What to Know About Quinoa and the Keto Diet

What to Know About Quinoa and the Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet is a popular low-carb, high-fat diet that often involves tracking net carbs.

Those “net” carbs are generally defined as the amount of carbohydrates in a food or drink that your body can digest and use for energy. The idea behind keto, after all, is to move your body away from using carbs for energy and towards using fat for energy.

This state, known as “ketosis,” may then lead to fat loss, proponents of the diet argue.

Put another way: “People following the keto diet are trying to force their bodies to burn fat,” says Natalie Rizzo.

How that looks in terms of macronutrient breakdown: Depending on which keto plan you follow, 70 to 80 percent of your daily calories come from fat, about 15 to 20 percent are derived, and then what remains is 5 to 10 percent carbs. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s about 25 to 50 grams of carbs per day.

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The point of all this is to showcase that carbohydrates are very limited on the ketogenic diet and, for that reason, it’s incredibly important to be selective of which carbs you eat. (This is also why the diet is controversial—there is nothing inherently evil about carbohydrates.)

So when considering carb sources, like quinoa, you might be skeptical as to whether or not you can fit this high-carb ingredient into your diet. After all, a 1/2 cup of quinoa has 20 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, so 18 grams of net carbs.

Which leads to a very important question.

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Is quinoa keto-friendly?

For someone following a keto diet, quinoa will eat up a lot of your carb allotment. “If you eat quinoa, you can’t eat many fruits or veggies that day and may miss out on the nutrients they contain,” she says.

“You can eat a 1/2 cup if it’s the only carb in the meal or cut it down to a 1/4 cup if you pair it with a veggie,” she suggests. Or use it as a side di

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