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Are potatoes wrongly vilified?


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Potato consumption is generally viewed as being part of the high glycemic standard American diet -- the most common form of consumption is obviously the highly toxic "french fry" or some form of processed potato; yet there are also those such as myself who consume potatoes either in boiled form or through putting them along with other vegetables in a croc pot.

The following are some known benefits of potatoes:

- are very low cal, 80 calories per 100g

- have around 400mg of potassium per 100g (among the highest for any kind of food)

- incredibly cheap/affordable

- known to have beneficial effect on gut bacteria (can provide sources later)

- lose a percentage of their GI when they are boiled then stored in a refrigerator/cooled off.

My question is are potatoes wrongly vilified because of wrong patterns of consumption? Or should they be avoided on a CR diet because they spike insulin and blood sugar?

Edited by alexthegra8
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4 hours ago, alexthegra8 said:

My question is are potatoes wrongly vilified because of wrong patterns of consumption? Or should they be avoided on a CR diet because they spike insulin and blood sugar?

I think potatoes are okay.  They contain much less sugars than carrots and their nutritiondata rating for "Optimal health" is slightly better than carrots:

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2550/2

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2383/2 

But their GI is higher:

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load 

Edited by AlPater
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While wearing a CGM, last moth I experimented a dish of boiled potatoes, not many actually, about 2 or 300 grams, with vegetables, cooled off in the fridge and with vinegar added. The low-carb literature contends that thislowers GI. The result was absence of a high, pronounced peak, but the presence of a long-timed mound. The area under the curve of glucose was substantial. So, the glucose is all there but the time it takes to reach the blood is longer and what is avoided is a large sudden release of insulin, with its potential problems (like glucose troughs by the dampening effect of the glucose homeostasis control system).

I agree on all the good qualities of potatoes, including the fact that they are one of the most satiating foods known. In those who have normal or low fasting glucose and who are glucose tolerant they are a very good food indeed.

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6 hours ago, mccoy said:

While wearing a CGM, last moth I experimented a dish of boiled potatoes, not many actually, about 2 or 300 grams, with vegetables, cooled off in the fridge and with vinegar added. The low-carb literature contends that thislowers GI. The result was absence of a high, pronounced peak, but the presence of a long-timed mound. The area under the curve of glucose was substantial. So, the glucose is all there but the time it takes to reach the blood is longer and what is avoided is a large sudden release of insulin, with its potential problems (like glucose troughs by the dampening effect of the glucose homeostasis control system).

I agree on all the good qualities of potatoes, including the fact that they are one of the most satiating foods known. In those who have normal or low fasting glucose and who are glucose tolerant they are a very good food indeed.

just wondering, what are the comparative similarities/differences between your response experienced w/ potatoes vs different types of beans?

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I'd pick potatoes and beans over animal products any time. I consume close to 70% of carbs (none processed, mostly Stokes purple potatoes, flax, steel-cut oats, chia, kabocha, legumes, watermelon, tomatoes, and the likes. I almost always go over the minimum RDA for protein, usually by about 20-30%.

Complex carbs are good for most people. Most Blue Zones consume diets that are predominantly such carbs.

For my age, my glucose (84) and insulin are all pretty good, my A1C is 5.0 and my BMI is 18.5-19. BP is around 110/65.

I will try and do what mccoy did with the CGM at some point and see what my diet does to me, but based on my number and on how I feel, I fear no complex carbs :)

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On 8/17/2021 at 3:54 PM, alexthegra8 said:

just wondering, what are the comparative similarities/differences between your response experienced w/ potatoes vs different types of beans?

I just observed the response of garbanzo beans in non-negligible quantities; if I remember well, 100-150 grams of boiled beans caused a not-so pronounced mound, but I did not compare it to the potatoes. When I'll be over with my present carbs restriction, I'll see which starchy foods I tolerate better.

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The problem with checking glucose in response to a specific food is that your reactions basically depend on several factors one being your overall diet. A low fat whole plant based diet affects microbiome Differentiation and in the long run is the best diet for insulin sensitivity

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1 hour ago, Mike41 said:

The problem with checking glucose in response to a specific food is that your reactions basically depend on several factors one being your overall diet. A low fat whole plant based diet affects microbiome Differentiation and in the long run is the best diet for insulin sensitivity

This is a valid and very important point.

If you eat a high-fiber whole meal and then gobble up a slice of frosted cake, your spike is likely to be rather different than if you ate bacon and eggs and then ate the slice of cake. And it does depend a lot on your longer-term diet and microbiome.

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Ron check out the video I posted in the keto thread. Fats have deleterious effects on insulin sensitivity contrary to what a lot of keto proponents understand. Of course if you go extreme and eliminate glucose it will have an effect but the long term consequences are potentially scary as also cited in the video

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21 hours ago, Mike41 said:

The problem with checking glucose in response to a specific food is that your reactions basically depend on several factors one being your overall diet. A low fat whole plant based diet affects microbiome Differentiation and in the long run is the best diet for insulin sensitivity

I agree with the general point made here. Thanks.

- I will continue consuming around 300-400g of potatoes every other day. I find that they help me with recovery after long bouts of cardio (mainly cycling), and also enable me to keep potassium levels high. Best of all, they are very cheap where I live, probably cheaper than any other vegetable apart from onion.

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I second the recommendation for purple potatoes, which were also a staple in the long lived Okinawan diet.  If you can't find those, the orange sweet potatoes are also good or use both since they each have beneficial compounds.

The One Food the Oldest Person in the U.S. Ate Every Day to Live to 114

Lessie Brown's family claims sweet potatoes were the secret to her longevity.

 

What is the key to longevity? According to the family of Lessie Brown, who was believed to the be the oldest living person in the United States before she passed away on Tuesday at the age of 114, it has to do with a starchy and sweet-tasting root vegetable.

While the Cleveland Heights, Ohio woman herself attributed her long life to "God’s will," her loved ones maintained it was because she ate a sweet potato every single day until she was well past 100.

“Oh I don’t know. A lot of them say it’s because I ate a lot of sweet potatoes, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know, God’s will,” she explained to WJW-TV when asked about her secret to longevity as she celebrated her 109th birthday in 2013.

Just how healthy are sweet potatoes? According to the USDA, one medium sweet potato boasts 103 calories, no fat, 2 g protein, 24 g carbs, 4 g fiber, and 7 g sugar.

While the amount of carbs per sweet potato may scare you, keep in mind that they are complex carbs that take your body longer to digest — translating to more sustained energy that will fuel your day.

As for the sugar content, don’t be too concerned. The tuber also contains an abundance of fiber, so it will help slow down the release of the glucose into your system. Even the American Diabetes Association recommends sweet potatoes, as they won’t spike your blood sugar level. The fiber will also help regulate your weight, as sweet potatoes will not only leave you full but also lower cholesterol and keep you regular.

Sweet potatoes also contains up to six times your daily value of vitamin A with nearly 22,000 IU of the eye health, bone development, and immune function-boosting vitamin.

Additionally it contains 43 mg calcium, 62 mg phosphorus, 31 mg magnesium, 542 mg potassium, and 22 mg vitamin C. Potassium will aid in the reduction of the impact of sodium on the body and will also help in relaxing the walls of your blood vessels, reducing blood pressure. The magnesium in them aids in the transport potassium throughout your cells.

Lessie Brown isn’t the only person who ate her way to a long and plentiful life with sweet potatoes. According to Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution, the sweet potato is a go-to food of some of the world’s healthiest people.

______________________________________________________________________________

********* I should also note that according to the book the CR Way and various health experts, you should cook the sweet potato "al dente" which means its not the consistency of mashed potatoes, but kind of firm still.  This will prevent any glucose spike. The easiest way to do this is to chop the potato into a few slices, put it in a glass container, barely cover with water or only go half way up the potato with water, then microwave for 2.5 minutes (maybe 3 mins max).  See: How to Cook Your Potatoes the Healthy Way

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