Is Quinoa High in Carbs?

is quinoa high in carbs
Source: pioneerwoman

It is funny that quinoa is not as common as you would expect, yes it is in groceries but a majority of people don’t know whether to call it a seed-based plant or a cereal plant.

However, the question tossed around is this, is quinoa high in carbs?

If you’ve read this blog before you already know we give answers right away.

So for clarity, let’s repeat the question and address it right away: so is quinoa high in carbs? The answer is YES. My research across many websites indicates that in every single cup of ready cooked quinoa you get roughly around 221.5 calories.

This equals to approximately 35 grams of carbs. The same amount of quinoa is also said to provide 4 gms of fat, 5gms of fiber and 8gms of protein (I find this white quinoa by Healthworks super healthy, check it here!).

But What Exactly is Quinoa?

is quinoa high in carbs


In appearance, quinoa looks nothing less than a grain. It is a cold plant that tends to do super well in low-temperature regions. That is, you are most likely to find quinoa on top of mountains like many other wild plants which are considered edible.

With that in mind, it means people who want quinoa in large quantities or commercial reasons would get it cheaper from the cold locals it is grown.

Since time in memorial quinoa was known to be high in carb by the ancient world. To be exact on quinoa’s history, the plant is said to have been most popular during the Roman empire reign and was considered one of the prime foods worthy of use as offering to worship their gods.

However, in today’s world, quinoa is considered one of the tops superfoods that can best supply proteins to vegetarians. People with problem eating dairy products are highly encouraged to use quinoa as it helps to quickly replenish protein deficiency.

Again Is Quinoa High in Carbs, What Other Values Does it Have?

Besides being amazingly rich in protein and carbohydrates, quinoa is said to be loaded with all the basic nutrients that a human body needs for jungle survival (say in a completely isolated place).

We call these essential amino acids (and for specificity the amino acids in quinoa include threonine, methionine, leucine, phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, histidine and isoleucine.

Well you may wonder how comes quinoa is considered so protein-rich, the answer is, these acids or amino acids, in general, are the basic building elements of natural protein. As said, doctors prefer quinoa for treating protein-lack over other options which may include the ordinary beans or Dolichos bean (also known as black beans).

How Often Should You Eat Quinoa

Well, there are over 100 plus types and species of quinoa which means you don’t have to repeat a certain variety daily. This is ideally what makes the foodstuff a smart pick for vegetarians because they can exchange variety throughout the week without becoming bored.

Nonetheless, for the most part, and in local groceries, only the black, white and red quinoa are readily stocked. Individuals can alternate between these three and be fine. For ordinary meals, the white variety tends to blend best. While the rest two are best for blending light foods like salads. In fact, they are claimed to make the food much appealing.

Besides the above-mentioned acids, quinoa is associated with many other nutritional values. It is said to supply minerals such as potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.

So Can Quinoa Be Part of a Low Carb Diet Officially?

Well, let’s rewind a bit, the question was: is quinoa high in carbs? We found the answer to be, it is absolutely high. The question now is, how can you eat quinoa when in a ketogenic or low carb diet program. We are going to explain this in the below paragraph.

Including Quinoa into a supposedly low carb diet program

is quinoa high in carbs


In figures, a whole cup of the readily cooked portion of quinoa contains exactly 34 gms of carbs in net worth. Meaning, as a way to eat quinoa under a strict low carb diet, the person needs to consider a fraction of the amount, not eating the whole cup amount – that equals to pumping extra carbs into your body.

In fact, in the general overview, it’s kind of crazy high to consume a whole cup of cooked quinoa, it feels too much. Yes, it doesn’t matter if you are on ketogenic diet, weight loss program or on a low oxalate diet, as that much of quinoa is too much.

That brings us to use common sense as a strategy to eat quinoa while in diet that strictly requires not exceeding carbs intake within a certain bracket (in this case strictly between 30 – 50 grams per day).

Now let’s do the simple maths. A whole cup of quinoa equals 35 grams of carbs, so half of it would be 17.5 grams, and a quarter would be 17.5 ÷ 2 = 8.75 grams, basically, a significant reduction of carbs in a serving, which is great, don’t you think?

As in, it means you are perfectly safe eating ¼ cup of quinoa, which you are sure will give you less than 9 grams per serving. While it’s obvious that with half a cup you’ll still be within the below 50gms cut-line carbs consumption per day, it’s good to keep in mind that you’ll be eating other foods and drinks within the same day that will add some amount of carbs to your body. In short, it’s recommended to be on the lower safer side.

Is there an instance You Need to Avoid Quinoa?

Sure, yes, factually speaking quinoa is nothing more than a powerhouse when it drops into the metabolism system. As such, we can say it is not a good fit for people who want to maintain ketosis (a ketogenic diet) as well as a low carb diet.

Reason being, it is hard to stick to the below one cup quinoa intake each day (imagine having to measure it each day for the rest of your 365 days each year!). That takes commitment, and I’d rather pick something else that is less in carbohydrate content because it would reduce the work to keep carbs low on purpose.

What this basically means is, it is better to scrap off quinoa from your menu if you are planning to start dieting, especially for ketogenic as well as low carb dieters, who’ve got the goal of losing weight. Reason being, quinoa in itself, (taking to account that you’ll be eating other carb-containing foods throughout the day, can trigger an increase of blood glucose levels.

However, to be fair, yes you can have quinoa but only once or twice if you are sober enough to ensure you don’t end up kicking your body out of ketosis mode. The question was: “is quinoa high in carbs” and based on the most probable amount of it an average person would consume, which is one cup (we said this would give 35 grams of carbs) then it means it definitely is not a carb friendly option.

How I would Eat Quinoa

Don’t be surprised, I like giving personal opinions after writing a post I have done research on. But first, let me be clear and honest. I’m not following any dieting program that strictly as of now, but I try to limit intake of high carbs, especially those that would make my body store facts – as much as possible.

As in, not that I do not eat them, but when I realize I say quinoa, meat or beans (all these are protein-rich) has been on my menu thrice, I would rather be picky. Like for instance instead of eating five pieces of meat, I ask they serve me only one piece in the plate (advice: don’t allow what you don’t want to eat served on your plate from the word go because chances are you might be tempted to eat everything in there).

Another technique to eat less of the foods you like is simply limit keeping them in the house, and do not mind about having to dash many times to the grocery to buy them.

What that simply means is that you’ve made it harder to have what you want whenever you want because you have to stretch and go for it outside the house. With regard to quinoa just keep an amount that would serve you say twice only per week.

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