Does quinoa help you lose weight?
The short answer is: yes! There are many reasons why quinoa and weight loss go hand in hand. This article brings up the top 5 reasons why quinoa is a weight-loss friendly food.
Quinoa is a complete & cholesterol free protein
The first reason why quinoa and weight loss go hand in hand lies in the fact that quinoa is a great source of protein. In general, animal sources of protein are complete sources, and plant sources are incomplete sources. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, quinoa and soy are complete sources of protein from plants. It means they are containing all eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophane, and valine—which the body must synthesize from the proteins we eat. Therefore, quinoa contains an amino acid called leucine (among others), which helps protect you against muscle losses while you’re losing weight. For this reason you should always put high-quality protein (like quinoa) at every single meal.
The proteins in quinoa are easy for the body to use, are low in fat, and contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. In contrast, the proteins in animal foods are generally associated with large quantities of potentially harmful fats, and are more difficult for the body to assimilate. Animal foods, especially when they have been cooked, tend to produce toxic waste products when they are broken down during the course of normal digestion.
Quinoa can help you burn more calories (metabolism booster)
The most exciting benefit of eating quinoa is that it can help you burn more calories, therefore boosting your metabolism. This is because high-protein foods contain a high thermic effect. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is another component of the total energy expenditure equation. This is the amount of energy (in calories) above the resting metabolic rate (RMB) required for absorption and digestion of food. As you probably know, the digestion, absorption, transportation, and metabolism of nutrients all require energy. The thermic effect of food makes up about 10% of total energy expenditure. This is not a negligible percentage.
The higher thermic effect of protein (compared to carbohydrate and fat) is very likely related to satiety and might explain at least in part why high-protein meals (like quinoa) promote body weight loss. Proteins cause your body to burn more calories to digest it than if you ate a carbohydrate or fat. Protein is hard to process. The thermic effect of protein is three times larger than that of carbohydrate. On the contrary, dietary fat is very easy to process and has very little thermic effect. Your body has to spend very little energy (or nothing at all) to process this type of macronutrient.
Quinoa is effective in sustaining or increasing fat-free body mass
High-protein diets seem to be effective in sustaining or increasing fat-free body mass (lean body mass). The preservation of a higher lean mass has an added energy cost and appears to have significant effect on resting energy expenditure. Therefore, people having more muscle mass burn more calories, even when these muscles are at rest. When you start to lose weight due to new eating regimen, you are in danger to lose your muscle mass as well. This will slow down your metabolism and you will be burning fewer calories overall during the day. Therefore you main goal should be preserving your hard-earned, metabolism revving muscle tissue while you’re losing fat. Quinoa can help!
A recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that a weight-loss diet with 35 percent of its calories from protein preserved muscle mass in athletes, while a diet with just 15 percent protein led to an average loss of 3.5 pounds of muscle in just 2 weeks.
Quinoa makes you feel full and helps control your hunger
Quinoa contains quite a bit of fiber: the soluble kind and the insoluble kind. If you are overweight and want to lose weight, making sure that you get plenty of fiber is Important. Fiber helps you fill up, not fill out, if you know what we mean.
Fiber also helps control your hunger. When you eat a meal that’s high in fiber, you tend to feel more lull than if that meal had little or no fiber. Also, most foods that contain a lot of fiber must be crunched and chewed, which adds to your satisfaction of eating — and slows you down.
Quinoa has a low glycemic index and glycemic load
Finally, one more reason why quinoa and weight loss go hand in hand. Quinoa doesn’t cause a large, quick spike in blood sugar like other foods may, and it can help lower the glycemic load of your meals. If your blood sugar is high, your body produces insulin. Insulin signals the body to store up fat. This extra insulin quickly get blood sugar levels to fall from a very high level to an extremely low level. The low blood sugar level causes hunger, cravings and can make us become tired.
While we all require a certain amount of insulin in our system, a lot of people release too much insulin. This can make it extremely difficult for some people to lose weight. Quinoa can help you fix that problem. As you go through your day you will get fewer cravings for banned foods if you incorporate quinoa into your diet. It basically reduces the hunger pangs that you always get on a very low calorie diet.
Closing thoughts: Quinoa for weight loss
Quinoa is a weight-loss friendly food!
Vegetarians love it too because it is packed with high-quality protein that you do not get from most of the other plant-based sources. It’s one of the few foods that can provide “complete” protein. The quinoa diet is great because unlike any other fad diets we have around, it will not starve you to death and you can be assured that you are getting the right amount of nutrients for every serving.