5 Low Carb Grains for Gains

 July 9, 2019|  Lauren

It should go without saying that nutrition and physical activity are critical if you want to gain muscle and it’s essential to challenge your body with physical activity. But, without proper nutrition, your progress will stall.

Now you’ve probably heard that eating low carb can help you lose weight and gain muscle and if you didn’t already know, here’s why it works: When you consume low in carb food your insulin levels drop, causing your body to burn stored body fat, resulting in weight loss. Just make sure you’re loading up on low carb veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and lean proteins like chicken and shrimp – but don’t cut carbs out completely you need some amount of “good carbs” like whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

After all, high-protein foods are very important for gaining muscle, but carbohydrates and fats are also necessary sources of energy. So if your goal is to gain lean muscle10 of the best low carb grains for gaining lean muscle.

1. Quinoa

Protein-rich foods are always a priority when you’re aiming to building lean muscle, it’s also important to have the fuel to get you through your workout – which is why you need carbs.

Cooked quinoa contains about 40gof carbs per cup as well as 8g of protein, 5g of fibre and a hearty amount of magnesium and phosphorus.

2. Buckwheat

Half a cup of buckwheat flour contains around 8g of protein; add to that it’s high fibre content and you’ve got an excellent (and gluten free) flour substitute.

Buckwheat has an impressive vitamin and mineral content too, it’s high in B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, which help you build muscle.

3. Amaranth

While it may be considered a “pseudograin” because it comes from a different biological family than typical grain crops like wheat this low carb alternative to white flour has a nutty flavour (a little like brown rice) that has 9g of protein per cup.

The small, seed-like granules can even be popped like popcorn for an awesome low carb snack.

4. Wild rice

You’ve probably seen wile rice, it’s long, dark, needle like grains have a much more nutty flavour that your typical white or brown rice and is packed with 7g of protein per cup.
This low carb grain is especially high in antioxidants, with more than thirty times the amount in white rice.

5. Teff

These little kernels can be found in a range of colours – in fact the darker the grain the deeper the flavour. It has more calcium than any grain, (about 120mg per cooked cup), and the grain is also high in resistant starch.

Its light flavour means it is perfect for adding to hearty salads for an extra protein kick (there’s 10g per cup).

So next time you’re wondering how you’re going to change up your grain game, swap the boring brown rice for something more adventurous and try keep these carbohydrate sources in mind. A varied diet means you’re more likely to stick to it and help make sure you meet your nutrient needs, allowing you to make the most of your workouts.

Bonus Fact: Most people store their grains tend on a shelf or in the cupboard, but did you know that keeping them in the fridge means they taste and perform better as they’re kept fresh.

Because the outer layer of the whole grain – also known as the germ – contains healthy oils that go off over time. Most grains will keep about six months, and flours for about half that time, but storing them in the refrigerator extends their life by a month or two.

 July 9, 2019 | Lauren

About the Author

Lauren Jacobsen is the Director of Nutrition for Kcal Brands and the Head of Fuel Up. Lauren has over 15 years of experience in nutrition and supplementation focused on physique athlete development. Lauren is also a former IFBB competitive figure athlete, and long time contributor to fitness magazines worldwide.

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