What about pseudocereals such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat?

Answered on January 02, 2014
Created December 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Those pseudocereals do not contain gluten, and contain some nutrients as well. What role do you think they should play on a paleo diet? Do you consume them? (Why?).

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6 Answers



on January 02, 2014
at 09:23 PM

If you can eat and have access to plenty of paleo friendly carbs - squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains - I wouldn't think you'd go looking for more or only rarely/seasonally. I have celiac disease and the genes for other autoimmune disease and have found I can't do potatoes, corn/sorghum, rice (very small amounts of rice *noodles* are fine), GF oats, quinoa, etc... I even have to limit sweet potato. I tolerate buckwheat well when it is fermented and nearly as well when it is just soaked, a lá WAPF, so it made it back into my dietary rotation. And, as Clint suggests, I consider it an "ancestral" food. ymmv



on January 02, 2014
at 09:06 AM

I personally get sick on glutenous grains, I can eat SOME rice cultivars without problems (not all types -- jasmine rice makes me sick for example, while Japanese doesn't), I can eat organic corn ok, and I can eat legumes too (when soaked//pressure-cooked). My Greek ancestors ate legumes heavily, and I don't seem to have a bad reaction. Although I make a point to not eat them more than once a month.

Regarding oats and quinoa, there were three recent research papers that said that some cultivars from these were able to create a toxic response to a celiac person. What I gather from all that and my own experience, is that it not only depends on the ancestry and personal sensitivities, but also on the specific cultivars of each type of food. So the rabbit hole goes much deeper than we thought...



on December 29, 2013
at 05:56 PM

They might not be grains, but they have had similar evolutionary paths as grains, and as such contain antinutrients as well as a huge load of unnecessary carbs. I'll stick to the sweet potatoes, at least they have some good nutrients along for the ride. if you choose that path, make sure to cook them a long time using traditional methods including soaking and possibly fermenting.

Beware of cross contamination - you know the label on the box/bag that says "processed on machinery that also processes wheat/soy/peanuts/etc."



on December 29, 2013
at 03:02 PM

If it works for you, go for it. I don't have time for overpriced niche grains, so I'll stick to a bit of corn and rice in my diet (i.e. "Mexican" paleo).

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on December 29, 2013
at 12:48 PM

Opinions are like a$$holes; everyone has one. So here's mine: The grains have zero place on a paleo diet. Where they do have a place is on a more ancestral based diet. By ancestors I mean more direct ancestors that you can trace back. Did your relatives consume these grains before they migrated to the United States (assuming you are an import and not a native american)? I traced my lineage back to being predominantly Northern European which explains why I don't have a bad reaction to oats as long as they are properly prepared. But I do tend to get bloated on rice. I also don't get along with fruit very well. Some people around here, after going strict paleo, do some research into Weston A Price and start adding in traditionally prepared foods that aren't necessarily Cordain/Wolf/Sisson friendly. I'm sure one of the main arguments that people will throw at you in terms of those old world grains is that even though they are inherently gluten free, some of the proteins in these grains behave like their red-headed step child, gluten. So although they are gluten free they still wreak a little havoc on the ol' digestive tract.


on December 29, 2013
at 09:06 AM

Nobody eats those foods?

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