Is Quinoa Keto Friendly? Carbs In Quinoa

Raw white quinoa seeds (lat. Chenopodium quinoa) on plate with wooden spoon.Raw black quinoa seeds (lat. Chenopodium quinoa)

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A few days, one of my new keto friends asked me if quinoa was allowed on a keto diet. I certainly understood her confusion.

Even though this South American food has been a healthy hyped grain over the past few years, it seems like it has turned into a healthy food staple for healthy living because it’s a great high protein grain source. So the question is Quinoa a good option for the keto diet?

Quinoa is not keto friendly because it is too high in carbohydrates. Quinoa is well-known for its nutritional value and high protein, but with 20 total carbs per half bowl it is not a good ketogenic diet choice.

Now you know that Quinoa is not a superfood for the Keto diet, let’s dig in to know more about how many carbs it has and other related information.

How Many Carbs Are In Quinoa?

Most people enjoy quinoa cooked much like we cook rice.

A half bowl of cooked quinoa has the following nutritional breakdown:

  • 111 calories
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 2.6 grams of fiber
  • 1.8 grams of fat
  • 20 grams of carbs

For a non-keto diet, quinoa is a relatively low carb food and is best for health. But things are different in Keto diet; in ketosis, 20 to 50 grams of carb is allowed per day and in my Keto Beginners Meal Plan I suggest staying under 20 net carbs a day for the first three weeks.

As you can see, having a half bowl of quinoa on the keto diet can cross the limit and kick you right out of ketosis.

Number Of Carbs In Quinoa (1 Cup 6.5oz) Cooked

Total Carbs39.4
Net Carbs34.2
Number Of Carbs In Quinoa (1 Cup 6.5oz) – Sources USDA FoodDataBase

What About Carbs In Raw Quinoa?

So what’s the deal with eating raw Quinoa?

It’s pretty simple. Raw Quinoa is off the menu; you shouldn’t consume uncooked Quinoa because it has a natural covering, saponin- a natural insect repellent, and isn’t suitable for your digestive system.

So Quinoa can’t be consumed raw; however, you can eat uncooked quinoa if you sprout it (remember it is a grain or seed) and eat it as a wonderfully nutritious addition to any fresh salad. My advice to soak for 8 hours minimum or sprout it for consumption.

So that’s pretty much all about Quinoa, if you have any questions or concerns drop them down in the comment section.

Angela Davis

I'm Angela Davis, Co-Founder of Advantage Meals. I have a Bachelors in Anthropology and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. My passion is Ancestral Nutrition and for over a decade I've been helping Keto Diet beginners and those looking for their Primal Diet. "There is no one right way." Below are the most recent articles I've written for

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