1

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What are your thoughts on white potatoes?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 17, 2011 at 6:08 PM

My background:

I've been paleo / primal for almost a year and a half.

Never had any weight issues or any other chronic illness (that I was aware of), except I always had low energy and sometimes experienced crashes after meals. (Thought this was normal).

2 years ago these crashes became very bad (up to two hours long), I remembered reading something about crashes being related to insulin in a book by Nassim Taleb, I did a search and found out about Art Devany.

Went Paleo cold turkey, ditched all grains, potatoes as well. Energy levels were fixed, never feel lethargic (unless I've been staying up late). I fixed a problem I didn't realise I had, I just thought I was a low-energy person.

But it was hard for me to keep on any weight (I'm skinny and want to gain weight) so I added potatoes back into my diet and eat them almost every day now.

EDIT: Just to add when I do manage to gain weight I don't notice any belly fat or anything, which was starting to happen for the first time before I went on paleo (and so must be the result of grains?)

My energy levels are still stable, no crashes, don't feel lethargic.

So it seems that wheat was the real issue (bread, pasta etc.)

The question:

Stephan Guyenet, Richard Nikoley and Mark Sisson seem to think they're alright, last I heard.

Do you eat them? Do they effect your energy levels or weight?

Are wheat products much more hazardous for your insulin regulation that potatoes even though they are supposedly high glycemic?

EDIT: Found this thread which comforts me in sticking with tubers http://paleohacks.com/questions/15961/potatoes-unfairly-maligned-in-paleoland#axzz1YEXlSuX7

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:36 PM

There's never been a time where I have cut out 'neolithic' foods 100% for longer than a week or so. In this respect I'm just as 'paleo' as Dr. Kurt Harris, Richard Nikoley, and most of the other famous 'paleo' (but non-orthodox) figureheads

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:40 PM

But you don't have to eat them uncooked.

240aba93cf35b459ef1fdaca0fa18b78

on September 17, 2011
at 07:33 PM

So are basically saying you're no longer paleo? Eating ice cream and pasta is not even close to paleo! I thought we were trying to keep our solutions paleo :)

240aba93cf35b459ef1fdaca0fa18b78

on September 17, 2011
at 07:21 PM

3 or 4pounds?...lol

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Roast potatoes need to be cooked in beef dripping or goose fat!!!!! I'm English, I know this ;-) lol! I miss roasties.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Also, when you switch in opposite direction you will have hyperglicemia.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:53 PM

@Nomad - It happens quite a lot. Pancreas doesn't produce insulin based on current meal, but preforms it based on previous meals. So, when you switch from hi carb to low carb meal it overshoots insulin which leads to reactive hypo. The thing resolves in a week or so.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:52 PM

That is easy to check. Use finger sugar meter before and 1h after meal. When it happend to me, 1 sardine can dropped BG from 5.1 to 3.6 after 1 hour.

154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Thanks Travis, hadn't heard of that before. From what I've read in the other thread and on various blogs it seems potatoes are fine (skinned) for me.

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9 Answers

2
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I love white potatoes and in my experience they digest much easier than sweet potatoes. I personally have about 3-4 pounds of them daily.

240aba93cf35b459ef1fdaca0fa18b78

on September 17, 2011
at 07:21 PM

3 or 4pounds?...lol

2
Medium avatar

on September 17, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Sounds like you were experiencing reactive hypoglycemia. The insulin spike resulting from carbohydrates that are pulverized and reconstituted (and thus have far more surface area and are absorbed far more quickly) is much steeper and causes a panic insulin response. In some individuals like you and I, that insulin response is excessive for the amount of glucose involved, so we become hypoglycemic and feel lethargic, sick etc. We should then have a glucagon release that corrects it, but there may be some issue with that.

In any case, every morning I eat a meal that chiefly consists of sweet potato and every night right before bed I stuff myself with sweet potato with no ill effects. It's almost like we're designed to eat it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Also, when you switch in opposite direction you will have hyperglicemia.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:52 PM

That is easy to check. Use finger sugar meter before and 1h after meal. When it happend to me, 1 sardine can dropped BG from 5.1 to 3.6 after 1 hour.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:53 PM

@Nomad - It happens quite a lot. Pancreas doesn't produce insulin based on current meal, but preforms it based on previous meals. So, when you switch from hi carb to low carb meal it overshoots insulin which leads to reactive hypo. The thing resolves in a week or so.

154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Thanks Travis, hadn't heard of that before. From what I've read in the other thread and on various blogs it seems potatoes are fine (skinned) for me.

1
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on September 17, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I do have white potatoes, have no problem at all with them. Nevertheless I understand that sweet potatoes contain much more vitamins and other nutrients than white potatoes (take a look at NutritionData on this) so that every time that I can choose, I have sweet potatoes.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:56 PM

I eat them regularly, its my main safe starch. I don't overdo it, but I rarely consume starch in other forms (rarely rice, sometimes corn).

If you have problems with its starch you should eat them boiled as some of it leak into the water. Additionally, you can then roast them on butter - the name here is german potato. You may want to supplement Quecertin which blocks GLUT4 transporters in intestines and VItamin C which competes (expect flatulence tho, but I suspect blood sugar will be more stable)

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Roast potatoes need to be cooked in beef dripping or goose fat!!!!! I'm English, I know this ;-) lol! I miss roasties.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 18, 2011
at 04:11 PM

I'd say stay away from the wheat products since you are clean now. Potatoes are good starches as long as you don't react negatively to them, some do, some don't.

I added potatoes into my diet again because I haven't stopped loosing weight, passing my goals of fat and weight loss, but i need to stabilize now. I haven't gained but I think I've stalled the loss, and not gaining any fat back. I haven't tried sweet potatoes again because I reacted to them very strongly last time I tried. I notice much more energy when I'm eating potatoes.

I think it's something you need to play with, give it time between changes to see how your body handles it. I think it's important to listen to your body and do what's best for you. The recommendations from Sisson and Wolf are also meant to be used as a guide not the 100% rule. Your on the right track!!!!

0
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 17, 2011
at 08:58 PM

The last time I tried to bring potatoes back into my diet, I felt like death warmed over. So, for now, I avoid. Subject to change at any point.

0
240aba93cf35b459ef1fdaca0fa18b78

on September 17, 2011
at 07:25 PM

I do sweet potatoes because of the nutrient factor and the fact that uncooked white potatoes are actually poisonous to our bodies.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 17, 2011
at 10:40 PM

But you don't have to eat them uncooked.

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on September 17, 2011
at 07:10 PM

My thoughts are that if you have good results eating potatoes, go right ahead. Some people have elevated blood sugars, or are prone to quick and easy fat gain; they probably will not see good results from eating very much potato. But for more metabolically normal people, especially those who tend to be thin and lean, starch is an important part of the diet and potatoes are an excellent source of glucose.

2 years ago I went VLC paleo (from high carb, lots of grains/wheat) and after 6 months or so of ketosis where I had some problems, transitioned to a more moderate carb intake (100+g daily) since I also am very thin, and active.

I have had issues with hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia my entire life, and low energy/oversleeping/hypothyroid symptoms until I went paleo. When I started paleo I had to manage my carb intake (even potatoes etc) strictly, otherwise I would 'crash' or have to take naps; but I've been taking carbs much higher in the past 6 months with no ill effects! I guess my glucagon response is finally normalized.

I have seen a LOT of metabolic changes from this diet, it is really fascinating... my body temperature is higher, my cold tolerance is vastly increased, my heat tolerance has vastly decreased. I can't even stand to take hot showers any more. My sleep and energy levels are much different. Except for the fact that I sweat like a yak and want to die all summer, it's positive changes. :)

I can now eat quite a lot of carbs (I mostly stick to potatoes, other tubers, and white rice - but also corn tortillas and pasta, and sugar in chocolate, ice cream, etc), even all in one sitting, and not have a 'crash' or my energy be severely affected.

However wheat has always made me 'crash' like nothing else, and it still does when I indulge, even with just a bit. I would really like to test what goes on with my BS when I eat different carbs with a meter, but have been too cheap to buy one as yet...

240aba93cf35b459ef1fdaca0fa18b78

on September 17, 2011
at 07:33 PM

So are basically saying you're no longer paleo? Eating ice cream and pasta is not even close to paleo! I thought we were trying to keep our solutions paleo :)

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 18, 2011
at 03:36 PM

There's never been a time where I have cut out 'neolithic' foods 100% for longer than a week or so. In this respect I'm just as 'paleo' as Dr. Kurt Harris, Richard Nikoley, and most of the other famous 'paleo' (but non-orthodox) figureheads

0
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:07 PM

If I could eat them, I would. They bloat me up for some reason. I stick to sweet potatoes and occasional white rice (with sushi). Sounds like they work for you though, so go with it.

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