Does Quinoa Aid Weight Loss?

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Does Quinoa Aid Weight Loss?

We all realize that one component to weight loss is reducing our calorie intake, and substituting healthier foods for our usual fattening staples. So when we begin a weight loss journey, one of the best things we can do is learn about healthier foods that we can depend upon to provide the nutrients we need without too many calories. This helps us to replace old, unhealthy habits with new, healthier ones. Not every “healthy” food is appropriate for every diet, so let’s take a minute to review a current trend – Quinoa.

Quinoa grainQuinoa has been getting a lot of buzz in the diet world recently. While technically a seed, this nutrient-rich food makes a great substitute for rice and grains in a diet. The USDA recommends six ounces of grains each day for the average 2,000-calorie diet. While there can always be too much of a good thing, substituting quinoa for some of those servings of grains can be beneficial to weight loss.

The benefits of quinoa include:

  • Higher protein content. Quinoa contains twice as much protein as rice, and three times as much as couscous. When you’re trying to lose weight, protein-dense foods help you feel full longer and help keep cravings at bay.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is is a fiber-rich food, which also helps you to feel full longer.
  • Nutrients. Quinoa contains iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B-12. Weight loss can be tricky because cutting calories often translates into cutting nutrients, which you need to stay healthy. Eating nutrient-rich foods like quinoa helps you to lose weight healthfully. Also, vitamin B-12 is important to keep your metabolism running at optimal levels.
  • Low Glycemic Index. Quinoa has a low glycemic index, which means it is digested and released into the bloodstream more slowly. By contrast, foods with a high Glycemic Index are bad for weight loss because they’re dumped quickly into the bloodstream, leading to that “sugar crash” feeling and cravings in between meals.

Now a quick word of caution…

Quinoa certainly sounds like a superfood, but it’s important to keep a healthy perspective when using any food for weight loss. While nutritious, quinoa does contain calories and carbohydrates. Over-indulging in any food is bad for weight loss, and Quinoa’s carbohydrate level is too high for some low-carb diets.  Prior to adopting it into your “routine” talk to us regarding your specific situation and weight loss plan.