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Is Quinoa A Carb? Detailed Explanation

It’s not low-carb. A cup of cooked quinoa contains almost 39 grams of carbs. That’s half the carbs in brown rice and almost as much as white rice.

If you have type 2 diabetes or other health issues, you may be counting carbs. Carbs aren’t all equal. Quinoa is a whole grain, therefore it’s healthier than refined grains like white flour.

Is quinoa a carb

Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53, indicating how quickly it raises blood sugar. It falls in the middle between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates.

It contains more protein than whole grains like barley or buckwheat.
Having protein keeps you fuller for longer. Controlling type 2 diabetes requires a healthy weight.

How Many Carbs are in Quinoa?

A cooked 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of quinoa has 21.2 grams of carbs. It has nearly the same carbohydrates as millet. A single serving of quinoa may surpass your daily carb intake depending on your low-carb diet.

Net Carbs

Since dietary fiber doesn’t fully digest carbs, subtracting total fiber from total carbs in a food informs you how many carbs your body digests. This is called net carbohydrates. 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa has 2.6 grams of fiber and 18.6 grams of net carbohydrates.

However, even though this is less than the total carbs, it is still more than the 13 grams of net carbs in a single slice of whole-grain bread, which is normally off-limits on low-carb diets.

Is Quinoa Low Carb?

Quinoa is popular on low-carb and keto diets due to its high nutrient content. But serving size is key. If you plan to include this grain in your keto or low carb diet, do so sparingly. For example, a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of quinoa contains over 21 grams of carbs, exceeding the daily carb limit of 20 grams.

Even on a more lenient keto diet that allows up to 50 grams daily, you must restrict all other carbs and eat protein and fat-packed items the rest of the day. Although certain low-carb diets allow more carbs. So, you should only eat quinoa in very small amounts, if at all. Add a tablespoon to a salad or stew. This way, you may enjoy quinoa’s crunch and nutty flavor without going over your carb limit.

Can You Eat Quinoa on a Low-Carb Diet?

For low-carb diets, quinoa can be eaten in tiny amounts if it is prepared plain and the other carbs in your meal are counted. So, it is only suitable for low-carb and keto diets in small amounts. In the event that you do decide to consume this, treat it as a garnish rather than a full-fledged entrée.


Quinoa is a high-carbohydrate food that should be avoided on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. So, if you do eat it, never eat a full serving. Treat it like a salad, stew, sandwich, or oatmeal garnish. Hence, if you want to keep your carb count low, stay away from it.

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