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Lentils over rice

 — #nutrition#food

I love rice. It is cheap and widely available. and that, globally.

Oh, it can be stocked for years. It only requires water to cook. a pot, or a dedicated cooker. So if I have fire, gas, or electricity, I can cook rice.  I bet one could find ways to microwave a bowl of rice, and enjoy it almost the same way as if it was cooked traditionally, or use natural sunlight and patience to do the trick.

What raw ingredient shares many of all those same attributes?


Or ... grains, if I wanted to live longer.  This post could have been about beans or peas. They are also very, very healthy. They are, however, nutritious legumes that are less comparable to rice. It takes far more energy to cook unless you can easily digest raw food. The comparison remains simple, and with the most consumed whole grain in the world: rice.

Lentils are more expensive than usual because they are not as widely available around the world, but they pay off in the end. Just follow this post through to figure out why.

The content is really about vitamins, but lentils deserve more love and spread, so it's promoting lentils. It dives into some of the nutritious superiority of those little brown, green, or orange things over white rice. Brown rice? In terms of nutrients, there is not a big difference in the end; lentils still win.

And, unless you are close enough to me and have observed, I really like rice. If I had to live on one raw ingredient for the rest of my life, it would be rice. I eat rice several times a week. I've used rice as a major element in a power-needy diet I followed when I reached my working out peak, following a six-day-a-week body lifting program tailored to gain both power and muscle mass.

Significant distinctions 


  • have more riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folate-Is a much higher source of protein, making it comparable to meat, seafood, and poultry
  • Are a fantastic source of fibre with plenty of iron and potassium
  • Both white rice and lentils are high in calories relative to their proportion

A dive into further comparisons

We are comparing white rice with rice: white, medium-grain, enriched, boiled.  Against lentils: some mature seeds.

Cooking criteria: Both boiled. No salt, spices, or other additions to the preparation process. Because there are so many different varieties of those plants, your mileage may vary.

We start with it as an overall source of energy and will dive into macronutrients and ... vitamins!


While joules would be a more accurate unit, calories are well known. Who does not understand calories? We have all heard that the human body needs to burn roughly 2000 calories per day with normal activities. Most people know it, including those who have fewer than "normal" activities every day of the year yet consume over 4,000 calories. And everyone can guess what that leads to.

Is Obesity a Problem? Not just that. Many opportunistic diseases and vital organ malfunctions can and will occur with long-term nutrition too rich in energy that the body does not have to spend. Malnutrition and lack of energy are also problems. Depending on locations, one may prevail over the other. Some suspect it's a pandemic. I'm currently in agreement with that. A pandemic, A true pandemic.

Back to our lentils and rice.

Both white rice and lentils are high in calories. White rice has 12% more calories than lentils.

White rice contains 130 calories per 100 grams, whereas lentils contain 116 calories.

To note, 116 calories is equivalent to 485kj in kilojoules. That's half a million joules.  An average adult needs about 9mj, as in 9 million daily intake.

Does it make rice superior in terms of energy providers? Yes, but since my audience is likely to have a device to read this and understand it, that makes the reader more likely to have to worry about obesity. That makes lentils superior. There is less energy content, but more nutrients overall per gram consumed.

Nutrients ratio 

White rice is lower in protein, higher in carbohydrate, and similar in fat to lentils.

  • For white rice, it's 8:91:2
  • For lentils, 30:67:3.

If we account for protein, carbohydrates, and fat altogether delivered as energy, 3 core types of energy our body can absorb and transform into motor movements, feed our cells, those billions of factories that every 7 years, altogether in sync, reconstruct 100% of our entire anatomy.  I'm not sure if it replaces all the bone cells, but every single cell in our body gets replicated on a constant basis. Not only do our organs produce the stuff we need to stand and operate, they make sure to copy themselves. Nature, you are very wise.

I still don't know why. 7. But it appears to be one of those gold numbers, which I will discuss in more detail in an upcoming post.


It's a vast field. Vitamins are a small part of it. Protein, fibres, minerals, fatties, carbo, lactose, fructose, anti-oxidants, and other categorized types of compounds would take more than one post to cover. Each type has many subtypes, and some types belong to multiple other types.

They are all biomolecules. Lifelong bio Molecular is short for molecular mass unit. Molecules are particles of "life". They probably don't stand as a life on their own quite yet, but properly arranged together in architecture, all the way down to precise designs, they form bodies of life. Everything in the Kingdom of Life is made of, frequently consumes, and always transforms other biomolecules.

tree of life

The tree of life is hand-drawn above. Maybe you've seen that before, pictured differently. It's millions, or billions, that number of distinct species out there. All tied together with the world's adopted taxonomy classification. You can find my own way to map the tree of life. It's incomplete, but it even works with your mobile Gyro to navigate it. With Chrome, here.

This post is to cover accounts of the most known nutritive elements, the important ones, in rice and lentils. Those are pretty vital for survival and health.

Let's get back to the nutrient information already shared about lentils and rice. They are called macronutrients, and here is a table to see their ratio:

Macronutrient White Rice Lentils
Carbohydrates 91% 62%
Protein 8% 30%
Fat 2% 3% 

They form our main source of energy. Many of us like to consume a fourth type of macronutrient that contains energy that our bodies can transform into ethanol.

It's easier to convince ourselves to eat more lentils than to moderate our intake of ethanol. However, while all four macronutrients are harmful to our health, especially in the long run, ethanol is not a natural element for humans to consume. It's best to limit its intake. It doesn't interact well with our system and the vast biomolecular harmony it is made of.


Lentil is an excellent source of dietary fibre. Considering 25: What's in rice? White rice has 0.3g of fibre per 100 grams, and lentils are made up of 8g of fibre.

However, it is higher in sugar.

White rice is less sugary. Since our diet is generally too rich in sugar, it's a downside for lentils. Lentils have 1.8 g of sugar per 100 grams. White rice has a negligible amount, less than 1 g.

If you are diabetic or tend to consume too much sugar, maybe stick to rice, or switch to lentils and cut the ration almost in half. You will still get at least as many nutrients overall while absorbing the same quantity of sugar. Finished with fibres, the veggies got plenty.


Lentils are a great source of protein, with 279% more protein than white rice. White rice has 2.4g of protein per 100 grams, and lentils have 9g for the same weight.

White rice and lentils both have a low saturated fat content. 0.05g for white rice and 0.05g, that's only 50 milligrams, for lentils. That's 20% less saturated fat than in rice.

If you suffer from cardiovascular issues and saturated fats are the cause, switch to lentils.

Let's get some vitamins. Vitamins are crucial compounds. These small elements are vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system. We don't need large mass quantities of them, but without vitamins, we stop moving, eventually and literally. All organs of the human and all animal bodies altogether rely on the nervous system, which cannot perform without vitamins.

We underestimate vitamins. It may be because we don't easily feel the signal our bodies give us when we need certain vitamins.  When you are craving some particular food and can't understand why, it's likely your body is making you go get that needed source of vitamins. You could be on a quest for something else, though. But vitamins are a subtle need, your body knows.

It is also worth knowing that they build up somewhere in the body. In a more advanced stocking mechanism than certain cells transforming carbs into fat in our grease departments, the liver stocks up vitamins over time and diffuses them in quantities the body needs. Vitamins may take time to absorb, especially in bodies having nutrient absorption troubles, e.g. digestive issues, other counter-acting malfunctions, or just liver problems. The alcohol mentioned above doesn't do too much good for the liver.

Also, the liver works hard to collect even the much desired elements. If too many of them are absorbed at once, they have to be purged. Keep it reasonable, especially if you use pills or supplements. Maintain intake within the limits. Steadiness is key with vitamins.

So, here is the breakdown of important vitamins found in lentils and rice in nutritional value.


Lentils have more vitamin C than white rice. White rice does not contain enough vitamin C to be listed, whereas lentils contain 1.5 mg per 100g. Some rice whites, depending on the source variant, may have no trace of vitamin C at all. If you eat mostly rice or lentils, try to have that with some orange juice for breakfast.

Note that the recommended daily intake for this vitamin is about 90 to 120 mg for an adult.  It is found in large quantities in peppers, most citrus fruits such as oranges, but also tomatoes, melons, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach or turnips.

Natural feeding is better than supplementing with them, as it keeps our digestive system trained for it. And, the body needs fibre.

vitamin c

Pictured above is crystallized vitamin C under a microscope. The colours are not real; they are simulated by exaggerating the wavelength emitted by the material/texture of the surface. It would most likely look uniform to our eyes if we had far better sight, if you asked me. To be honest, I don't have an easy-to-explain factual clue about representing cosmic and micros coping scales of things in photorealistic ways. We may just see black everywhere or white everywhere.

And yeah, it's on a nice canvas. If like me, you love vitamins, art, unique decor, or simply need to be reminded to get your morning dose, give me a shout, I will, if you cover the costs-my Santa Claus prowesses are limited financially-get one delivered to you just like that.  Or make your own and send me a shot!

Vitamin A

Lentils and white rice contain about the same amounts of vitamin A. Lentils have 2.4 ug (as in micrograms) of vitamin A per 100 grams, and white rice does not contain significant amounts (a couple of ug).

This vitamin is also represented by other acids and the wonderful carotenoid.

Vitamin E

Small amounts are contained in both lentils and rice. A dozen milligrams.

Why should I be concerned with this vitamin? E is a class of eight fatty compounds that include four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.  They are radical scavengers within our bodies. Vitamin E is incorporated into cells through the membranes, which therefore become better protected from oxidative damage.

Nerves are cells. Motor, cognitive, and other living functions rely on it.

Vitamin E deficiency can cause peripheral neuropathy, myopathies, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune system. If you suffer from some of those symptoms, make sure to get your intake of vitamin E and all the other vitamins too. They each play a role and may even interact, compounding their effects.

Vitamin K

The human body doesn't need large quantities of this vitamin. Both lentils and white rice contain about 1 to 2 ug of vitamin K per 100 grams.  Even eating a kilo of rice and lentils daily won't give enough quantities, to be worth counting. That's some absorbed right there though.

The human body requires vitamin K for post-synthesis modification of certain proteins that are required for blood coagulation. For the story, K stands for Koagulation, the German for coagulation. And for controlling the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues needing minerals.

Minerals are key to vital functions. I can't cover minerals here, although rice and lentils have plenty of minerals. Maybe I will in part 2. Some day, Stay tuned.

Take a mental note that an adult of average weight is recommended for a daily intake of 90 micrograms (ug).

Vitamin Bs 

As mentioned, lentils have more riboflavin, vitamin B6, and folate. They are all B vitamins. There are plenty, as it is, in fact, a category of distinct vitamins on its own. It doesn't help to read their different names used interchangeably in the same publications. Perhaps both the authors and editors don't even know what they are talking about, or like to confuse the reader. I don't want to confuse my readers, unless it's for a good cause. I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm an engineer, not a biologist, nor a chemist, not even a scientist. Just an engineer, curious about stuff.

While I know quite a bit more than I like to admit, I won't get into deep details. B vitamins are an entire class of water-soluble compounds that play important roles in cell metabolism and the synthesis of blood cells in particular. Don't let the fact that those compounds share the letter B make you conclude they play similar roles in our metabolism; they aren't even chemically related

b vitamins structures

Does this look like a similar structure to you? They look cool, though.

Multiple members of this class are found in most foods. We refer to them as the vitamin B complex.

B1 stands for thiamine, B2 stands for riboflavin, and B3 is a vitamin that includes not only niacin but also Nicotinamide Some of them are also referred to as pantothenic acid, biotin, and folate.

Confusing? Don't blame the scientists. They probably discovered a new vitamin very long ago, called it B, then expanded it to other B vitamins, perhaps thinking they were related, then other scientists realized they weren't, or not all, and maybe the same ones. Anyway, that's how they are called "B-something."

It doesn't end there with vitamins B.

Each B vitamin is a cofactor, a coenzyme for key metabolic processes happening naturally in your body as you are reading this, and even when you are not reading anything and get very active, maybe more so as you sleep than as you exercise, but it's constantly going on. They are precursors needed to get our liver to produce other vital compounds, making them a core nutrient for multiple living functions.

Both white rice and lentils contain amounts of thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and more of the complex. Here is a walkthrough, non-comprehensive list of what's in those raw products:

Nutrient White Rice Lentils
Thiamin 0.167 mg 0.169 mg
Riboflavin 0.016 mg 0.073 mg
Niacin 1.835 mg 1.06 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.411 mg 0.638 mg
Folate 58 ug 181 ug

Once again, except for the Niacin content, lentils have significantly more mass than virtually every vitamin rice also has.

If you've got that far, you may as well check out this jargon-sounding but actually straight-to-the-point video about the metabolic absorption of just one of the vitamins introduced in this post here.


Let's wrap it up with a word on minerals. Of course, it has to come along a stupefactionating pic.


  • Have over 500% more calcium than white rice 19 mg of calcium per 100g, while white-rice only got 3 mg.
  • Is an excellent source of iron, double more in there than in white rice. Rice got 1.5 mg and lentil contains 3.3 mg of that.
  • Excels as well as a source of potassium. Over 10 times than in white rice. 370 mg in lentils vs 29 mg in rice.

Calcium is the foundational mineral used to produce bones. We need healthy bones. Without minerals, can't make bones. Even less so healthy ones. Iron? I'n not entirely sure whether it's a mineral. Might be a metal. But I think it counts as a mineral in diet. If not, we nonetheless need some of that.


That's an entire mine. Plenty of minerals to feed those plants that then needs animals and, of course, us humans.

victor iw6NqKcqnkE

I couldn't resist it. Right above is practically not minerals. It's desert. That's made of sands. Grains, even particles, of sands, contains at least quartz of minerals. Hopefully, we will never run out of minerals.

Oh, Potassium? Let me just share a personal story. I once suffered a noticeable potassium deficiency. Feel head ached, got dizziness, difficulties eat and lost appetite for some reason. I won't share why, but yeah, nutrition and healthy lifestyle to absorb sufficient amounts of it. I almost became unable to move within just a week. Even stuck in bed for several days to a worrying degree that I did a blood check. Low on potassium, very low. Some supplements and proper diet got me back into great shape within a few days.


Nutrition is key to well-being and overall health. Better consumer practice and education contribute to the reduction of malnutrition And obesity has been declared a pandemic by what we like to call the "scientific community".

Eat healthy, be curious, and stay strong while doing so!

Oh, and if you find a raw product that is superior overall to lentils-don't forget costs and storage convenience-or if you want to talk vitamins, or nutrition in general, give me a shout! My contacts are on the root page.