Their Difference and Nutrient Comparison
As time passes by, our options for healthier foods become wider and wider—making our lives easier in choosing what to include in a healthy diet we’re aiming for.
This article features two of the most popular and tasty legumes: chickpeas vs. lentils, their nutrient comparison and differences. If you’re changing to become vegan or if you already are, this article is for you.
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All About Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans or simply garbanzos, are members of the leguminous family with origins dating back to 3500 BCE in Turkey and in France, respectively. This high-protein legume is widely used in India as the main ingredient of hummus.
There are only two types of chickpeas: desi and kabuli. They come in different colors—green, black, brown and red, though the most popular and recognized color is beige.
Chickpeas are the best replacements for meat as it is high in protein. They are also rich in folate and minerals such as iron and phosphorus and also fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Canned organic chickpeas:
All About Lentils
Etiology and Types
Lentils, from its scientific name lens culinaris, are lens-shaped pulses that are harvested for their seeds. Originated in Asia and Northern Africa, lentils are legumes that come in different types and colors such as red, brown, green and black and there’s also called puy lentils.
These lens-shaped seeds have nearly no fat and have only a small amount of calories and carbohydrates. They are a great source of protein—one of our body’s energy sources and magnesium that helps prevent injury in muscles. Additionally, they are a wonderful source of protein and magnesium, both of which are crucial for healthy muscles and the prevention of injury.
Organic sprouted lentils:
What’s the Difference between Chickpeas vs Lentils?
Although both belong to the same family, these two legumes differ very much in taste, texture and the way they are cooked and slightly vary in nutrient contents.
By far, the answers to the questions—(1) what’s the difference between chickpeas and lentils and (2) which is healthier, lentils or chickpeas, are:
By appearance, chickpeas are heartier and larger, making them longer to cook than lentils. Nutrition-wise, lentils contain more health benefits than chickpeas as they have fewer calories, more protein, and more fiber per serving. Let’s get to know their differences better!
Origin and Production
Chickpeas were said to be present as early as 3500 BCE and 6790 BCE in Turkey and in France, respectively. Today, India produces the majority of chickpea production worldwide. While lentils, on the other hand, were thought to have originated somewhere in Syria and in the Mediterranean area. Canada is said to be the world’s leading producer of and exporter of lentils.
Tastes and Texture
Chickpeas have a very neutral flavor which makes them a great ingredient for sauces or to soak up broths in soups. They can also be described as having a buttery texture and nutty taste.
Lentils are round but flat on one side which tastes peppery and stays in a firm texture after being cooked. There are also lentil types that can be easily broken down into a mushy texture and also have a sweet taste, specifically the red lentils.
As mentioned above—on the question, which is healthier? Definitely, lentils is the winner.
Lentils contain higher amounts of protein, and fiber, and are lower in carbohydrates, calories and fat content—which is great for losing weight while gaining more vitamins and minerals.
Lentils are plant-based sources of protein, which give us energy and can help lower the risks of heart diseases and colon cancer. They are also rich in dietary fiber that helps control our digestion.
Chickpeas, known to be a great protein source, can be the best options for diabetics as they have a low glycemic index and low glycemic load, and contain amylose, which all help to improve overall blood sugar control.
Below are their comparative nutrient content using the 2020 USDA and NIH data.
In a Nutshell
These two legumes are indeed gaining a lot of attention nowadays, especially for those who want to become vegan or are at least looking into making vegetables a part of their diet.
If you’re into reducing weight, lentils or chickpeas are the best options as they are high in fiber that works well in your gut and bowel movement.
These two legumes don’t make much difference in giving us nutrients that our body needs. Both are surely healthy and nutritious legumes. But looking into their tastes, texture, and culinary versatility might just be all you need to make up your choice.