Lentils supply a significant amount of carbohydrates; a 1/2 cup serving of cooked lentils provides 20 grams, which the body uses for energy. Lentils are also high in dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate. One serving has 8 grams; most of it is soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels.
In addition, lentils provide other important nutritional benefits. A single serving of these legumes has 9 grams of protein, which makes them a low calorie, low cholesterol substitute for protein. Lentils also contain 179 micrograms of folic acid per serving. This is an important B vitamin that helps prevent some birth defects. In addition, folic acid fights heart disease, dementia and bone fractures in patients with osteoporosis.