Quinoa and Diabetes

Publish On Diabetes By Ilia

quinoa and diabetes

It is surprising to witness the growing popularity of quinoa in the last one decade. Did you know in 2018 the worldwide production of quinoa rose to 175 thousand metric tons from 146.74 thousand metric tons in 2017? This is because of the “Super Food” tag associated with quinoa and the wide range of health benefits it offers to people advocating veganism as well as those with health conditions such as diabetes. That being said, diabetic patients can include quinoa in their diet.

Technically, quinoa is considered a whole grain that is high in nutritional value. People consume quinoa like a cereal grain; however, it contains more nutrients than oats, cereal, and rice. It is a gluten-free food that is richer than rice and other grains in terms of its fiber composition, but minimal on carbs and sugar.  At the same time, it contains several vitamins, protein that helps in balancing your blood sugar levels. A perfect boon for anyone struggling with diabetes!

The American Diabetes Association vouch on quinoa as a great alternative to carb-rich lentils and rice. You will be surprised to know that one cup of cooked quinoa (189 grams) contains only 40 grams of carbs, has a low GI index of just 53, and its glycemic load score is 13.  The presence of high fiber and protein in quinoa keep a person full for a longer time. This prevents over-eating, binge eating, unhealthy snacking and similar unhealthy eating practices.

Here are some other nutritional facts associated with this food:

Nutritional Profile

100 grams of cooked quinoa contains:

  • Calories – 120
  • Water – 72%
  • Protein – 4.4 grams
  • Carbs – approximately 19 grams
  • Sugar – 0.9 grams
  • Fiber – 2.8 grams
  • Fat – 1.9 grams

The following nutrients and vitamins are also available in quinoa:

  • Folate
  • Vitamin B1
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Iron

How much quinoa can a person eat in a day?

Do not exceed half a cup (80gm) of quinoa in a day to maintain a healthy dietary balance. For best results add them in your dinner. Dieticians claim that it contains several sleep-inducing agents such as magnesium, riboflavin, folic acid, and Tryptophan.

How to Prepare Quinoa?

Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice. Combine it with hot water in a 2:1 water to grain ratio and bring it to boil. Follow the same ratio for rice cooker and pressure cooker.

Remember, quinoa is not great to taste. You might need some additional seasoning to elevate the taste. However, it may taste better when you mix it with fruits, vegetables and nuts. Want to experiment a little more? Why don’t you try replacing the rice with quinoa for your favourite rice recipes and see how they taste?

Side effects of Quinoa:

Some medical professionals have reported digestive problems and heart buns in people who overeat quinoa. Do not exceed the recommended quantity.


Quinoa is exceptionally safe for people with diabetes. However, you still need to monitor the amount of quinoa you take daily. Discuss how it may interact with your underlying health conditions before incorporating it in your diet. Be mindful about the ingredients you are using while preparing a quinoa dish.