CAN I EAT QUINOA ON KETO?

In this brief article, we will answer the questions: can I eat quinoa on keto, what is quinoa, what is keto, what is the nutrient composition of quinoa, and how is quinoa grown and prepared for consumption. We will also discuss the benefits of eating quinoa, the benefits of observing keto, and the uses of quinoa. 

Can I eat quinoa on keto?

Quinoa can be eaten on a keto diet but only in low amounts. This is because quinoa is high in carbohydrates at approximately 25% concentration. Keto is a low-carb diet that gets carbs and fiber from proteins and fats. 

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is a herbaceous plant grown for its edible seeds. It is of the Amaranth family. It is rich in proteins, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. The seeds are classified as pseudocereals as they are prepared as cereals but are not cereals.

They are also referred to as Chenopodium quinoa. It was first classified in 1765-1862 by Carl Ludwig in South America. They are widely grown in Kenya, India, and America. It was majorly used in feeding livestock. Quinoa is also rich in vitamins and trace elements. It is a gluten-free carbohydrate. 

What is a keto diet?

A keto diet is a high-fat and protein diet with low carbohydrates. It is a form of a therapeutic diet used for various conditions such as epilepsy and cancer. The diet focuses on ketosis where fat is burnt for energy instead of carbohydrates. 

Fats are burnt to produce ketones and fatty acids. Ketones are the recommended nutrition for the brain. This improves brain function and reduces brain seizures in epileptic patients. The burning of carbohydrates results in glucose and free radicals. 

Glucose initiates insulin resistance and activates the aging hormone. This in turn precursors the growth of tumors which become cancerous due to the presence of free radicals in the cells. This leads to the development of cancer. 

What is the nutrient composition of quinoa?

Quinoa seeds are a good source of food energy with an approximate calorie content of 120kcal. They are also rich in other nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and trace elements such as manganese and phosphorus. The table below shows the different nutrient compositions. 

Nutrient. Concentration per 100g 
Water 72g
Proteins 4.4g
Fat 1.92g
Carbohydrates 21.3g
Vitamins 0.12g
Trace elements0.20g

Quinoa contains various elements such as riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C which are antioxidants. Antioxidants help in reducing the number of free radicals present in cells after glycolysis. 

It is also rich in choline which is rare and very essential in the body. Quinoa also contains amounts of thiamine. Thiamine is used in the manufacture and repair of genetic material. Quinoa is rich in calcium which helps in bone development and bone density. 

Quinoa also contains trace amounts of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Potassium and sodium serve as electrolytes and help in balancing osmotic pressure, and the relay of nerve impulses. 

Phosphorous aids in the absorption of calcium and other minor nutrients. Magnesium serves as an immune booster by promoting the formation of blood cells. Quinoa is rich in saturated fats which are classified as healthy High-density lipoproteins. 

When served raw, quinoa contains 368kcal calories per 100g. With a net of 64.2% carbohydrates and 6.1g of fat. 

What are the benefits of eating quinoa?

Quinoa is a good source of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of the body that help in body repair and body growth. It contains all the nine essential amino acids, which the body doesn’t store. 

Quinoa is rich in dietary fiber which aids in bowel movement hence improving digestion. The dietary fiber present helps in the synthesis of cholesterol and regulation of blood sugar. This helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and acquired diabetes. 

Quinoa is also rich in HDL cholesterol which helps in getting rid of LDL cholesterol and improves heart health and cell division. 

What are the benefits of observing a keto diet?

The Keto diet is aimed at reducing the intake of starch and carbs thus preventing fat layer formation under the skin. The following are the benefits of observing a keto diet:

  • Improves weight loss in obese and diabetic people. 
  • Reduces the effects of acne on the skin due to the presence of HDL cholesterol.
  • It reduces the risk of developing cancer, due to less simple carbs and antioxidants. 
  • It helps in reducing the frequency of seizures in epileptic patients. 

What are the uses of quinoa?

Quinoa seeds are used in the food industry in the manufacture of various products such as flour, soups, and beer. It is also used in therapeutic nutrition as it is gluten-free. It is used by people who suffer from celiac disease and have gluten allergies. 

How is quinoa grown?

Quinoa grows anywhere with a temperature averaging -4 to 35℃. They have no specific altitudes. This is because there are many subspecies. They flower in midsummer. They grow well under well-distributed rainfall during growth, maturation, and seeding. 

They prefer well-balanced sandy soils with a pH of 6-9. The soils may be slightly saline and low on nutrients. They are hand harvested. They are also regarded as labor intensive. The seeds are dried to prepare them for processing or consumption. The seeds contain an outer coating that is bitter and may make it unpalatable when raw. 

How is quinoa prepared?

Quinoa seeds are prepared, processed, and sold as breakfast snacks and are sometimes used for salads. They are also available as quinoa flakes which are eaten like oatmeal or cereal with milk. 

For more ways to prepare quinoa seeds and flakes check here. 

Conclusion. 

In this brief article, we have answered the questions: can I eat quinoa on keto, what is quinoa, what is keto, what is the nutrient composition of quinoa, and how is quinoa grown and prepared for consumption. We have also discussed the benefits of eating quinoa, the benefits of observing keto, and the uses of quinoa.

Citations. 

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-63344

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-quinoa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/291245/complete-keto-diet-food-list-what-you-can-and-cannot-eat-if-youre-on-a-ketogenic-diet/

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Ketogenic-Diet-Side-Effects.aspx

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