Are There Carbs in Quinoa?

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Between the decades-long low-carb craze and the newest push towards going gluten free, quinoa is often touted as the best alternative to traditional grains, as it’s technically a seed (therefore totally gluten free) yet can be used in the same way you would tiny pasta or rice.

Traditionally grown in South America, quinoa is slightly an alkaline food nutty in flavor and incredibly versatile. This, coupled with its lack of gluten, high levels of protein (given the fact that it’s not an animal product) and combination of amino acids, has made quinoa the newest super food to hit the American peripheral. Yet are there carbs in quinoa?

For many people, cutting carbohydrates like breads, pastas, and rice makes losing weight, without feeling like you’re starving all of the time, infinitely easier. And while quinoa doesn’t have gluten, it still contains a fair amount of carbohydrates. Per serving size, which is about one cup cooked, there are 39 grams of carbs in quinoa and five grams of dietary fiber. For low-carbers, that’s 34 net carbohydrates. For those focusing more on the glycemic index for quinoa, it averages about 53, and a serving of cooked quinoa has a glycemic load of 18.

Despite the fact that there are carbs in quinoa, it’s still an incredibly healthy food, rich in alkalizing magnesium, folate, manganese, protein, and other essential vitamins and nutrients. And unlike a bowl full of white rice, quinoa will keep you fuller for longer, as well as give you infinitely more nutrients to run on.