Monday, 4 August 2014

Potatoes - Can They Be Part Of The Paleo Diet?!



Potatoes and the question of whether they can fit into the Paleo diet is a controversial one which raises much debate and the recent Whole30 announcement which has now deemed potatoes as ok to include in the well known 30 day challenge as reopened the debate.

Prior to this announcement the Great White Potato debate was one I often questioned for myself. Can they fit into my Paleo diet going forward, or will I be jeopardising my results and beliefs?

Potatoes are an important part of the Irish diet and history. Our nation's population was severely affected when almost a million people died as a result of the Potato Famine in 1740. We relied so heavily on the tubers that when the crop failed from blight many starved .

Potatoes remain a large part of many Irish people's diet today, particularly in rural areas. Even with the introduction of pasta, rice and noodles many still eat potatoes every day as part of their main meal.

My house is very much a potato house! My husband (not Paleo) eats potatoes at least once a day if not twice and yet he remains lean and fit. Yet many regard them as a big no no.


Yes, they are starch rich and can be problematic for those with insulin resistance and autoimmune conditions but they are none the less a wholesome and real food rich in Vitamin C and iron. So the question remains - can they be part of a successful Paleo lifestyle?

If we look towards some of the Paleo experts such as Robb Wolfe and Mark Sisson, their response may surprise you.

Robb has always argued that potatoes and vegetable would have been a key meal for our cavemen ancestors;

Meat and potatoes is probably the most Paleo of all meals. While the men were out hunting the women were gathering. What were they gathering? More often than not, tubers. For the most part, fruits, nuts, and seeds are targets of seasonal opportunity. Because it’s a plant’s long term storage organ, tubers are always around. They can and did form the backbone of many hunter/gatherer diets.

If this is true, then why are some people so opposed to these white tubers?

While Mark Sisson may use a weird comparison of two characters of The Lord of The Rings Trilogy in his decsription, his conclusion is this;

"Deciding whether potatoes fit into your diet is ultimately a personal decision, but exactly how your body reacts to starch – in its current metabolic state, which, remember, is not set in stone – should be the major determinant. Other potential, secondary concerns with potato consumption exist, things like glycoalkaloids, macro- and micro-nutrient counts, intestinal permeability, and anecdotal accounts (including my own) of joint irritation, all of which I’ll get into next time, but for now, potatoes reside in dietary limbo. You guys are the deities here, folks. You get to decide who gets redeemed. You can be a loving, caring, selfless god who accepts everyone (including more weight around the midsection), or you can be a clever tactician, taking that which suits your current situation (think of the Greek gods, those immortals with very mortal flaws and foibles). If you’re still trying to lose thirty pounds, I’d go with the latter option and maybe hold off on the spuds".




Personally I share both Mark's and Robb's opinions and feel that since potatoes are a wholesome and real food they CAN be part of Paleo. There is evidence to suggest that some cultures have adapted to starchy diets and yet remain fit and healthy such as the Kitavins. I believe many Irish people may have adapted in this way, given our large reliance on them as a food source through time.

However, ultimately an individual has to figure out whether potatoes are suitable for them or not. As Mark said above, each person metabolises food differently. Potatoes may fit into your diet with ease and cause no problem, and if they do, you should go for it. For others they may not - and you should remove them. For some, potatoes are one of those trigger foods, a food which triggers a flurry of bad eating or a spiral of over eating. If you find that white potatoes create a reaction like this for you, you should most definitely avoid them.

If you still have a few pounds to lose, are prone to insulin resistance, have metabolic syndromes such as diabetes or have an autoimmune disorder, you should avoid white potatoes. For those of you who have reached your weight goals, are 100% healthy, active and have no issues with the odd spud, eat away! But do not forget the importance of vegetables over tubers - ensure that other vegetables cover about half your plate with spuds making up just a quarter.

I think it is also important to note that eating a bowl of white potatoes is not a nourishing meal. It should form part of a balanced meal of quality protein, vegetables and fat.




So here's to spuds - good honest and wholesome food - deserving of a place on any Paleo plate :)


What do you think? Do  potatoes feature in your diet? Do they work ok for you? 

54 comments:

  1. I am also Irish and have debated this issue for a long time. Personally, I don't feel real potatoes are an issue at all. If you bake of boil them and leave the skin on they are fine. Real foods are not the problem. Fake foods are.
    Good luck to you! Great post!
    300 lbs. Dragon
    http://300lbsdragon.blogspot.com/

    http://300lbsdragon.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aaron Canty from Facebook here! Nice article, definitely one to feature! I think it's fairly hard to pinpoint the best Paleo type diet for us Irish because we didn't have any Paleolithic civilisation :)

    We did thrive on oats, stews, etc. for as long as it goes back in the records. Potatoes I feel are fine really for most of us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you both for your comments.
    It is so hard to take a stand on the potato issue as some people see them as a big no no and a threat to Paleo beliefs. But I don't think something as real and wholesome as potatoes can be argued against. Of course I will monitor my results and keep you posted.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My kids would love it if they did fit into the diet--we have not had a potatoe in the house for months and they are begging for them. Certainly, I would not add them back into my own diet--not because they are "un-paleo" but just because they are too starchy and I fear re-gaining weight at the moment (I won't even eat sweet potatoes right now)--but the kids don't care about weight gain and need simple foods they can handle preparing themselves. Isn't potato and milk together considered a "whole" food, after all? Think of champ....

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm staying away from potatoes for now but just might introduce the odd potato wedge sometime in the future. Btw, the Irish potato famine was 1845/49 Typo no doubt?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I figure my Irish blood means I'm a potato lover by genes - I'm all for eating what our ancestors ate, and potatoes don't seem to do me any harm! I'm also interested in the resistance starch values of cooked and cooled potatoes, which I'd like to experiment more with.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ramuan tradisional untuk obat asam urat adalah obat yang banyak dicari oleh wanita, dan pria yang berumur di atas 30 tahun, karena banyak yang terkena penyakit asam urat. bahkan sekarang di bawah umur 30 tahun sudah terkena asam urat akut. jika penyakit sudah parah akan mengakibatkan persendian tidak bisa bergerak. tetapi anda tidak usah khawatir, karena sekarang sudah muncul obat untuk asam urat herbal tradisional berkhasiat tinggi. obat asam urat yang alami ampuh dari dulu tradisional ini adalah salah satu obat herbal asam urat dan kolesterol menahun tradisional berkhasiat tinggi, dan obat asam urat herbal tradisional terbaik alami ampuh dari dulu. tidak hanya bisa dijadikan untuk obat asam urat dan testimoni penderita asam urat, tetapi bisa juga mengobati kolesterol tinggi.
    jika anda mencari obat untuk mengobati asam urat dan kolesterol tinggi, disini tempatnya menjual cari obat untuk mengobati asam urat paling ampuh. sedikit bahasan tentang jual herbal obat untuk penyakit asam urat, obat untuk mengobati asam urat tanpa zat kimia ini adalah obat untuk penyakit asam urat terbaik tanpa zat kimia. jika anda sudah bosan dengan obat kimia, jangan khawatir karena ini adalah obat tradisional untuk penyakit asam urat akut tanpa zat kimia. produk kami menjual obat asam urat kualitas terjamin terbaik. banyak yang sudah menggunakan info tentang obat untuk penyakit asam urat dan memberikan testimoni yang positif.obat penyakit asam urat ampuh

    ReplyDelete
  8. which is the first post I was in the category of SEO techniques, for you are a beginner in the world SEO is definitely a lot to ask - ask "what is seo?" "Whether seo mammals new? or something which certainly many emerging questions in the minds of most in your heart, and here I will explain about What is SEO, What's in it ?, how many types of SEO ?, and qnc jelly gamat

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pasti ayah ibu khawatir disaat mata Kamu berjumpa belekan & seandainya disertai mata merah.Penyebab Mata Belekan pada Bayi dan Cara Mengatasinya
    Astigmatisme (poin silinder) ialah salah satu dari tidak sedikit tipe poin yg ditemukan di mata orang tidak sedikit.Cara Mengobati Penyakit Mata Astigmatisme
    Dikarenakan pembentukan katarak berhubungan bersama oksidasi, konsumsi lebih tidak sedikit buah & sayuran yg tajir antioksidan mampu menunjang mencegah katarak.Buah-buahan dan Sayuran untuk Mengobati Penyakit Katarak
    Saraf mata amat terkait bersama retina. Retina itu sendiri ialah lapisan slim transparan & terdiri dari sel-sel & saraf.Bahaya Saraf Mata Lepas dan Cara Pengobatannya
    Katarak yakni penyebab penting kebutaan di semua dunia. Katarak pula mampu berlangsung terhadap bayi & anak (anak-anak katarak), walaupun barangkali amat mungil.Gejala-gejala dan Penyebab Penyakit Mata Katarak Pada Manula

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kanker yakni penyakit yg tak pandang bulu waktu menyerang badan manusia. Kenali Gejala-gejala Terkena Kanker Kandung Kemih
    Sakit, nyeri, & masalah kesehatan lain yg tampaknya mungil tidak boleh dianggap sepele. Gejala-gejala Kanker Yang Sering Diabaikan
    Berikut yaitu ciri-ciri penyakit kanker mulut yg butuh kamu waspadai sejak dini. Wasapadai Gejala-Gejala Penyakit Kanker Mulut
    Kanker yakni satu buah penyakit di mana ditemukan sebuah massa atau sel-sel penambahan yg fungsinya tidak sama bersama sel normal. Gejala-gejla Kanker Paru-Paru yang Harus Diwaspadai
    Berikut ini yakni makanan yg baik utk penderita kanker kelenjar getah bening. Makanan Yang Baik Untuk Penderita Kanker Kelenjar Getah Bening

    ReplyDelete
  11. blog which is amazing really happy to be able to visit. , , I found your blog on google !!!
    Obat Liver
    Obat Gangguan Pencernaan
    Obat Kuat Tahan Lama
    Obat Susah Tidur
    Obat Tbc Paru

    ReplyDelete
  12. great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for the information. The health of the body need to be maintained properly, these are some tips to deal with the health of the eyes, skin, and bones of the body pad.
    Inilah Penyebab Terjadinya Kanker Payudara
    Obat Ampuh Mengatasi Patah Tulang
    Rahasia Dibalik Mata Segar
    Tips Membuat Masker Alami Dari Buah-buahan

    ReplyDelete
  14. Informasi yang bagus dan menarik, kalau boleh silahkan kunjungi web saya mengenai kesehatan berikut ini Gejala Penyakit Kanker Rahim atau Kanker Serviks

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is the sea cucumber products help treat various diseases
    QNC Jelly Gamat | Jelly Gamat

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mengenal Lebih Dalam Penyakit Miom

    Miom merupakan salah satu penyakit yang hanya menyerang wanita saja dan miom tumbuh serta berkembang disekitar uterus atau rahim yang tidak bersifat kanker atau ganas. Sebutan lain dari miom diantaranya mioma, myom, uteri, fibroid atau leiomioma.

    ReplyDelete
  17. for beginners like me need a lot of reading and searching for information on various blogs. and articles that you share a very nice and inspires me . kalkulator kehamilan

    ReplyDelete