The Truth About Potatoes

The biggest thing right now is I feel like I’ve been lied to all my life, as to think that starches are unhealthy:

Potatoes Are Naturally Slimming

In our society where over-nutrition is the problem, some experts consider a high glycemic index value for a food a fundamental health hazard.  But they are mistaken – as you noticed above, the really fattening foods, like sugar, candy bars, and ice cream, are the ones with a low GI.  The potato, with a high GI, does not deserve a reputation for being fattening, because as I will show, it is virtually impossible to consume too many calories from potatoes.

One 5-ounce baked potato has 150 calories.  An active man may burn 3000 calories a day and a woman 2300 calories a day.  That means the man would have to eat 20 potatoes and the woman 15 potatoes or they would lose weight.  That’s 5 to 7 large potatoes per meal, three times a day – a big dent in even the hardiest appetite – especially considering potatoes are among the most satisfying of all foods (see below).

When it comes to the national health epidemic of obesity there are only three food issues to consider:

1)  Don’t Be Dense.  Potatoes are at the bottom of the list of calorie dense foods, at one calorie per gram.  By comparison, sugar, cheese, and beef are about 4 calories per gram and vegetable oils are 9 calories per gram.

2)     The Fat You Eat Is the Fat You Wear.  Potatoes are 1% fat – so there are virtually no fat calories to wear.  By comparison beef and cheese can be 70% fat and butter is 100% fat.

3)     Carbohydrate Satisfies the Hunger Drive.  Potatoes are at the top of the carbohydrate list with about 90% of the calories from appetite-satisfying carbohydrates.  Beef, fish, chicken, butter, and olive oil are a few examples of commonly consumed foods with no carbohydrates.  Only 2% of the calories from cheese come from carbohydrates.

One of the strongest risk factors for type II diabetes and heart disease is excess body fat.  Therefore, any expert who says potatoes will lead to diabetes or obesity is ignoring the bulk of the scientific and nutrition literature.  And they are ignoring an observation anyone can make: People living on diets high in starch (like Japanese and Chinese) are trim, young, and active people with very low rates of diabetes.

Maybe potatoes are so demonized because they are not as profitable. A ten pound bag of potatoes is very cheap.