Quinoa and Diabetes | Is Quinoa a Good Grain for Diabetics to Eat?

Last updated on July 19th, 2023

Quinoa is the finest remedy for people with diabetes due to its low glycemic index. It’s also rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals like iron, magnesium, fiber, proteins, and antioxidants. It is gluten-free. A healthy diabetic diet must incorporate fruits, veggies, and whole grains. With this powerful whole grain (Quinoa), lowering the probabilities of getting diabetes is not a challenge anymore. Research studies published in NIH have established that quinoa helps in managing diabetes. It is fiber-rich thereby helping a person to stay full for longer.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is very useful for controlling calorie ingestion and for weight management, the two most key components of diabetes management. Various studies have proved that quinoa is also an antioxidant-dense grain that helps in decreasing diabetic complications like diabetic eye disease, kidney problems, or heart disorders like stroke. Quinoa moderately slows down the raised blood sugar as compared to other grains like rice and wheat. This is especially good for diabetics, where raised glucose levels can be risky.

“Quinoa is the ultimate solution for the Foodie Diabetic India”. Quinoa is the key element of healthy desserts and a nutritious lifestyle (particularly for diabetics) in a country that is fond of mithai,

Nowadays, lives are packed with crazy working hours, unusual sleeping and eating patterns, excessive stress, and zero physical activity. These routines create a negative impact on the future. A chaotic lifestyle is one of the reasons why individuals suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The reason for the incidence of diabetes differs from individual to individual based on their family history, genetic composition, ethnicity, health, and other environmental factors.

Implementation of a healthy lifestyle is one of the major ways to lower down the impact or the possibilities of getting diabetes. This healthy lifestyle involves the consumption of good food. And good food begins with “Quinoa”. This whole grain provides a tremendous range of health benefits.

As per the WHO and Animal Research Info, an anticipated 3.4 million deaths occur because of raised blood glucose levels. Quinoa is an ideal option for lessening blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to its fiber and protein content. This indeed helps in maintaining a healthy weight and prevents the risk of other chronic ailments that accompany diabetes. A lot of research has been done on quinoa and blood sugar control. So, let’s learn about quinoa, how quinoa benefits diabetes, and is quinoa good for a diabetic diet.

Quinoa Nutritional Facts for Diabetes

Quinoa Nutritional Facts for Diabetes

Quinoa is an annual herb belonging to the goosefoot family. The herb is famous for its edible starchy seeds. Quinoa is popular worldwide owing to its health benefits. Its seeds can be used as cooked grains or can be grounded into flour. It is a complete storehouse of nutrients, minerals, proteins, and fiber; along with being gluten-free.

Gluten is a common name given to the protein present in grains like rye, wheat, or barley, which might not be tolerated by some individuals as they might experience serious health problems like gluten allergy or celiac disorder.

Quinoa seeds are composed of all the 9 essential amino acids required for the health and well-being of a person. Quinoa seeds belong to the class of pseudocereals (includes plants like buckwheat and amaranth).

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Health Benefits of Quinoa

Health Benefits of Quinoa

  • Weight Management: Quinoa contains protein and fiber; both these components help a person in feeling full for longer, thereby limiting calorie consumption.
  • Diabetes Fiendly: Quinoa is a whole grain found effective in managing diabetes and its associated complications.
  • Healthy Muscles: Rich in proteins (all essential amino acids), quinoa is helpful in maintaining muscle health. In addition, they offer comfort to the sore muscles following a heavy workout.
  • Healthy Immune System: According to research studies by NLM, quinoa assists in boosting immunity. In addition, it decreases inflammation in the body.
  • Heart Healthy: Is quinoa good for blood pressure? Quinoa aids in maintaining heart health and controls blood pressure within limits. Potassium existing in quinoa helps in lowering blood pressure.

Also Read: Diabetic Diet Plan

Quinoa and Carbs

Quinoa is not a low-carb food. As found by USDA FoodData Central, one cup of cooked quinoa contains over 39 grams of carbs. A person with type 2 diabetes must watch his or her carbs on a daily basis. But not all carbs are equal. Quinoa is well thought-out as a whole grain, better for any individual in comparison to refined grains such as white flour.

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Relationship Between Quinoa and Blood sugar levels

Healthy meal plans for diabetics often concentrate on opting for foods rated medium to low on the GI scale. Is quinoa high glycemic? A glycemic index of 55 or below is considered low. The quinoa glycemic index is 53. GI is the measure of how rapidly a particular food item raises blood glucose levels. The quinoa glycemic load puts it in the mid-range of good versus bad carbs. Also, quinoa is comparatively rich in protein, much more than its peers like barley or buckwheat. Protein gives a full feeling to the stomach, so the person consumes less. Healthy weight control is the key element of controlling type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: Blood Sugar Lowering Tips

A majority of grains don’t have all the amino acids required for producing a protein. On the other hand, quinoa comprises all the essential amino acids (based on research conducted by Harvard), which is why it’s a complete protein.

It also contains a higher dietary fiber content as compared to other grains. This indicates that quinoa may be predominantly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes since proteins and fibers are fundamental for keeping glucose levels under control.

Management of total carb intake per meal is essential for the regulation of blood sugar levels. Does quinoa raise blood sugar levels? Research studies have shown the potential of quinoa-containing diets in managing type 2 diabetes and the high blood pressure linked with it.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Add Quinoa to Your Diabetes Diet

5 Reasons Why You Should Add Quinoa to Your Diabetes Diet

The nutritional profile of this super grain considers it a champion. There’s absolutely no reason why it must not be on any person’s grocery list. Its beneficial effects in diabetes are:

1. Quinoa Reduces Blood Glucose

A research study by NLM found that quinoa supplementation led to decreased blood sugar and blood LDL levels. This recommends its usage for controlling blood glucose and cholesterol levels. The digestive power of starch i.e. its ability to get converted into glucose was different in gluten-free pasta as well as gluten-free quinoa. This study established that quinoa led to a lower free fatty acid concentration as well as triglyceride levels in the blood than gluten-free pasta. It was also found that quinoa inclusion in the breakfast brings about lower post-prandial blood sugars in people with diabetes type 2.

2. Better Sugar Control With Fiber in Quinoa

As per FoodData Central, 100 grams of quinoa contains roughly 3 grams of fiber. These fibers interrupt the absorption of macronutrients, signifying that the release of blood glucose into the bloodstream remains slow. This generates less stress on the pancreas to synthesize insulin in comparison to a diet with less fiber where there is a post-prandial spike in the glucose levels. This causes the pancreas to produce more and more insulin, resulting in their exhaustion. The foods that result in the reduction of blood sugar post ingestion are low glycemic index foods. Fortunately, quinoa has a Low GI hence, it is suggested to keep the blood glucose levels under control.

3. Quinoa and Weight Loss

There has been a direct relationship between obesity and type-2 diabetes, according to several studies. Therefore, weight management poses valuable effects in diabetes treatment. As per Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials, quinoa is just a great remedy for weight loss because of its high fiber content and protein quality. Fibrous foods give a feeling of satiety because they are bulky. The gastric emptying time gets delayed after fiber intake, making the individual feel full for a longer time. Various studies have found that increasing protein consumption results in weight loss. The reason is that protein demands more energy for its breakdown, and in turn, more calories are burnt by the body. This gives a feeling of satiety for a longer time.

Also Read: Best Program to Reverse Diabetes

4. Magnesium in Quinoa Beneficial For diabetics

As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 100 grams of quinoa is composed of roughly 60 mg of magnesium. Magnesium is a macro-mineral and is a very important part of the biochemical processes of the body In recent times, it has been established that individuals having type 2 diabetes show lowered magnesium levels either because of lack of magnesium in the diets or enhanced magnesium losses through the urine. It hypothesized any direct association between the magnesium status in the blood plasma and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. This indicates that the dietary absence of magnesium may incline a person to diabetes type 2, but the exact root cause remains unknown.

5. Quinoa is Loaded With Active Constituents With Anti-Diabetic Activities

Quinoa seeds comprise saponins that offer it a little bitter taste. For this reason, it is generally suggested to wash the quinoa seeds with warm water before cooking them. This is done to remove the saponins from the seeds. These saponins exert a powerful anti-inflammatory activity. Diabetes (particularly type 2) is illustrated by low-grade chronic inflammation. Therefore, quinoa seeds, if taken (without saponin removal), may exert an anti-inflammatory effect against the swelling resulting from diabetes.

Quinoa and diabetes diet go hand-in-hand!!


Quinoa is an ancient whole grain becoming popular day by day, particularly among the diabetics. It contains rich amounts of both protein and fiber, making it a wholesome addition to the meal plans. Quinoa salad for diabetics is just great in taste. Studies also show that quinoa helps in controlling the levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. There are many recipes that use quinoa. It’s good to start eating quinoa at any time of day, and enjoy its delicacies whenever you want!


What is the sufficient amount of quinoa for a day?

It is fine to take quinoa anytime, either at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, it is best for you if you take healthy food like quinoa before bedtime. It makes your body relax, induces sleep; all because of its high magnesium and protein content. Any person can have one-two cup of cooked quinoa in a day.

Is quinoa good for joint problems like arthritis?

Studies indicate that a gluten-free diet assists in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. If you wish to give it a try, keep away from grains such as barley or wheat. And gain benefits of gluten-free whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, oats, or millet.

Is quinoa a bad option for my gut?

Many research studies highlight that the dysbiosis of gut microbiota is a crucial factor in the occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both in vivo and in vitro research studies have established that quinoa possesses powerful prebiotic effects. So, it can’t be bad for your gut or digestion.

Is it good to eat quinoa at night?

Quinoa is chiefly superior owing to its high magnesium as well as protein content. As it is composed of tryptophan with natural sedative effects, it can be eaten at night.

Can quinoa make me overweight?

Quinoa is higher in calories as compared to the same amounts of carbs, such as brown rice, thus, you can find yourself piling on the pounds if you don’t take it in moderation.

I am a diabetes person, which is better for me quinoa or rice?

Quinoa is composed of about 2.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, while white rice comprises 0 grams. Thus, quinoa is a far better option for diabetics looking to improve their fiber consumption.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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