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Wild rice vs Lentils: How Do They Compare?

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

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 18, 2023.

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

Wild rice

Wild rice (Zizania aquatica) is a type of cereal grain that is native to North America, specifically the Great Lakes region and the St. Lawrence River area.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Wild rice has a nutty and slightly earthy flavor and is often used as a side dish or as an ingredient in salads, soups, and stuffings. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Wild rice is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also considered a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in various habitats, including shallow water, and doesn’t require chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Wild rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin E.


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.

Wild 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 wild rice vs lentils.

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

Wild riceLentils
Energy357 kcal352 kcal
Carbs74.9 g63.4 g
Sugar2.5 g2.03 g
Fiber6.2 g10.7 g
Protein14.7 g24.6 g
Fat1.08 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat0.156 g0.154 g

Wild 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 wild rice for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 357 calories per 100 grams of wild rice.

However, both wild 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.

Wild rice vs Lentils Protein

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

Lentils offer around 40% more protein than wild rice.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while wild rice has 14.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Wild 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 wild rice and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 15% higher in wild rice than in lentils. It have 74.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 63.4 grams in lentils.

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

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

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in wild 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 wild rice which offer 1.7 grams per portion.

Wild rice vs Lentils Fats

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

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

Total fat in wild rice and lentils:

  • Wild rice: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

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

Wild rice vs Lentils Vitamins Content

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wild riceLentils
Vitamin A19 IU39 IU
Vitamin C04.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.115 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.262 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.73 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.07 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.391 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)95 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.82 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg5 µg

Wild 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 wild rice and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Wild rice is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium than lentils.

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

Wild rice and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Wild riceLentils
Calcium21 mg35 mg
Copper0.524 mg0.754 mg
Iron1.96 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium177 mg47 mg
Manganese1.33 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus433 mg281 mg
Potassium427 mg677 mg
Selenium2.8 µg0.1 µg
Sodium7 mg6 mg
Zinc5.96 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

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

Both wild 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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