Are Potatoes Paleo?

potatoes.jpgThis one has been on my mind for quite some time; people ask me about it a lot. So I’m going to tell you my opinion on the matter, but then ultimately I think you should go over to these two posts (below) at marksdailyapple.com to read more on the topic.

I don’t think I need to say again what Mark Sisson already said really well in 2010 (and he even used the Lord of the Rings to explain it).

Here’s my quick and dirty take on the subject.

Potatoes are tubers. They have quite a few nutrients in them, and they’re a very easy source of carbs. You don’t need to soak them, sprout them, or bury them in a hole and smoke them for days before you can eat them. They don’t contain cyanide like tapioca does, and you can peel them to get rid of their most toxic phytochemicals.

All you have to do is boil them, sauté them, bake them, or grill them and you have yourself a fantastically cheap food source.

Who Should Not Eat Potatoes

Having said that, there are people who can’t tolerate nightshades, and potatoes are nightshades. Some people get joint pain, headaches, or gastrointestinal symptoms upon eating potatoes. If you are one of those people do not make them a regular part of your diet.

Also, if you’re diabetic, you’re probably not going to want to eat them very often unless you smother them in fat, and even then some people’s blood sugar levels will not be able to handle them.

But know that their glycemic load is no different than that of sweet potatoes.

You can look that up on nutritiondata.com to see for yourself. And they will not inherently make you fat. If you’re an active person and you don’t have a sensitivity to potatoes, you may want to eat them every day even. Yes, every day. One medium sized potato (about 2-1/4″ by 3-1/4″) contains about 37 grams of carbs, 4 grams of which is fiber.

In Conclusion

So all in all, I say if you think you may have a sensitivity to potatoes, remove them from your diet for a couple weeks and see if you feel better. If you don’t have a sensitivity to them and they don’t mess with your blood sugar too much if you’re type 2 diabetic, then eat them. They’re a really cheap and easy source of calories that can be added to pretty much anything.

Please read Mark Sisson’s articles here and here to find out why potatoes got such a bad rap in the first place from Loren Cordain, and why his claims may have been unfounded.