So, I'm noticing there are a lot of pro-potato folks up here... Who is pro-white potato or not, and why or why not?
My take on white potatoes is that they are toxic. They contain enzyme blockers, lectins, and a family of toxins call glycoalkaloids that are not destroyed by cooking. Plus, they are just a puff of very nutrient-low carbohydrates. The baked potato boasts a GI higher than table sugar. Gross!
Lots of vitamin C, folate, niacin, B6, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, maganese, reasonable supply of vitamin K - why do you think they are just nutrient low carbs?
I avoided them for 18 months believing they were just as you described them - then re-introduced them six to eight months ago and ongoing digestive problems eased quite a lot. Also, my energy levels freely improved. I eat potatoes several times a week now, and white rice other days.
I find I do better on a not VLC diet - and I do enjoy my roast potatoes as much as anything I eat!
I eat them. I don't die, I feel and perform to my expectations and beyond. They're not a staple, but hardly un-paleo. Enzyme inhibitors, lectins, toxins, etc are common to most all plants, so not really a strike against white potatoes. Yes, they're starchy, but they do have more nutrition that you're seemingly willing to give them credit for. Yes, they're not powerhouses of nutrition, but does every bite really need to be as nutrient dense as possible?
If you don't want to eat them, fine with me. More potatoes for me then!
I eat both sweet potatoes and regular tubers on a daily basis. Sweets in the morning and the regular at night - sometimes I'll combine them. Well, not regular potatoes as I only purchase heirloom coloured flesh varieties, tuber snob!, but evening is when they go in. They are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin c, copper, potassium, manganese, antioxidants, fiber. And more!
IMO the whole issue always seems to flutter about solanine, which also exists in eggplant, tomatoes, peppers. Just peel if you're worried.
With much tinkering I have found that at my activity level tubers and sweet potatoes work best for me. Combined with protein and loads of leafy greens, as well as some fruit, my body is working at an optimum level. VLC and LC do not work for me, and the starchy buddies have provided a most excellent platform for muscle growth, being fast on my feet, yet still allowing me to stay lean.
Every body is different. Do what works for you. And like @Matt, I'm happy to enjoy your share.
Lectins are in meat too. Specific lectins are a problem (such as peanut agglutinin in peanuts) not lectins as a whole. Also, most of the glycoalkaloids are avoided if you peel them. As other people have pointed out, potatoes are rather nutrient dense, not nutrient poor. Healthy cultures have relied on potatoes for many years.
I am pro potatoes/sweet potatoes because I don't do well with a small amount of carbs. They have lots of nutrients (unlike white rice) and have sustained many healthy cultures throughout the world. If you eat carbs, they're pretty innocuous and don't require much preparation unlike grains and legumes.
What are they very low nutrient compared to? My guess is the people who always claim this have obviously never looked at nutritiondata.com.
+1 on using a bunch of random words you hardly understand to fear monger us to not eat potatoes :)
white potatoes and i have been dating for awhile. i tried to break up but i can't get em out of my head. i'm thinking about popping the question...
another question is, does anyone else get gut irritation from yams and sweet potatoes? i do.
The bad crap is in the skin. Skin your potatoes before you eat them. I love potatoes of all races. I mean colors.
If you're that worried about them, slow cook them with meat, bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar as stew.
They're pretty great for workout recovery too, those glycogen stores will fill up fast with white taters.
I can see them as problematic for diabetics and the insulin resistant but I can't see why they'd be bad for a semi-active person.
Just my couple pennies.
Most of the toxins are in or near the skin. Peeling them is recommended. It's not fair to compare a starch, which is mostly glucose, to table sugar, which is half glucose and half fructose. The fructose has no effect on blood glucose/insulin, but has other negative impacts on the liver.
White potatoes are a reasonably safe starch if prepared properly. I wouldn't reccommend them for anyone who is insulin resistant. I don't eat them very much, since I am diabetic. But for someone who need a few more carbs, they are not evilz.
They're not a staple in my diet, but with some healthy fats, I have no problem with them. They're a ROOT, after all -- and what could be more ancestral than digging up some yummy roots and throwing them on the fire or in a stew-pot? Virtually every food out there, in gross quantities contains some kind of toxin. It's how they protect themselves so they can re-produce. I don't eat grains because the toxins in grains (and seeds and nuts, in my case -- with the noteable exceptions of pine-nuts, pistachios, macadamias, and cashews) totally mess with my body. Potatoes don't do that... especially if I cook them in animal fat or serve them with animal fat and protein. So I eat potatoes, on occasion, prepared in ways that my body likes.
I like sweet potatoes better than white potatoes. They are more colorful, taste better with butter or bacon fat, can be used in everything from mashes to hashes to curries and stews... but white potatoes have their place in my ancestral nourishment.
For those who asked -- here's my recipe for Sweet Potato Curry
Heat a large cast-iron dutch oven until hot. Add ghee and curry spices, and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Toss in onions and meat, and cook until meat is seared. Add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, Hatch chilis (or any other chili pepper--or even bell pepper), bone broth, and sea salt. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Open and pour coconut milk into mixture. Stir well, and allow to simmer for at LEAST another 30 minutes. Longer is better on this one, and if you cook a day ahead, chill and re-heat, that's even more scrumptious!
We eat this as a "stoop" -- thicker than a soup, but thinner than a stew. You could serve it over rice if you wished. We don't -- we'd rather use a spoon and not have the flavor diluted with rice winks.
This re-heats magnificently, so don't let the quantities throw you. I make it on Sunday, and we eat it for lunch for the week (usually alternating with my chipotle chili taco beef over leafy greens). Like most potato meals, though, it doesn't freeze well. The potato texture will change and, at least for me, the texture changes are... not great. One alternative we've found that DOES work if I know I'm going to have to freeze is making the curry without the potatoes in it, then preparing the potatoes separately as WHIPPED MASHED SWEET POTATOES, which DO freeze well -- then thawing both pieces together and serving the curry over the mashed sweet potatoes!