Is Quinoa Low Carb and Keto-Friendly?

The Red Tea Detox

Many folks seeking to drop some pounds or handle power well being circumstances determine to limit their carb consumption (1, 2, three, four).

Although grains are usually off-limits on low carb and ketogenic diets as a consequence of their excessive carb depend, quinoa is commonly thought-about a well being meals. Thus, you might ponder whether it adheres to both of those diets.

Technically a pseudocereal, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is nutritionally thought-about an entire grain. A food plan wealthy in complete grains is linked to a diminished danger of illness and demise (three, 5).

This grain is touted for its many well being advantages and broad vary of vitamins. It’s naturally gluten-free, is available in a number of colours, and typically eaten by itself or in salads, stews, and porridges (5, 6).

This article tells you whether or not quinoa is low carb or keto-friendly.

Quinoa is taken into account a reasonably excessive carb meals, because it incorporates 21.2 grams in a cooked three.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. This provides it roughly the identical variety of carbs as millet (5, 6, 7, eight).

Depending on the kind of low carb food plan you comply with, a single serving of quinoa might exceed your every day carb allowance.

Net carbs

Since your physique doesn’t totally digest the carbs from dietary fiber, subtracting the full fiber from the full carbs in a meals tells you what number of carbs your physique breaks down.

This determine is known as internet carbs.

As three.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa holds 2.6 grams of fiber, this portion incorporates roughly 18.6 grams of internet carbs (6).

Although this quantity is decrease than the full carbs, take into account that it’s nonetheless considerably greater than the 13 grams of internet carbs in a single slice of complete grain bread — a meals that’s typically off-limits on low carb diets (9).


Just three.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa offers roughly 21.2 grams of whole carbs, or 18.6 grams of internet carbs — making it a reasonably excessive carb meals.

Many folks wish to eat quinoa on low carb or keto diets as a consequence of its wealthy nutrient profile (5).

However, serving dimension is essential. If you’re planning on together with this grain in your keto or low carb food plan, it’s best to solely achieve this sparsely — not in full-sized parts.

For occasion, on a strict keto food plan that limits your carb consumption to 20 grams per day, one full three.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of quinoa exceeds your carb allowance as a result of it boasts over 21 grams of carbs (four, 6, 10).

Even on a extra relaxed keto food plan that allows as much as 50 grams every day, you’ll nonetheless must fastidiously limit all different carbs and follow meals denser in protein and fats the remainder of the day (four, 6, 10).

Although some low carb diets are much less stringent and enable for extra carbs, it’s best to solely eat very small parts of quinoa on low carb or keto diets — if in any respect.

For occasion, you can sprinkle a spoonful on a salad or stew. This approach, you can nonetheless take pleasure in quinoa’s signature crunch and nutty taste with out exceeding your carb allotment.

Preparation issues

How you put together quinoa impacts its total nutrient content material, making this grain particularly necessary to restrict — or keep away from altogether — on low carb diets, together with keto.

For instance, quinoa ready with sauces or dressings packs extra carbs than plain quinoa. Other dishes, comparable to starchy greens and excessive carb fruit, additionally increase your meal’s carb contents.

If you intend to eat small quantities of quinoa in your low carb food plan, remember to put together it plain and depend the opposite carbs in your meal.


Quinoa matches low carb and keto diets solely in very modest quantities. If you select to eat it, think about it a garnish quite than a dish of its personal — and remember to keep away from full-sized parts.

In basic, low carb diets include fewer carbs and extra protein and fats than the everyday Western food plan (three).

These consuming patterns promote lean meats, nuts, fish, and low carb veggies whereas limiting excessive carb meals like baked items, desserts, sure fruits, and grains. Thus, when you comply with a strict low carb food plan, quinoa would routinely be thought-about off the desk.

A typical low carb food plan restricts carbs to 50–130 grams per day, which is increased than the quantity allowed on the keto food plan (four).

The keto food plan is extra restrictive

The ketogenic food plan is a sort of low carb consuming sample that’s average in protein and very excessive in fats.

It’s designed that will help you obtain ketosis, a metabolic state through which your physique burns fats as an alternative of carbs as its main vitality supply (four, 10).

To preserve ketosis on this food plan, it’s best to usually eat 20–50 grams of carbs per day (four).

Many pointers for the keto food plan ban grains outright.


Low carb diets, together with keto, have extra fats and protein than the common Western food plan. While low carb diets limit you to 50–130 grams of carbs per day, keto limits you to a minuscule 20–50.

Although it’s thought-about a well being meals, quinoa is excessive in carbs and must be extraordinarily restricted on a low carb or keto food plan.

If you determine to eat it, by no means eat full parts. Rather, deal with it like a garnish for salads, stews, sandwiches, or porridge.

If you favor to play it protected together with your carb depend, it’s greatest to keep away from quinoa altogether.

Source Keto Diet Desserts

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