I've read in Dr. Cordain's book that he does not advocate sweet potatoes but bananas are fine. Also I don't think Arthur de Vany is pro-banana or sweet potato. I'm not too sure if either are too starchy. Also de Vany doesn't really eat tubers or sugars when he works out, so he doesn't replace the sugars lost during exercise - its a form of intermittent fasting.
Basically I love sweet potatoes and bananas and I know (think) they're great for post workout but as with most paleo friendly foods it does not really matter how much you consume, e.g. meat, fish, vegetables and fish, so my question is what's your take on bananas and sweet potatoes?
Should we limit them to an occasional treat, keep them for workouts or are they good to go on a regular basis?
I eat sweet potatoes frequently, four to five times a week. I don't tend to eat fruit so much due to the fructose content but a banana every now and again after a hard workout probably won't cause you too much harm, although starches would definitely be recommended over fruit.
Kurt Harris (paleonu.com) recommends potatoes as a 'safe starch' for those with a healthy metabolism. He says:
If you are not trying to lose weight and you like to eat potatoes and rice, EAT THEM.
Sweet potatoes, white rice and white potatoes are well tolerated by most people and starchy vegetables per se are not neolithic agents of disease. Many active people without diabetes or metabolic syndrome feel and function better with a fair amount of starch in their diet.
Just depends. In my book there are two paleos: one for healthy people looking to stay that way for longer, perhaps put on weight and muscle. Then there's on for people like me: long time carb addict, insulin resistent, obese, reactive hypoglycemic, mid 40s. I avoid carbs like they're plague.
If I had to choose between one or the other, I'd nod yes to sweet potatoes and pass on the banana. Its been found that sweet potatoes (heavily consisted of starch, glucose molecules chained together, and little to no fructose) primarily refills muscle glycogen (good). While bananas (heavily consisted of fructose and glucose), refills liver glycogen (bad).
If your overall goal is to change body composition and you are going to eat sweat potatoes, favor them after some type of workout and then in moderation after that.
If you are happy where you are at body fat wise, enjoy them!
I eat both regularly!
Yesterday, my wife made a delicious sweet potato soup with cinnamon, vanilla, ghee, sea salt, heavy cream. Also, mash up a hot sweet potato and put a giant spoonful of butter in there, drizzle a teaspoon of maple syrup (only 5g sugars), add some cinnamon, and BAM! you got yourself a delicious little treat.
For bananas, I eat about 3-4 small bananas per week (specifically choose the smallest on purpose). My favorite way to eat a banana is sliced up in a bowl of heavy cream. I also happen to believe that banana with almond pecan butter dollop smeared on it is a delight.
Well... there you have it. My whole answer is not very 'Paleo' with the sweet potatoes, maple syrup, bananas, nut butter. But hey! These are excellent alternatives to the nasty 'treats' that so many people eat (and I used to as well).
Bottom line... if you are not on a mad weight loss campaign, and you have a healthy metabolism, I see no problem with eating tubers and bananas, especially if you eat a variety of healthy fats/proteins.
I've been eating sweet potatoes or small bananas on strength-training days.
If I recall correctly, Chris Masterjohn recently discussed data that shows lower insulin spikes from carbs when eaten with fat. He used this as evidence against De Vany's claim that high-fat diets can be dangerous for high-carb eaters.
Taking this to heart, here is my routine. I microwave 1/2 sweet potato for 5 minutes, remove the skin, add 1/2 stick of butter, microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes, add cinnamon, then mash it all up until the butter is no longer visible on the edges. That's it, and it's delicious.
Masterjohn's argument sounded convincing to me. Plus - a la Seth Roberts - I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate more butter into my diet. And, it doesn't hurt that Kurt Harris has come out in support of eating sweet potatoes.
[For what it is worth, note that I don't follow anyone's recommendations very closely. In fact, I'm pretty laid back about my own diet, which is lacto-paleo with fermented foods. That said, I do like it when thoughtful people whom I respect (CM, SR, KH) make decisions consonant with my intuitions and behavior.]
Unripe bananas are probably more favorable than overripe ones if you looking to get more starch than sugar. However, unripe ones can be bitter and act as a laxative, so just listen to your body.
First off, take Cordain's recommendations with a grain of salt - he suggested diet soda as acceptable a long time ago, and he misinterpreted saturated fat values in wild game. If you cook sweet potatoes long enough, there is no reason not to eat them - they are incredibly nutritious and have a very good ratio of complex carbs to sugars.
Having said that, I personally found that my stomach doesn't like them, nutritious or not. If you are looking for a more tolerable source of starch, give plantains a try. I buy them for 25 cents a pop at walmart. Then I slice them, microwave for 7 minutes, and finish in oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. This comes out as crispy plantain chips, and it's nutritious with almost all starch. You can also cook them, fry (if you are so inclined), and they will always be delicious.
As long as your metabolism is normal, they are awesome. I don't care much for bananas but love plantains, sweet potatoes, all sorts of roots and tubers. I also eat white potatoes and white rice. I'm skinny and active and I need my starch. Experimenting has proven I feel better when I get it.
i avoid sweet potatoes cause they are from israel. i try to get local things. Bannanas are poisonous skin if from normal shops. Even organic bannanas are high in sugar and they are developed from the wild bannana.
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