Is Quinoa Paleo Friendly?

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Quinoa has been recommended by health and weight loss experts because of its benefits. But is quinoa Paleo?

Healthy Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa does have its place on being healthy on some level. On the other hand, some people can’t handle it due to the digestive problem it causes even though it’s gluten-free. If you are super sensitive to gluten, Quinoa is better than the other wheat alternatives.

It is however, high on carbohydrates so it’s recommended to avoid it if you want to lose weight. It is high on protein and an excellent non-animal based protein source.

But when it all comes down to things, quinoa is not part of the Paleo diet.

Why Quinoa is Not Paleo

Quinoa, while it does look like a grain and is often considered by many as a grain, is really seed. Many health followers often use it as a better substitute to grain products, similar to buckwheat and amaranth.

But seeds are considered Paleo so why not Quinoa.

The issue with quinoa has to do with the potential digestive issues it causes. It also contains anti-nutrients which have been known to cause health issues. One example is irritation of the intestines. The effects it causes to the immune system can cause it to trigger auto-immune problems if you have that issue.

While quinoa is better than grains, it still doesn’t make the healthy goal of Paleo, so it is not an approved food under the diet.

Grains and Pseudo-Grains

Grain products are looked upon as a “sabotage on healthy lifestyle” because of the side effects that it causes such as weight gain and digestive problem comes along with it. This is one of the reasons why quinoa, which is a pseudo-grain, is considered a “no no” for a strict following fan of being on the Paleo diet.

Besides, there are healthier alternatives that can replace quinoa for more protein and are low on carbs. Fresh fruits and vegetables are used within the diet. Frozen ones are just as good as fresh if you are on a budget or that’s what you have with you.

Since you can’t use quinoa, the alternative ingredients are even better for you in the long run. If you eliminate grain from your diet, not only will you feel and look better but all that excess energy will help you to get and stay in such great shape. Lean sources of protein can come from seeds, nuts and certain animals such as chicken, turkey and eggs. Avoid high fat protein sources such as beef and pork which is due to high content of fat that certain body part of theirs have in comparison to their counterparts of chicken and turkey.

Alternatives to Quinoa

While not part of a Paleo diet, for those curious about quinoa here are some notes. If you want to eat quinoa, do not forget to wash the outside area because that’s where the wheat part is.

Quinoa can be used in place of rice, potato, pasta and noodle. If you are very strict and are conservative by being on the Paleo diet, avoid quinoa.

In place of quinoa, you can use squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and eggplants. Not only are they delicious but healthy as well if you mix it with the right herbs and spices to make them taste great. All thanks to books and the internet, we can eat healthy on a budget as well.

Eating for the Long Haul

If you can live without quinoa and wheat products, you are on your way to stick with the Paleo diet for the long haul. The goal of avoiding foods like grains is that our body, how we feel, and even our skin will reflect how we eat. The healthier we eat the better our health and bodies will be. It will also help cleanse out our system from toxins and chemicals we’ve gotten so used to eating from commercially based products.

For more food choices and recipes, check out the Paleo Hacks Recipes Collection and the Paleo Recipe Book.

Return to paleo index page

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