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  • Quinoa


    I am wondering if anyone is able to tell me where Quinoa fits into the Primal lifestyle. I have read the Quinoa is actually a seed of the Goosefoot plant and is a relative of spinach. Despite the fact that it looks like a grain. Can anyone help?? Any input would be appreciated!! Thanks!

  • #2
    You are correct, it is a seed, not a grain. Although it is fairly high in carbs so if you are trying to loose weight I would only eat it in moderation.
    “To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” - William Londen


    • #3
      Top 10 Best & Worst Protein Sources (vegetarians take note) | Mark's Daily Apple
      3. Winner(s): Quinoa

      Loser(s): green beans & any large, starchy bean: kidney, great northern, lima

      Don’t get me wrong, green beans are decent veggies. But these “beans” contain very little protein. Kidney, northern, navy, lima and other starchy beans are also rather limited in their protein amounts and contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a so-called “complete protein” grain – the only one of which I’m aware. Though I stay away from grains entirely, for a vegetarian protein option you could do much worse


      • #4
        I know the high carb counts causes most PBers to eschew it, but we eat quinoa for dinner semi-regularly (as in, once a week). We're super poor right now (I'm a grad student and my husband is in business for himself) so one way I've been able to afford buying grass-fed beef is to eat one dinner a week where the protein comes from eggs, quinoa, or soaked beans. It's not ideal, but I think it's probably better than eating 80/20 conventional ground beef.

        Also, I've recently learned up puffed quinoa, which I'm thinking will be an amazing cereal substitute


        • #5
          Like amaranth and buckwheat, quinoa is not really a cereal grain. But it's still the sort of thing that paleolithic humans wouldn't have eaten much of. Especially because in the case of quinoa, it has saponins that need to be washed off so that it doesn't taste terribly bitter.
          "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


          • #6
            Originally posted by warriorlion
            Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a so-called “complete protein” grain – the only one of which I’m aware.
            I know you're just quoting, but oats, amaranth and buckwheat are also complete protein grains. And oats actually have more protein than quinoa.
            "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


            • #7
              Quinoa should not be approached as a protein source, same with any grains or beans. When you take into consideration the carb-protein and calorie-protein ratio, with the fact that vegetable proteins don't absorb nearly as well as animal and dairy, it's just not worth it.

              As a starch source, though, I'd say it's one of the best.
              Last edited by Chaohinon; 09-07-2011, 04:52 PM.
              “The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris


              • #8
                wow! I cannot believe how often we modern people impose our tastes on paleo man with regard to what he would or would not have eaten. Taste had precious little to do with what they ate. I live in an area where quinoa is native and plentiful and I know one thing for certain: we don't wash our quinoa. It was once considered food for the gods, for crying out loud. I can't imagine that paleo man turned his nose up at a valuable energy source because it didn't taste good. Also, the quinoa that grows naturally here in the Andes does NOT have an excess of saponins like those that are cultivated--what we have here is just what has been growing wild for centuries. Yes, it is relatively high in carbs, but to compare it to rice is just, well, nonsense. The amount of vitamins/minerals/complete proteins makes it truly a super food AND with only about 5 grams of the 39 (depending on the source of the quinoa will determine the actual carbs) impacting blood sugar at all, I'd say it falls rather neatly within the PB. I eat quinoa every day as either a cereal for breakfast or a rice substitute at lunch or dinner. I also use quinoa flour to make flatbreads and for thickening sauces. It is a seed. Period.


                • #9
                  Living in the suburbs, I wish I had something amazing that's been growing here for centuries! I'm envious of you, mila. I noticed that was also your first post...welcome!

                  I can't say I'm the biggest fan of quinoa, as I find it boring... but it isn't HFCS either! There are far worse foods to eschew!
                  A Post-Primal PrimalPat

                  Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.


                  • #10
                    Quinoa is clearly a seed and there is no way of knowing if paleolithic folks ate it or how they ate it but here is a look at how it behaves in the digestion system:
                    Is Quinoa Healthy to Eat? | Brent Kearney
                    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                    • #11
                      I eat small amounts of quinoa and find it really satisfying, keeps me full for ages. I cook it in butter/coconut oil and have it with spinach, chicken breast and other mixed veges. Yum yum!

                      I don't have it often, and don't actually know if it's technically a primal food, but I don't really care for the rules to be dictating my life!
                      Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

                      Current PRs:
                      Bench: 45kg/99lb
                      Squat: 100kg/220lb
                      Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

                      My blog
                      My journal


                      • #12
                        Its also a great -IMO the best- substitute for wheat flour for cakes and so fourth. Not that we eat a lot of these but, for example, my wife will make birthday cakes for our kids from quinoa and they taste great. Its high-carbs, sure, but its a tasty treat a couple times a year.


                        • #13
                          Ok I read this article about quinoa that raved about its nutritional value, so I came to this forum to check out what other people think about it. It sounds like there are mixed feelings about its healthiness. With 8 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs with 5 grams unsaturated fat, it sounds to me like a perfect food for people trying to put on muscle. What are the strong negatives against this?


                          • #14
                            The perfect food for people who are trying to put on muscle is beef. Eat potatoes with your beef for carbs.

                            Seriously, you can eat it if you like, but it's hardly the perfect food.
                            Last edited by eKatherine; 07-13-2013, 11:59 AM.