Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Foodie Friday: Lentils
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Jun
25
2010

Lentils are an often overlooked delicious source of both protein and fiber. A staple of the East, this legume is a given in any East Indian household or restaurant, and comes in assorted colors (red, green, yellow, black) that give it varying flavors.

While often combined with rice or bread in India (the largest producer in the world of the legume), lentils can also be consumed on their own, very much like a soup. Because of their high protein content, lentils are a staple of choice for vegetarians the world over.

Their popularity is proven, and here are some reasons why I think lentils should be at the top of your healthy comfort foods list:

  • Easy to whip up. Just rinse and let simmer in water, with the option of soaking them overnight beforehand (although soaking is not an essential step for many varieties).
  • Quick to fix. Cooking times can range from 10 minutes to half an hour.
  • Nutritional value. Lentils are a great source of iron, are high in fiber, and contain many (but not all) essential amino acids as well as vitamin B1.
  • Low cals. These tiny legumes pack a lot of nutritional punch without the excessive calories, with around 200 calories for a cup.

Have you tried lentils? Do you eat them alone, or combine with other foods?

Assistance provided by Pam Majumdar

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