Are Potatoes Paleo?

This 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 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 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.


  1. Like many “borderline” neolithic foods, I think the part about removing them from your diet for a couple weeks to see how you feel is key. Then slowly reintroduce them, one by one, to determine your tolerance.

  2. 80% of potatoes are GMO. Unless you know the grower and are absolutely sure that he or she is using Heirloom eyes to start their crop, then steer clear. Even organic potatoes can be GMO. I can use a GMO potato eye and plant it on my organic farm and they still will pass as organic. Even though they are far from natural.

    1. Richard Prince – It was my understanding that GMOs are not allowed to be called certified organic. Is there something I should be aware of?

  3. Neely. I’m not trying to be an alarmist but until we have GMO labeling standards in the US then we can not be sure of what is being planted. I only use Heirloom seeds that I get from reputable dealers. I only purchase from small independent farmers. That way I know where my seed comes from. A bee can fly 4 miles from the hive. That means it is near impossible to keep cross pollination of GMO plants off of organic farms.

    We don’t need Monsanto to feed the world. We need healthy soil, a good plan and then let nature do it’s thing.

    Don’t trust the USDA. They are in the pocket of Monsanto.

Leave a Reply