Is Quinoa Paleo?
Good question. The answer is “no” – but with all things in life, it tends to be a bit more complicated than that answer would imply.
In this article – we’re going to answer three questions:
Lets get started!
Is Quinoa Gluten Free?
Quinoa is different from most typical grains we avoid in paleo – because, yes, it’s actually gluten free. Of course – saying a grain is “gluten-free” is sort of like saying you’re the “good kind of sick.” It’s not great news – it’s just “less bad.” The interesting thing about quinoa is that while it’s not actually a grain – but rather a relative of spinach and other leafy green vegetables (despite really, really looking like a grain). That said, quinoa isn’t all good news.
Is Quinoa Good For You?
As we mentioned above, quinoa does have some health benefits. It’s high in protein & is definitely better than wheat. That said, it contains some elements (phytic-acids & anti-nutrients) that often cause many people to feel “ill” and have other digestion issues.
Quinoa is also very carb-heavy so if you’re eating paleo to lose weight – this is definitely a food you’re going to want to stay away from (as carbs can spike blood sugar levels, increase insulin levels & make it harder to lose weight).
Note: There’s lots of alternatives to quinoa including squashes & sweet potatoes if you’re feeling like you need a healthy substitute . You can also utilize these as single ingredients in a dish rather than eating the foods as a whole meal themselves (which should help limit the carb load intake).
Is Quinoa Paleo?
Despite it being gluten-free, quinoa is definitely NOT paleo. It’s solidly in the “less bad” section of grains. In other words – it’s not the worst thing in the world (and magnitudes better than white bread, wheat or gluten) but it’s still not paleo. If you’re following paleo to the “T” – then you probably better off staying away from it.
Is Quinoa Paleo? No
photo credit: nerissa’s ring.