Potatoes get a bad rap in various health and diet communities. The keto and low-carb crowd say they’re high in carbs and will spike your blood sugar. Paleo people are against them because they are New World foods that our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t have access to. The autoimmune diet community avoids them because they contain various plant toxins that can cause inflammation and trigger sensitivities in sensitive and vulnerable individuals, and traditional “healthy diet” people recommend against potatoes. Because they are “empty white carbohydrates”.
Is this criticism justified? Is it true that potatoes have no place in a healthy diet, or are potatoes really healthy? How do potatoes fit into a beginner diet?
Let’s explore the actual evidence.
Potatoes are healthier than you think.
Potatoes are actually much healthier than you might believe. Think about what a potato is: it’s a storehouse of nutrients to grow many new potatoes. This is an egg. And just as eggs are among the most nutritious animal foods on earth, the basic potato is one of the most nutritious vegetable foods on earth. In one large baked potato that weighs about 10 ounces, plain, you get a wide assortment of vitamins, minerals, protein, and prebiotic fiber.
Potatoes are high in vitamins and minerals.
Here is the error. Percentages refer to the ratio of the recommended daily intake for each nutrient.
- 16% of B1 (Thiamin)
- 11% of B2 (riboflavin)
- 26% of B3 (niacin)
- 22% of B5 (pantothenic acid)
- 55% of B6 (pyridoxine)
- 21% folate
- 32% Vitamin C
- 39 percent of copper
- 40% iron
- 20% magnesium
- 28% of manganese
- 34% potassium
- 10% of zinc
- 6.6 grams of prebiotic fiber
- 7.5 grams of protein
All for 278 calories and 56 grams of “net” carbs.
Potatoes are rich in potassium.
Dietary potassium/sodium ratio is an important determinant of endothelial function and blood pressure regulation, more important than sodium alone, and there is reasonable evidence that potatoes are the best way to improve potassium status. Potassium from potatoes is just as bioavailable as potassium from supplements. In fact, adding potatoes to the diet may be more effective in lowering blood pressure than adding an equal amount of potassium straight away.
Potatoes are higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates than you might think.
Potatoes have a reputation for being a “good carb” that “spikes” your blood sugar. They should be high in carbohydrates. It’s true—potatoes are a rich source of starch. But the starch in potatoes is a little different from other starch sources. Going back to the figures above, one large baked potato would have 11 grams of the 56 grams of carbohydrates. Resistant starch-A prebiotic substrate that feeds your gut biome, produces butyric acid, and is not digested by your body into glucose. If you refrigerate your cooked potatoes, this resistant starch content increases even more.
In addition to resistant starch (which acts as prebiotic fiber), potatoes contain significant amounts of fiber.
A recent study in patients with type 2 diabetes compared the metabolic effects of a potato-based evening meal with a rice-based evening meal. Whether potatoes were boiled, fried, or boiled and refrigerated before consumption, eating potato had a more favorable effect on blood glucose than eating rice in type 2 diabetes. Same number of calories, same macros (50 carb/30 fat/20 protein), only difference was potato vs. rice. Potatoes won easily, and among type 2 diabetics – a population that can’t handle potatoes.
However, potatoes only won the competition Rice. Potatoes are still high in carbohydrates, and people with type 2 diabetes, people with insulin resistance, and anyone who has trouble handling carbohydrates should be careful with potatoes.
Potatoes are very filling.
A 1995 study examining the “satiety index” — a measure of how filling a particular food is — found that boiled potatoes provided the greatest satiety of all the foods tested. Even if potatoes are high in carbohydrates for your liking, they’re less likely than other foods to promote overeating—perhaps because of their water content, fiber content, and micronutrient density. From.
Note: Plain potatoes are filling. If you put half a stick of butter in your baked potato or sit down to a plate of french fries, they won’t fill you up. You can eat more carbs and calories from french fries than you can from boiled potatoes.
Potatoes contain complete protein.
Although the absolute amount of protein in a potato is not very high compared to animal products, the protein it contains is “complete protein.” That means it includes everyone. Essential amino acids Your body needs it and cannot produce it on its own. In fact, potato protein is probably the most complete plant form of protein.
Potatoes are low in plant toxins.
Potatoes, being the reproductive organs of potato plants, have a “passive” defense against predators. They are stem tubers. They can’t run or bare their teeth, so they cool underground to stay safe and use toxic chemical preservatives called glycoalkaloids.
The most abundant glycoalkaloids in potatoes are alpha-solanine and alpha-choquinone, which are used by plants to repel insects. Fortunately, most of the glycoalkaloids are concentrated in the skin of the potato, forcing less refined insects to eat through the toxins to get to the good stuff. Perhaps this is the reason why traditional potato-eating cultures eat the potato by peeling it. These days, The most common potatoes, such as Russets, also contain the lowest amount of glycoalkaloids. This is not an accident, but rather the result of generations of careful agricultural choices by farmers. Since then, throughout history, humans have either unknowingly tried to avoid most of the potato’s glycosides by peeling their skins, or by choosing the lower glycoalkaloid varieties that cause stomachaches, indigestion. Does not cause problems, or inflammation and sells well in the market. .
But some glycoalkaloids remain. Are they harmful? High dose Glycoalkaloids are clearly harmful, but most peeled common potatoes do not contain high levels of glycoalkaloids. Most studies show harm using supraphysiological doses of pure glycoalkaloids. One of the only studies to show harm using physiological doses that you’d normally get from eating permeable intestines was in mice with a genetic predisposition to inflammatory bowel disease. It’s a useful study, though, because it tells us that potatoes may pose a risk to humans with leaky gut or inflammatory bowel disease.
To make sure you are avoiding glycoalkaloids, Always discard or discard potatoes (or plants) that are green or sprouting.. This indicates an increase in glycoalkaloid content.
There are some older studies that show an increase in inflammatory markers when potatoes are fed, but one includes wheat and other high-glycemic foods from the “potato group” (not just potatoes) and another uses potato chips. Was it the rancid seed oil in which the chips were fried, or the potatoes? Was it wheat bread or potatoes? These tell us little about the effects of whole, unblemished potatoes on inflammation.
But if you’re healthy with good gut health and function, I don’t think a baked, boiled, or mashed potato will negatively impact your gut. In fact, the prebiotic effects of potatoes’ resistant starch and fiber may also have beneficial effects on gut health.
Can you eat potatoes on keto?
Classic The medical ketogenic diet Force you to eliminate potatoes. They represent a huge bolus of carbohydrates when your mental and physical health depends on you remaining in ketosis. If you’re a casual keto or low-carb dieter, there are instances where potatoes can work.
training: If you incur a “glycogen debt” through intense exercise, you can replenish that debt by consuming potatoes without interrupting ketosis. Exercise regulates insulin-independent glycogen repletion, so you don’t even need insulin to store glucose in your muscles. High-level athletes are often in ketosis on a regular basis despite eating a high-carb diet, simply because they train so hard and frequently.
Carbohydrate diet: Oh Carb refed Describes the use of intermittent high-carb, low-fat meals to “carb up” in the context of low-carb dieting to increase leptin and increase energy expenditure. In many cases, this will jump-start weight loss and make sticking to your low-carb diet easier and more effective in the long run. If you’re going to carb refeed, potatoes are a great, nutrient-dense food to use.
Potatoes can be an effective short-term weight loss “hack.”
Back in the day, people in MDA’s forums and comments section were doing “potato hacks” to lose weight. I’m not a fan of hacks, but I have to admit that it really works for some people. How it works?
For a period of 4-7 days, you eat nothing but potatoes.
- Eat potatoes. nothing else. White potatoes, no sweet potato.
- Use vinegar, hot sauce, mustard, and other low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb sauces and condiments. Mayo and EVOO are off limits. Primal Kitchen Ketchup And Mustard are perfect
- Use minimal fat to heat or cook your potatoes. No more than a teaspoon of fat per meal.
- Salt liberally.
- Eat until full.
- Eat often. Whenever you feel hungry, eat potatoes until you are full.
- Keep exercising. This will reduce muscle damage.
Most people find they get tired of potatoes very quickly and lose 5-10 pounds during the week. It becomes a practice to force yourself to eat more because potatoes are so filling and you need to maintain your energy intake and nutrition. 4-6 pounds of potatoes a day is pretty common and provides plenty of most nutrients (and even a decent amount of protein), but it’s hard to maintain. And therein lies the power of the potato hack: You can’t eat too many plain potatoes.
Although I’m generally biased toward low-carb—especially in overweight people with poor insulin sensitivity—I have to admit that if people eat refined grains and other nutrient-poor starchy carbohydrates By eating potatoes instead, health will improve across the board. Potatoes are one of the safest, most nutritious, and least toxic sources of carbohydrates.
I hope this article helped you understand where potatoes belong in a healthy starter diet. Take care, and let me know if you like eating potatoes or not!
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