Lentils Nutrition Facts

by on March 7th, 2015
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Lentils are legumes. Eating lentils regularly can increase the amount of protein and fiber consumed in the diet. Also, many vitamins and minerals are present in significant amounts in lentils. So, adding lentils to your diet is an excellent idea for a healthy diet. Lentils are low in fat, so they can be used is cases of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Lentils can be eaten as a side dish or as a main dish. There are plenty of recipes out there to prepare lentils in a great variety of ways.

Lentils are not cereals. They could be called grains but to be more specific lentils pertain to the legume family. There are many varieties of lentils each with different bioactive compounds that will help you achieve a healthy diet. There are black lentils, yellow lentils, orange lentils, brown, green and red. Flavor may be different but all varieties have a significant content of fiber and protein.

Calories, Carbs, and Fat.
Interestingly, one serving (one cup) of lentils has less than 1 g of fat. This fat is all no saturated. Lentils are then very appropriate for low-fat regimes. Remember that a low-fat diet is recommended for chronic disease prevention. Also, one serving of lentils gives you only 230 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates, although there is plenty of complex fiber-type carbs in lentils. These carbs are slow digesting carbs so they are very good for diabetics patients.

Protein
One cup of lentils provides 17 grams of proteins. Proteins are needed for muscular development and growth. You can get the same benefits of eating meat (in regard to proteins) without the saturated fat.

Fiber
A cup of lentils will give you 16 g of fiber, which is more than half of the RDA (recommended daily requirement) for a healthy person. This fiber is mainly soluble fiber, which will help you with transit time,
and any constipation issue you may have. Higher intakes of soluble fiber have been associated with lower risks of diabetes, constipation and heart disease.

Vitamins and Minerals
Lentils are high in folate (90% of the daily need), high in magnesium (a much needed mineral), low in sodium (for hypertensive patients) and high in potassium. They have significant amount of vitamins, including vitamin B6.

Cooking lentils
Cooking lentils is not difficult. As a matter of fact they cook fast due to their smaller size (compared to other legumes). They can be eaten as a side dish (try them cold with salt pepper and olive oil) or as a main dish in soups, broths and with certain meats.


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