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Lentil vs. Mung beans — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on July 17, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Lentil
vs
Mung beans

Summary

Lentils are high in potassium, folate, phosphorus, and protein, whereas mung beans contain more magnesium, calcium, and vitamin A. Compared to mung beans, lentils provide more dietary fiber and calories. Mung beans, on the other hand, contain less calories. Both do not contain gluten content. 

Lentils and mung beans contain high levels of polyphenols.

Introduction

Lentils and mung beans are legumes that belong to the same family. However, they can have different nutrition and health impacts.

Appearance

Lentils belong to the genus Lens, whereas mung beans belong to the genus Vigna.

Lentils (Lens culinaris) are small legumes with a lens shape. 

There are many varieties of lentils based on color. They can be white, red, yellow, orange, dark brown, and black.

Mung beans(Vigna radiata) are small green legumes with a smooth texture.

Flavor

Mung beans have a nutty and slightly sweet taste.

Light lentils have a nutty flavor, whereas dark lentils have a robust flavor.

Nutrition

This part of the article compares the nutritional values of lentils and mung beans.

Macronutrients and Calories

Lentils are high in calories and proteins. Both contain high content of carbs. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +28.5%
Equal in Fats - 0.38
Equal in Carbs - 19.15
Equal in Water - 72.66
Equal in Other - 0.79
9% 20% 70%
Protein: 9.02 g
Fats: 0.38 g
Carbs: 20.13 g
Water: 69.64 g
Other: 0.83 g
7% 19% 73%
Protein: 7.02 g
Fats: 0.38 g
Carbs: 19.15 g
Water: 72.66 g
Other: 0.79 g
Contains more Protein +28.5%
Equal in Fats - 0.38
Equal in Carbs - 19.15
Equal in Water - 72.66
Equal in Other - 0.79

Calories

Lentils contain 116 calories per hundred grams, whereas the same amount of mung beans provides 105 calories.

Protein

Lentils contain 9.02g of protein, whereas mung beans provide 7.02g. Lentils are higher in all essential amino acids, particularly rich in leucine, lysine, and threonine.

Lentils and mung beans are gluten-free.

Fats

Lentils and mung beans contain less than 1g of fats. Lentils are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, whereas mung beans contain more saturated fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -54.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +18.5%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +36.7%
18% 22% 60%
Saturated Fat: 0.053 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.064 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.175 g
39% 18% 43%
Saturated Fat: 0.116 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.054 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.128 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -54.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +18.5%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +36.7%

Carbohydrates

Lentils are slightly high in carbs compared to mung beans. 

100g of lentils contain  20.13g of carbohydrates, of which 7.9g are dietary fiber and 12.23g are net carbs.

100g of mung beans contain 19.15g of carbohydrates, of which 7.6g are dietary fiber and 11.55g are net carbs.

Both are cholesterol-free.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison

Vitamins

Lentils and mung beans are not good sources of vitamins.

Lentils contain more vitamins C and B3, whereas mung beans provide three times more vitamin A.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Lentil
8
:
Contains more Vitamin C +50%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +19.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +83.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +55.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +165.7%
Contains more Folate +13.8%
Contains more Choline +11.2%
Contains more Vitamin A +200%
Contains more Vitamin E +36.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +58.8%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.164
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 3% 0% 5% 43% 17% 20% 39% 42% 136% 0% 18% 5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 2% 3% 0% 4% 41% 15% 11% 25% 16% 120% 0% 17% 7%
Contains more Vitamin C +50%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +19.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +83.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +55.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +165.7%
Contains more Folate +13.8%
Contains more Choline +11.2%
Contains more Vitamin A +200%
Contains more Vitamin E +36.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +58.8%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.164

Minerals

Lentils provide more potassium, phosphorus, choline, and iron. Mung beans, on the other hand, are higher in calcium and magnesium

Lentils contain 369mg of potassium and 33mg of choline, whereas mung beans provide 266mg and 29mg, respectively.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Iron +137.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +81.8%
Contains more Potassium +38.7%
Contains more Zinc +51.2%
Contains more Copper +60.9%
Contains more Manganese +65.8%
Contains more Selenium +12%
Contains more Calcium +42.1%
Contains more Magnesium +33.3%
Equal in Sodium - 2
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 125% 26% 78% 33% 1% 35% 84% 65% 16%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 9% 53% 35% 43% 24% 1% 23% 53% 39% 14%
Contains more Iron +137.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +81.8%
Contains more Potassium +38.7%
Contains more Zinc +51.2%
Contains more Copper +60.9%
Contains more Manganese +65.8%
Contains more Selenium +12%
Contains more Calcium +42.1%
Contains more Magnesium +33.3%
Equal in Sodium - 2

Polyphenols

Compared to mung beans, lentils have higher phenolic content(1). The most prevalent polyphenols in lentils are phenolic acids, flavan-3-ol, flavonols, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins(2). Mung beans, on the other hand, contain more vitexin and isovitexin content(3).

Glycemic Index

Lentils and mung beans are low-GI foods. Lentils have a glycemic index of 29, whereas mung beans have 42.

Glycemic Load

Both have low GL values. The glycemic load of lentils and mung beans is 7(4).

Insulin Index

Lentil's insulin index is 58, whereas the insulin index of mung beans is 38(4).

Acidity

Calculating the potential renal acid load, or PRAL, indicates how much acid or base a specific diet creates inside the body. 

The PRAL value of lentils is 2.1, and the PRAL value of mung beans is -0.1. Lentils are acidic, whereas mung beans are neutral.

Weight Loss & Diets

Lentils and mung beans are vegan. Both can be part of the DASH diet. Due to their high carb content, lentils and mung beans can not be part of the keto diet.

Lentils and mung beans can be allowed on the Mediterranean diet.

Both are not paleo-friendly.

Health Impact

Bioactive compounds found in lentils and mung beans have antioxidant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, and anticancer properties. Moreover, mung beans have hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory effects. 

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

Lentils have cardioprotectiveanti-cholesterolemic, and antihyperlipidemic properties. Lentil consumption can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease and hypertension(1).

Mung beans have antihypertensive effects. It can decrease plasma angiotensin I and systolic blood pressure levels(5). 

Diabetes

According to the studies, regular consumption of lentils may prevent diabetes and diabetic complication. Lentils can improve blood glucose and lipid metabolism. Lentils also can regulate glycemic load and glycemic index(1).

Mung beans have hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties. It has a beneficial effect on serum glucose(3). Mung bean consumption can lower glycated hemoglobin and BGL levels(6).

 Antimicrobial effects

 Lentils and mung beans have antifungal properties. Lentils have antifungal effects on Aspergillus nigerwhereas mung beans can inhibit the growth of Fusarium solani and Pythium aphanidermatum(1). Mung beans also have antibacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus(5).

Cancer

Lentils consumption can decrease the risk of breast, prostate, colon, and thyroid cancer. It causes cancer cell apoptosis and autophagy and inhibit the growth of cells(1).

Mung beans also have anti-proliferative effects on the digestive system cells, leukemia, tongue squamous cell carcinoma, and colon cancer cells(3)(5).

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 17, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Lentil vs Mung beans infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Lentil Mung beans
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Lentil Mung beans Opinion
Net carbs 12.23g 11.55g Lentil
Protein 9.02g 7.02g Lentil
Fats 0.38g 0.38g
Carbs 20.13g 19.15g Lentil
Calories 116kcal 105kcal Lentil
Sugar 1.8g 2g Lentil
Fiber 7.9g 7.6g Lentil
Calcium 19mg 27mg Mung beans
Iron 3.33mg 1.4mg Lentil
Magnesium 36mg 48mg Mung beans
Phosphorus 180mg 99mg Lentil
Potassium 369mg 266mg Lentil
Sodium 2mg 2mg
Zinc 1.27mg 0.84mg Lentil
Copper 0.251mg 0.156mg Lentil
Manganese 0.494mg 0.298mg Lentil
Selenium 2.8µg 2.5µg Lentil
Vitamin A 8IU 24IU Mung beans
Vitamin A RAE 0µg 1µg Mung beans
Vitamin E 0.11mg 0.15mg Mung beans
Vitamin C 1.5mg 1mg Lentil
Vitamin B1 0.169mg 0.164mg Lentil
Vitamin B2 0.073mg 0.061mg Lentil
Vitamin B3 1.06mg 0.577mg Lentil
Vitamin B5 0.638mg 0.41mg Lentil
Vitamin B6 0.178mg 0.067mg Lentil
Folate 181µg 159µg Lentil
Choline 32.7mg 29.4mg Lentil
Vitamin K 1.7µg 2.7µg Mung beans
Tryptophan 0.081mg 0.076mg Lentil
Threonine 0.323mg 0.23mg Lentil
Isoleucine 0.39mg 0.297mg Lentil
Leucine 0.654mg 0.544mg Lentil
Lysine 0.63mg 0.49mg Lentil
Methionine 0.077mg 0.084mg Mung beans
Phenylalanine 0.445mg 0.425mg Lentil
Valine 0.448mg 0.364mg Lentil
Histidine 0.254mg 0.205mg Lentil
Saturated Fat 0.053g 0.116g Lentil
Monounsaturated Fat 0.064g 0.054g Lentil
Polyunsaturated fat 0.175g 0.128g Lentil

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Lentil Mung beans
Low Fats diet Equal
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
25%
Lentil
20%
Mung beans
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
46%
Lentil
29%
Mung beans

Comparison summary

Which food is cheaper?
Mung beans
Mung beans is cheaper (difference - $1.1)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Lentil
Lentil is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.2g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Lentil
Lentil is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.063g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Lentil
Lentil is lower in glycemic index (difference - 13)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Lentil
Lentil is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Lentil
Lentil is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (2 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Lentil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172421/nutrients
  2. Mung beans - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174257/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.