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Lentils contain high levels of proteins and are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world for those who adhere to a vegetarian diet or cannot afford meat.
Lentils would be classified under Meat or Alternatives in many country's food guides. The 2005 USDA Food Guide Pyramid calls it "Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts group".
|Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Lentil article (authors)|
|Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Canada's_Food_Guide article (authors)|
|Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Food_guide_pyramid article (authors)|
It is also described as a legume.