Is Quinoa Keto Friendly?- A Detailed Analysis

The question is quinoa keto friendly 1can be quite perplexing. Quinoa is rich in protein which makes it considerable for a ketogenic diet. But what about the number of carbs present in it?

This gluten-free plant based food 2contains carbohydrates which are not suitable for people opting for the keto diet. If you are looking forward to giving the keto diet a try, then quinoa is definitely not for you.

Is quinoa keto freindly
Quinoa is a nutritious food

Low Carb Diet

Before knowing if quinoa is keto friendly or not, you must know the meaning of the keto diet and what it includes. This diet fully cuts down the intake of carbs in your meals.

This diet is going to help you in various ways only if the carbs intake is low in your meals. So, is quinoa keto-friendly or not is an important question to consider. This diet is a protein-based diet and is generally meant for losing weight and to maintain a healthy body mass index3.

Click here to read about the ketogenic diet in detail.

Quinoa- A Rich Source Of Protein

Quinoa is rich in protein which can be beneficial for your body in various ways. But it contains carbohydrates in a large amount which may not be effective in the keto diet. It may have negative side effects on people doing the keto diet. Quinoa is a healthier option for those who love to include rice and other crops in their diet.

Quinoa is highly nutritious but it is loaded with carbs which are going to disturb your keto diet as well. Various researches say that quinoa can fit a keto diet if it is taken in a limited quantity.

Is quinoa keto friendly is a major concern for many people these days. Another question that arises is, if quinoa is so high in various nutrients, why is it so easy to digest?

This is because the glycemic index is low in quinoa. This contains saponin which may be a little toxic and imbalances the gastrointestinal tract.

Various studies show that 1 cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein which can be quite beneficial for the keto diet but the main concern is about the carbs. But that doesn’t mean that intaking a little amount of quinoa will lead to a disturbance in your diet.

Quinoa-A Carbohydrate Rich Food

Quinoa is rich in carbs4 and a good choice for people looking for foods that contain a high amount of carbs. Some researchers say 1 cup of quinoa contains more than 34 grams of net wet carbohydrates which is quite good, but not for everyone.

While it may vary from 34-39 grams of net carbs, people following the keto diet may not go for such a huge amount of carb intake. Is quinoa keto friendly or not is something every quinoa lover intending to lose weight would like to know.

Cooked Quinoa
Cooked Quinoa

Carbohydrates Are Not For Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet5 is also called a low-carb diet because you should avoid carbs while you are in the keto diet. There are various foods that may be the enemy of the keto diet.

Quinoa, if not taken in an adequate amount, may lead to various unexpected results. The intake of carbs in the keto diet should be between 20-50 grams per day.

Much like sweet potatoes which are high in carbs but low in fats, quinoa can be a healthier option. But still not for your keto diet.

Click here to read more about what in include in your ketogenic diet.

Quinoa- A Nutritious Food

Quinoa is highly nutritious. It contains a lot of minerals and vitamins which are basic requirements for your body. Studies say that in 1 cup of quinoa, you can get 8 grams of protein which is quite appreciable.

But like other starchy vegetables, quinoa can also give you high amount of carbs which your diet does not require. It contains magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, phosphorus, folate, zinc, and various other nutrients that are essential for your body’s functioning.

But what prevails everything is how much carb quinoa can provide to your body, which may kick you out of ketosis if you are including quinoa. This is one of the reasons why is quinoa keto friendly is a much-debated topic nowadays.

People are always one-sided, there are very less people who observe both pros and cons. We must understand that everything is good within a limit.

Click here to read about the health benefits of quinoa in detail.

Both Quinoa And Keto Diet For Weight Loss

The aim of the ketogenic diet is mainly weight loss. It claims to aid weight loss by excess intake of protein. Quinoa can reduce weight as well increase the metabolism rate.

The fibers contained in quinoa can fill your stomach and reduce hunger issues. Now the question is both of them have almost similar characteristics but can’t be fitted together. Let’s find out the main reason behind this.

Both quinoa and ketosis are different; quinoa is food whereas ketosis is a diet. Now ketosis follows a different process to reduce weight. It emphasizes protein to be the hero of weight loss. On the other hand, quinoa emphasizes on increasing metabolism rate.

Quinoa contains fibers that are not going to provide you any kind of fat. Instead, they will lend a filling sensation to your stomach and mind. And being high sources of carbohydrates, these can’t be included in ketosis as both carbs and protein can’t work together in a ketogenic diet.


The question is quinoa keto friendly depends on how much amount of quinoa you are adding to your diet. Quinoa is a plant-based food rich with antioxidants which can give you amazing health benefits and can maintain your weight. But is quinoa keto friendly or not is something to wonder about.

The only thing to be said is that quinoa can be a complementary food for the keto diet if taken in a very less amount. Just make sure whatever you are including in your keto diet meal should not contain carbs more than 50 grams (max).

Keto diet is all about low carbs. This kicks quinoa out of the list. But still, if you are someone who loves quinoa then taking it in a very less amount may boost your taste as well as save your diet.

What you can do is determine the carbs present in each cup serving of quinoa and know the exact count before including it in your keto diet.

  1. Angeli, Viktória, et al. “Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): An overview of the potentials of the “golden grain” and socio-economic and environmental aspects of its cultivation and marketization.” Foods 9.2 (2020): 216. ↩︎
  2. Jeske, Stephanie, Emanuele Zannini, and Elke K. Arendt. “Past, present and future: The strength of plant-based dairy substitutes based on gluten-free raw materials.” Food research international 110 (2018): 42-51. ↩︎
  3. Astrup. “How to maintain a healthy body weight.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research 76.4 (2006): 208-215. ↩︎
  4. Pereira, Eliana, et al. “Chemical and nutritional characterization of Chenopodium quinoa Willd (quinoa) grains: A good alternative to nutritious food.” Food chemistry 280 (2019): 110-114. ↩︎
  5. Hartman, Adam L., et al. “The neuropharmacology of the ketogenic diet.” Pediatric neurology 36.5 (2007): 281-292. ↩︎

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