The Paleo diet is all about eating real foods so when it comes to something like quinoa, it can be hard to tell if this is allowed or not.
Quinoa has been in the news a lot lately because many people are touting it as the latest “superfood” out there that we should all be eating if we want to live longer and healthier lives, the problem that comes when trying to decide if quinoa is Paleo or not is working out exactly what it is in the first place.
Quinoa may have been on the menu for centuries in South America but it is relatively new on the plates of families in the west and many people are still very confused as to what exactly quinoa is.
While it may look like some sort of rice or similar to couscous, quinoa is actually a seed which is harvested from a plant known as goosefoot. At this point everyone following the Paleo diet will instantly jump into thinking that this one is great to include on the Paleo diet menu because we know that there are lots of different seeds allowed on the Paleo plan – but as with all of these sorts of foods – the answer is never that simple!
Is Quinoa Paleo?
Yes, quinoa is technically not in the grain category so in theory this one should be OK if you are following the Paleo eating plan but what you need to take into consideration is how it affects you as a person when you eat it – and believe me I have heard of hugely different experiences from people introducing Quinoa into their diet.
For some people Quinoa really is that superfood that makes them feel great, fills them up and tastes great. For other people quinoa has a similar effect on their body as some traditional grains, leaving them feeling bloated, tired and unhappy.
Should You Eat Quinoa If You’re On Paleo?
If you are looking to stick strictly to the Paleo diet then avoid quinoa as it is a difficult food for the body to process in a way that grains are. People who are trying to move into the Paleo lifestyle may find eating some as they move to a stricter diet helpful but should try to reduce this as they become used to the diet.
Yes quinoa is a seed but this strange little seed acts far more like a grain and should be avoided if you want to have true Paleo success.