||3.3 g||10.7 g|
|Protein||6.61 g||24.6 g|
|Fat||0.58 g||1.06 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.158 g||0.154 g|
White rice 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 white rice for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of white rice.
However, both white rice 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.
White rice vs Lentils Protein
Legumes and most legume products, including white rice and lentils, are important sources of plant-based protein.
Lentils offer around 73% more protein than white rice.
Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while white rice has 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
White rice 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 white rice and lentils.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 20% higher in white rice than in lentils. It have 79.3 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.
There’s less sugar in white rice than in lentils, 17% precisely.
One handful of white rice (28 grams) contains 0.5 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lentils contains 0.6 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in white rice 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 white rice which offer 0.9 grams per portion.
White rice vs Lentils Fats
Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, white rice and lentils are low in fat.
Fats in white rice and lentils are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in white rice and lentils:
- White rice: 0.6 grams per 100 grams
- Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, white rice and lentils contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.2 grams per 100 grams.
White rice vs Lentils Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of white rice and lentils.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
White rice has a higher amount of 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.
However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin A.
White rice and lentils contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins white rice and lentils contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||62 IU||39 IU|
|Vitamin C||0||4.5 mg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.07 mg||0.873 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.048 mg||0.211 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.6 mg||2.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.34 mg||2.14 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.145 mg||0.54 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||9 µg||479 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||0.37 mg||0.49 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 µg||5 µg|
White rice 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 white rice and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.
White rice is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than lentils.
On the other hand, lentils are a higher amount of selenium.
White rice and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how white rice and lentils compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||9 mg||35 mg|
|Copper||0.11 mg||0.754 mg|
|Iron||0.8 mg||6.51 mg|
|Magnesium||35 mg||47 mg|
|Manganese||1.1 mg||1.39 mg|
|Phosphorus||108 mg||281 mg|
|Potassium||86 mg||677 mg|
|Selenium||78.8 µg||0.1 µg|
|Sodium||1 mg||6 mg|
|Zinc||1.16 mg||3.27 mg|
The Final Word
White rice and lentils are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.
Both white rice 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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