Is Quinoa Keto Friendly?

While not technically a keto food, quinoa can be incorporated into your keto diet in moderation. 

Quinoa is a seed that is classified as a whole grain. Quinoa is a healthy addition to anyone’s diet and an excellent source of plant protein and fiber. 

Can We Eat Quinoa on Keto?

You can enjoy quinoa when on a ketogenic diet; however, you must be intentional about how much you eat. 

As a nutritional powerhouse, quinoa is considered a superfood. You must remember if you choose to eat quinoa: you can’t eat too much of it because it is not a low-carbohydrate food. 

Another real perk of eating quinoa is its low glycemic index. With a glycemic index of around 52, eating quinoa will not cause your blood sugar to rise. 

How Many Carbs and Calories in Quinoa?

There is a vast difference in the nutritional makeup of raw versus cooked quinoa so, if you are eating keto, be sure you only eat your quinoa cooked. 

One cup of raw quinoa has 626 calories, 97 net carbs, 24 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein. 

The same amount of cooked quinoa is only 225 calories, 24 net carbs, and 8 grams of protein.


How to Use Quinoa if You’re on A Keto Diet?

When eating keto, you can have a bit of quinoa here and there, just be careful not to consume too much. Here are some great ways to enjoy quinoa. 

  • Breakfast: Sprinkle a little quinoa on top of your low-carb yogurt. Add a bit of fruit and enjoy the nutty flavor. 
  • Salads: Put a little cooked quinoa on top of your salad for extra protein and fiber. When used in moderation, this superfood can help you feel full for longer. 
  • Soups: A little bit of quinoa in a soup can go a long way. 
  • Rice Substitute: Does your keto diet have you missing rice? Try a bit of quinoa with your stir fry or favorite meals where you crave rice. 

Can You Eat Quinoa Every Day?

Although you can eat quinoa daily, you can get too much of a good thing. Some individuals report gastro distress if they overeat quinoa. 

Keto Substitutes for Quinoa 

  • Banza Chickpea Rice: This product gets excellent reviews on Amazon. It is a low-carb rice substitute made from chickpeas. 
  • Broccoli Rice: Broccoli can be cooked and riced up as a low-carb addition to your recipes. 
  • Cauliflower Rice: A popular rice substitute, cauliflower rice can be used in any recipe you enjoy with quinoa. 
  • Right Rice: This rice substitute is made from lentils, chickpeas, and pea fiber. 
  • Shirataki Rice: Also called miracle rice, it is a root vegetable that is 97% water and very low carb. 
  • Hemp Seeds: With a nutty flavor and a texture somewhat reminiscent of quinoa, hemp seeds are a nutrient-dense addition to salads, yogurt, and smoothies. 
  • Chia Seeds: When soaked, chia seeds develop a texture that can be used as a base for breakfast bowls or as an addition to smoothies, providing high fiber, omega-3s, and protein.
  • Flaxseed Meal: Ground flaxseeds can be used in baking or as a porridge, offering a texture that, while different, provides a hearty, nutritious alternative to quinoa in various recipes.

These substitutes not only help you maintain your keto lifestyle but also introduce a variety of textures and flavors into your diet. Experiment with these alternatives to discover new and delicious ways to enjoy your favorite dishes without the carbs.