Black is the new trend in the kitchen, and even among culinary experts, including the street vendors and food artists, who cannot get enough of the black ingredients. We are talking about black beans, black rice, black quinoa, and black lentils in this most recent trend. Although most know about brown lentils, these grains are in several colors, including green, yellow, puy, red, and black. You might have come across searches such as ‘are black lentils healthy?’ or ‘What are the black lentils nutrition facts?’ All these questions will be answered in this read. Stick around for answers and more information on these grains.
What Are Lentils?
Lentils belong to the legume family and are similar to a tiny bean (5). They grow in pods and come in different colors, including red, black, brown, and green (5). These pulses are famous for their long list of health benefits.
Black Lentils Nutrition Facts
Consuming black lentils is an inexpensive way of loading your body with numerous nutrients. These beans are known to be filled with a string of nutrients, including the B vitamins, fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
However, the value of each of these nutrients will vary depending on your servings. Similarly, the nutritional value may also vary depending on the brand of black lentils you are using. A 100 g serving of black beluga lentils as per the USDA contains the following nutrients (1):
- Calories- 343
- Protein- 25.71 g
- Total fat- 0 g
- Carbohydrates- 60 g
On the other hand, the USDA confirms that a 100 g serving of black lentils of the Goya brand has the following nutrients (3):
- Calories- 360
- Protein- 26 g
- Total fat- 2 g
- Carbohydrates- 60 g
Black lentils calories and other nutrients value would also change if cooked, for example, in a curry. According to the USDA, the value in a 100 g serving of the Kitchens of India, Dal Bukhara Black Gram Lentils Curry is as shown (4):
- Calories- 120
- Protein- 4.8 g
- Total fat- 4.8 g
- Carbohydrates- 15.2 g
- Calories- 170
- Total fat- 0.5 g
- Total carbohydrates- 30 g
- Protein- 13 g
In addition to the protein, carbs, calories, and fat content changing per serving, the content of other nutrients will also change. The other nutrients you will find in black lentils that you can also expect to change per serving include (2):
- Vitamins B, A, C
Are Black Lentils Healthy?
They are considered very healthy and nutritious. This is because they are packed with nutrients such as protein and fiber and have low-fat content. These aspects make them an excellent meat substitute. However, talk to a professional before using it as a meat substitute, because you’ll need to include various plant proteins in your diet to get all of the essential amino acids.
Additionally, they are also healthy because they have high amounts of folate, potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients, as we shall see later in this discussion. Quite often, individuals compare black lentils with black beans. You might have seen the numerous questions online about which is more effective.
One of the most asked questions is which has more nutrients. Several studies show that lentils and black beans contain similar nutrients, such as complex carbohydrates.
Better Heart Health
All these nutrients promote better heart health in different ways. For instance, the high fiber content reduces harmful LDL cholesterol levels that increase the risk of heart disease. Similarly, potassium helps naturally lower blood pressure, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases (5).
Promote A Safe Pregnancy
This type of lentil is also rich in folate, which experts say reduces risk of neural tube defects in newborns (5).
Reduced Cancer Risk
Black lentils contain selenium which is an antioxidant that may help prevent tumor growth in your body. Selenium-containing proteins are also involved in immune system function (1).
One of the significant symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue. Black beluga lentils are rich in iron, with a 100g serving containing 7.71 mg of iron (1).
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Are Black Lentils The Best For Weight Loss?
Having looked at the nutrition facts of black lentils, you may be interested in adding them to your weight loss diet plan. First, however, it is essential to ask yourself if they are the best type of lentils for weight loss.
So, are they the best? This is one of the most controversial debates about lentils because the nutritional value of each type of lentil varies slightly. For instance, black lentils have a higher protein content than green or red lentils.
We all know protein is vital for weight loss as it increases satiety that prevents overeating. However, the black lentils are higher in carbohydrates than the red and green lentils, which are sometimes considered the number one enemy of weight loss, although lentils are rich in fiber and complex carbs (2).
So, based on these examples, you may find it difficult to declare the best type of lentils for weight loss. Ultimately, much lies in your overall diet. For example, if you follow a high protein diet, black lentils may be the best option. However, if you follow a low-carb weight loss diet plan, then red or green lentils are the best pick.
The Bottom Line
Black lentils’ nutrition value varies depending on the servings. However, generally, they are high in complex carbs and fiber and have high protein content. So, they are effective for weight loss when used in a high protein diet plan. Even so, be sure to talk to your doctor about making such dietary changes.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Black Beluga Lentil (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Black Lentils (2021, eatthismuch.com)
- Black Lentils (2021, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Kitchens Of India, Dal Bukhara Black Gram Lentils Curry (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- What are the benefits of lentils? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)