Is Quinoa Keto-Friendly?

Quinoa is a grain crop that’s often referred to as a superfood due to its vitamin and mineral content which can help support good health. People who are sensitive to gluten consume it in place of other grains. Below, you’ll learn if it’s keto-approved or not.

Is Quinoa Keto-Friendly?

Quinoa is high in carbohydrates which could easily exceed your daily carbohydrate allowance on the keto diet. So, unfortunately, it’s not the best choice for ketosis.

Carbs in Quinoa

1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 39 grams of carbohydrates (1). On the keto diet, you’re only allowed 20-50 grams of carbs or lower to reach and maintain nutritional ketosis. Eating quinoa leaves little to no room for other foods for the remainder of the day.

Fats in Quinoa

1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 4 grams of fat (1). Its low-fat nature also makes quinoa a less optimal choice for keto dieters.

Protein in Quinoa

1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein (1). While it’s a complete protein source (because it contains all essential amino acids), it’s still not the best option for ketosis due to its high carbohydrate content.

Calories in Quinoa

1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 222 calories (1) — this is slightly higher than other grains like white rice and brown rice.

Summary

It’s best to avoid quinoa when you’re on a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. Quinoa may be considered healthy by most people, but its carbohydrate content can kick you out of ketosis. You can, instead, try keto-friendly substitutes like shirataki rice or cauliflower rice.

References:

  • NutritionValue. Quinoa, cooked nutrition facts and analysis
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Evidence based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written and reviewed by experts.

The founders of Ketogenic Buddies are health care professionals. As we grow, we include other qualified subject matter experts as part of our content team.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.