I've just started the whole Paleo/Primal diet and I was searching for something to substitute my rice consumption (being asian it was pretty high). I found quinoa and heard good things about it but online the opinions really vary. Is it okay to eat quinoa on a regular basis or should I only eat it occaisonally?
If you really miss rice and want something to go well with stir frys etc, Try cauliflower rice! Pulse cauliflower in your food processor until it's rice or couscous-like. Fry it in a pan or steam it and voila! :-) takes some time to get used to, I guess but it's an awesome alternative and super low-carb.
Quinoa contains saponins, which can damage the gut lining. Neither quinoa nor rice is very nutritious, just looking from a vitamin/mineral standpoint. I would suggest rethinking how you eat and focusing on quality protein (grass-fed/wild-caught), veggies, and healthy fats. Rice or a rice substitute isn't necessary on a regular basis.
I can't speak from personal experience as I do not follow this but I'm fairly sure that there are plenty of paleo eaters that still eat white rice as it's considered less offensive than any gluten/phytic acid-containing grains. As for a plain starch I believe it's considered fairly innocuous, unlike quinoa.
I used to eat it a lot, but noticed it gave me a bit of skin problems. As it's a seed making itself look like a grain, it does contain quite some phytic acid. Soaking it might be a good idea.
A better idea than quinoa : sweet potatoes.
Oh, and welcome to the paleo community :).
I personally hate quinoa after being poisoned by it in my raw food days. Its nutrition content isn't too bad so its probably not the worst food you can eat. Personally I would go for tubers/fruit over quinoa maybe some rice or buckwheat if you need the grains for a specific dish.
You eat carbs for the calories and muscle glycogen repletion not their micronutrient profile. Just eat white rice potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Check out the perfect health diet or stephen guyenets series on potatoes and human health.
I have never been able to figure out why Quinoa isn't on the "list" of usual Paleo foods. Quinoa is a nutrient dense food, it's chalk full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (riboflavin, calcium, vitamin E, iron, folic acid, etc etc). It's gluten free, it's not a grain, it's actually a fruit from a plant called broadleaf. It's one of the only plant based complete proteins too. We eat it ...
Quinoa contains saponins ( a natural SOAP), which can damage your intestinal villi.
Quinoa, not to put too fine of a point on it, give me more flatulence than any other known plant. And I love eating plants, and have tried most of them prepared in many ways.
Protein profile is useless to me, as I really can't digest the stuff.