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Quinoa Cooked Calories: Nutritional Facts Guide

quinoa cooked calories

In this comprehensive guide, I will provide you with all the information you need to know about the caloric content and nutritional value of cooked quinoa. We will explore its health benefits, its potential for weight loss, and much more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Quinoa is a highly nutritious seed that is often referred to as a grain.
  • Cooked quinoa absorbs water and increases in volume, affecting its caloric content.
  • Quinoa offers numerous health benefits, including being gluten-free and a complete source of plant-based protein.
  • Quinoa can be a valuable addition to weight loss plans due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content.
  • Quinoa contains an impressive amount of protein, making it a great option for vegetarians and those looking to increase their protein intake.

Understanding Quinoa’s Nutritional Profile

To understand the calories in cooked quinoa, it is important to first look at its overall nutritional profile. Quinoa is a seed that is often referred to as a grain due to its similar characteristics and usage. It is highly nutritious, containing a good balance of macronutrients and several essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Macronutrients: Quinoa is a great source of carbohydrates, providing sustained energy. It also contains a moderate amount of fat, including heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Additionally, quinoa is rich in protein, making it an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Quinoa is packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall health. It is particularly high in magnesium, which plays a role in various bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function. Quinoa also contains iron, which is necessary for oxygen transport, and phosphorus, which supports bone health.

Quinoa’s nutritional profile makes it a highly beneficial addition to any diet. Whether you’re looking to maintain a balanced diet, follow a specific eating plan, or simply boost your overall nutritional intake, quinoa has a lot to offer.

Quinoa is a nutrient powerhouse, packed with macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to a healthy diet.

Caloric Content of Cooked Quinoa

When it comes to understanding the nutritional value of quinoa, one important factor to consider is its caloric content. The process of cooking quinoa involves absorbing water, which causes it to increase in volume. This, in turn, affects its caloric content. To accurately gauge the calories in a serving of cooked quinoa, it’s essential to know the actual number and compare it to other commonly consumed grains.

So, how many calories are there in cooked quinoa?

Calories in Cooked Quinoa

In a standard serving size of 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa, there are approximately 222 calories. This estimation may vary slightly depending on the specific preparation method and water absorption during cooking. Nonetheless, 1 cup of cooked quinoa provides a moderate calorie count, making it a suitable option for individuals following a balanced diet.

Compared to other popular grains, such as white rice and pasta, cooked quinoa generally contains fewer calories. For instance, a cup of cooked white rice typically contains around 205 calories, while the same serving of cooked pasta ranges between 200-220 calories. Therefore, if you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative without compromising on taste and nutrition, cooked quinoa can be an excellent choice.

Understanding the caloric content of cooked quinoa allows you to make informed decisions about its inclusion in your meals. Whether you’re tracking your calorie intake or simply curious about the nutritional composition of your favorite foods, being aware of specific calorie counts empowers you to create a well-rounded diet plan.

Comparison of Caloric Content in Common Grains

Grain Calories per 1 Cup (Cooked)
Quinoa 222
White Rice 205
Pasta 200-220

Table: Caloric Content Comparison of Cooked Quinoa, White Rice, and Pasta.

As demonstrated in the table above, quinoa offers a slightly higher caloric content than white rice but falls within a similar range as pasta. Keep in mind that these values are estimates and can fluctuate based on factors such as cooking method and portion size. Nonetheless, incorporating cooked quinoa into your diet can provide a greater variety of nutrients while still managing your caloric intake.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is not just a healthy source of calories, but it also offers a wide range of health benefits. Let’s explore how incorporating quinoa into your diet can positively impact your well-being.

1. Gluten-Free

One of the major health benefits of quinoa is that it is gluten-free. This makes it an excellent alternative for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Quinoa allows you to enjoy a variety of dishes without compromising your dietary restrictions.

2. Complete Plant-Based Protein

Quinoa stands out as a complete source of plant-based protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. This makes it an ideal option for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone looking to increase their protein intake without relying on animal products.

3. High in Fiber

A diet rich in fiber has numerous health benefits, and quinoa is a great source of this essential nutrient. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes a healthy gut, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Incorporating quinoa into your meals can help you meet your daily fiber needs and support overall digestive health.

4. Packed with Nutrients

In addition to protein and fiber, quinoa is packed with essential nutrients. It contains vitamins like B6, folate, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and iron. These nutrients are vital for various bodily functions, including energy production, immune support, and healthy cell development.

5. Heart-Healthy

Quinoa is a heart-healthy food due to its low saturated fat content and high monounsaturated fat content. Monounsaturated fats are known to support heart health by reducing “bad” cholesterol levels. Including quinoa in your diet can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.

6. Antioxidant-Rich

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect our cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Quinoa contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being.

“Incorporating quinoa into your diet can provide numerous health benefits, from being gluten-free to offering a complete source of plant-based protein.”

quinoa health benefits

Health Benefits of Quinoa Description
Gluten-Free Quinoa is a fantastic gluten-free alternative for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Complete Plant-Based Protein Quinoa provides all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of plant-based protein.
High in Fiber Quinoa is rich in fiber, supporting digestion and helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
Packed with Nutrients Quinoa is a nutrient-dense food, containing essential vitamins and minerals for overall health.
Heart-Healthy Quinoa’s low saturated fat content and high monounsaturated fat content make it beneficial for heart health.
Antioxidant-Rich Quinoa is loaded with antioxidants that protect against cell damage and inflammation.

Quinoa for Weight Loss

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, incorporating quinoa into your diet can be a great strategy. Quinoa offers a variety of nutritional benefits that support weight loss and overall well-being.

One of the reasons quinoa is beneficial for weight loss is its low glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a lower glycemic index are digested more slowly, providing more sustained energy and helping to control hunger.

Additionally, quinoa is a rich source of fiber, which plays a crucial role in weight management. Fiber helps to regulate appetite by promoting feelings of fullness and reducing cravings. It also aids in digestion and prevents constipation, ensuring your body efficiently eliminates waste.

Furthermore, quinoa is packed with quality protein, making it an excellent choice for individuals looking to build lean muscle and support weight loss. Protein is not only essential for repairing and building tissues but also for keeping you satiated and reducing the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.

“Incorporating quinoa, with its low glycemic index, high fiber content, and quality protein, into your weight loss plan is a satisfying and nutritious option.”

When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. Quinoa can help you achieve this by providing a filling and satisfying base for meals, making it easier to manage portion sizes and control overall calorie intake.

Here are some tips on how you can incorporate quinoa into your weight loss plan:

  1. Swap out white rice or pasta with quinoa as a healthier, nutrient-dense alternative.
  2. Add cooked quinoa to salads for a boost of protein and fiber.
  3. Prepare quinoa bowls with lean protein, vegetables, and a flavorful dressing for a satisfying and well-balanced meal.
  4. Experiment with quinoa in breakfast recipes, such as quinoa porridge or quinoa pancakes, to start your day with a nutritious and filling meal.
  5. Use quinoa flour in your baking recipes to add a protein and fiber boost.

By incorporating quinoa into your weight loss plan and adopting a balanced and mindful approach to eating, you can achieve your weight loss goals while nourishing your body with essential nutrients.

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Protein 14g
Fiber 7g
Carbohydrates 64g
Fat 6g
Calories 368

Quinoa’s Protein Content

Quinoa is renowned for its exceptional protein content, making it a standout among plant-based foods. Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or simply want to boost your protein intake, incorporating quinoa into your meals can provide valuable benefits. Let’s explore the amino acid profile of quinoa and compare it to other protein sources to understand its nutritional value.

Comparing Quinoa’s Amino Acid Profile

Quinoa is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. This makes it an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians who may struggle to obtain all the necessary amino acids from non-animal sources.

Here’s a comparison of the amino acid profiles of quinoa and other protein-rich foods:

Food Total Protein (g) per 100g Essential Amino Acids
Quinoa 14 Complete profile
Chicken Breast 31 Complete profile
Eggs 13 Complete profile
Tofu 8 Incomplete profile, lacks methionine
Beans 6 Incomplete profile, lacks methionine and lysine

As you can see, while quinoa may not have the highest protein content among animal-based sources like chicken breast or eggs, it surpasses plant-based options such as tofu or beans in terms of amino acid completeness.

Benefits of Quinoa’s Protein

The protein content in quinoa offers various benefits for your health and well-being:

  1. Muscle Development: Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Including ample protein in your diet, including quinoa, can support your fitness goals and help you maintain a healthy body composition.
  2. Satiety: Protein-rich foods like quinoa can help you feel more satisfied after meals, reducing the likelihood of overeating and aiding in weight management.
  3. Metabolism: Protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories during digestion. Incorporating quinoa into your meals can support a healthy metabolism.

So whether you’re looking to meet your protein needs as a vegetarian or simply want to diversify your protein sources, quinoa is a nutrient-dense option that can contribute to your overall well-being.

quinoa protein content

Quinoa’s Carb Count

While quinoa is a nutritious grain alternative, it still contains carbohydrates. Understanding the carb count in quinoa is crucial, especially if you’re following a low-carb diet or managing diabetes. Let’s explore the carb content of quinoa and its impact on blood sugar levels.

The Carbohydrate Content of Quinoa

Quinoa is considered a complex carbohydrate, meaning it provides a steady release of energy and contributes to a longer-lasting feeling of fullness. In a half-cup serving of cooked quinoa (90 grams), there are approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates.

It’s important to note that the type of carbohydrates in quinoa is primarily starch, with a small amount of dietary fiber. The fiber content in quinoa helps slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, promoting better blood sugar control.

Impact on Blood Sugar Levels

Due to its high fiber content, quinoa has a relatively low glycemic index (GI) compared to refined grains. The GI measures how quickly a food increases blood sugar levels. Foods with a lower GI value are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar.

This slower digestion and absorption can help prevent blood sugar spikes, making quinoa a suitable option for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

Comparing Quinoa to Other Grains

When comparing the carb count of quinoa to other grains, it’s worth noting that quinoa generally has a lower carbohydrate content. Here’s a comparison of the approximate carb counts for a half-cup serving of cooked grains:

Grain Carbohydrates (per half-cup serving)
Quinoa 20 grams
Brown Rice 22 grams
White Rice 24 grams
Whole Wheat Pasta 25 grams

As you can see, quinoa falls in the middle range when it comes to carbohydrate content among commonly consumed grains.

Quinoa’s moderate carb count and high fiber content make it a favorable choice for individuals seeking sustained energy levels and better blood sugar control. Its versatility in various dishes makes it an excellent addition to a well-rounded diet.


In conclusion, cooked quinoa is a nutritious and versatile food that can greatly enhance your overall well-being. Its impressive nutritional profile makes it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their diet. With its moderate calorie content and high protein and fiber content, quinoa can support weight loss efforts and help you feel satisfied for longer periods.

Incorporating quinoa into your meals is easy, thanks to the countless recipe options available. From salads and stir-fries to soups and breakfast bowls, there are endless delicious ways to enjoy this superfood. By exploring our recipe section, you can find inspiration to create flavorful and nutritious meals that incorporate quinoa into your daily diet.

So, why wait? Start reaping the benefits of quinoa today and experience its positive impact on your health. Whether you’re seeking weight loss, increased protein intake, or simply a more balanced diet, quinoa can be a valuable addition to your pantry. Incorporate this versatile ingredient into your meals and enjoy the nutritional advantages it has to offer.


What are the caloric content and nutritional facts of cooked quinoa?

Cooked quinoa is a nutrient-dense food that is relatively low in calories. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 220-240 calories. It is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Quinoa is also a good source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein.

What are the health benefits of quinoa?

Quinoa offers a range of health benefits. It is gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Quinoa is also a complete protein source, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids. Additionally, it contains antioxidants that help protect against chronic diseases and is rich in fiber, which supports digestive health.

Can quinoa help with weight loss?

Yes, quinoa can be beneficial for weight loss. It is a nutrient-dense food that provides a feeling of fullness and satiety. Its high fiber content helps regulate appetite and promotes healthy digestion. Incorporating quinoa into a balanced, calorie-controlled diet can support weight loss goals.

How does quinoa compare to other protein sources?

Quinoa is an excellent plant-based protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids. It is comparable to animal-based protein sources and is especially beneficial for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Quinoa’s protein content makes it a valuable addition to any meal plan.

Does quinoa contain a significant amount of carbohydrates?

Quinoa does contain carbohydrates, but in moderate amounts. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 39 grams of carbohydrates. However, it is considered a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is digested more slowly, resulting in a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This makes quinoa suitable for individuals following a balanced and controlled carbohydrate diet.

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Written by lyndas

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