The Evil Scary Potato Is (Not So Evil Or Scary Afterall)
Potato benefits, according to many, are a mythical, completely non-existent concept. But those “many” are totally wrong.
The low-carb phenomenon we are experiencing in modern society has been beneficial to many people, most notably those who suffer from obesity or even conditions such as seizures. But the low-carb diet has also destroyed a great many nutritional cornerstones.
One victim is the potato.
The potato was once considered a superfood, ripe with nutrition, calories, and “good carbs.”
But now, according to many of our “Google Nutritionists,” potatoes are nothing more than evil carbs that only serve to make you fat.
But how could this be?
Modern obesity can be tracked to really taking off in the 1980s. Potatoes were a staple of early man’s diets. Potatoes and many starches remain a centerpiece of diets around the world. The Kitavan tribe is considered one of the healthiest sects of people on earth and they eat tons of starches.
So what gives?
Should we all be eating more potatoes?
The answer is, as you’ve already guessed, a resounding YES.
But let’s break all this down in a more easily digestible format because I know some of you are having massive carb related anxiety attacks.
Are Potatoes Evil?
I mean, let’s be honest, this is totally out of hand…
So are potatoes THIS evil?
No, they aren’t.
I’d say the science is wrong, but I more believe the war against potatoes is more an indicator of people being indoctrinated to low-carb diet propaganda.
ALL CARBS ARE BAD – They say, in unison, and loudly (usually while some of us are trying to enjoy a damn baked potato).
One of the biggest arguments that potatoes are evil is the whole “but potato chips are bad and stuff” crowd.
Yes, potato chips with trans fats that are baked in canola oil and/or loaded up with additives and preservatives and fake cheese are not good.
But what about potato chips?
You know, if you make them at home using simple avocado oil and some Himalayan salt, the supposed “evil potato” suddenly becomes pretty healthy. And extremely good to eat!
Are Potatoes A Superfood?
The term “superfood” is loosely applied more often than not. This is because marketers want to sell their products and they know that using the term “superfood” in the description enhances their chances.
Potatoes are a superfood, but only “kind of.”
The caloric density of potatoes, alongside their protein, carb, and nutritional density, means that you could survive a heck of a long time on just potatoes and water.
That’s pretty super, honestly.
You can’t survive that long just eating an apple a day, or dry spinach leaves each day.
Potatoes are loaded with vitamin C. In fact, the potato is one of the most potent sources of vitamin C. And I think we all have a pretty good idea as to what vitamin C is good for (um, immunity boosting).
Eating potato on a daily or weekly basis can mean improved immunity to cases of flu, colds, and so much more.
The good news is, kids often love potatoes, so you won’t have much of an issue getting them to eat them.
The potato might be the most perfect post-exercise option on the planet, at least in terms of natural sources. When you work out, you deplete your glycogen stores that are found in your muscles. If you don’t replace them, your body might turn catabolic and eat its own muscle away. This also means a much slower recovery.
Low carb diets largely interfere with intense workouts because many people refuse to eat carbs at all.
But you need to replace glycogen stores or you’ll suffer the consequences.
The potato has a carb profile perfect for replacing those glycogen stores with fresh glucose.
And it doesn’t end there, potatoes are super high in potassium, an electrolyte that gets drained during workouts. If you’ve ever experienced muscle cramps, you’ve experienced low potassium.
Potatoes help replenish potassium stores. This will help prevent cramping later at night.
And wait, there’s more!
Potatoes have 3 grams of protein per serving. Protein, of course, is essential for building muscles and restoring torn muscles that are a result of hard workouts.
To be clear, animal proteins are probably top dog (this is a controversial topic and I don’t want to digress here). And you’d be doing yourself a favor to pair your post-potato with a solid protein shake mix, such as Rule One Protein Powder. But its good to know the potato can somewhat supply post-workout protein.
Potatoes have fiber, which is good.
But they also have a special type of fiber, which is even better.
Potatoes have what’s known as resistant starch. This is fiber that passes through the digestive tract without being digested. There are some caveats here, so please pay attention.
Resistant starches serve up the good bacteria in your gut with fuel. You can take all the probiotics in the world, but without resistant starches, or prebiotics as they are often called, the probiotics have nothing to feed on. This serves as a large disadvantage when taking expensive probiotics, or eating Kefir, pickles, etc.
Now, here’s some fun science.
The potato has the MOST resistant starch when it has been cooked and then cooled off.
That’s just something to keep in mind.
Carbs (Yep, Hold On to Your Hats, Its About To Get Real)
Carbs are not evil.
(take a breath, make it a deep one)
Ok, are you back?
The human body actually needs carbs. It relies on them for the creation of serotonin. Have you ever known a low carber who hasn’t slept in weeks and is constantly temperamental? They are probably not getting enough carbs.
Did you know that low carb diets can also wreak havoc on the libido?
Let’s be clear, there is a big difference between eating a potato and eating a Baby Ruth (yep, I went old school). Not all carbs are equal. Increased fiber alongside protein and fat (you know, a balanced meal) can help to improve the way the body handles carbs.
But you need carbs.
You especially need carbs if you work out.
Low carb diets have their place, but extreme low carb is sometimes nonsensical.
You can be low carb and still eat carbs.
If you’ve been on a super low carb diet for a long time, try eating a potato and see how you feel. And then watch as you don’t gain weight.
Potatoes provide 10% of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6.
B6 helps you metabolize carbohydrates among many other things.
Sleep Like A Baby…
Carbs in general help your sleep, this is due to their assistance in producing serotonin. Seeing that potatoes are mainly glucose-based, as opposed to fructose based, its an even better situation. Protein and fructose can inhibit the production of serotonin. Yep, look it up.
Eating a potato before bed can help you both sleep better and be happier.
Potatoes are good for you, no matter what kind of watercooler wars have been waged against them. The low carb diet can be good for certain people, but potatoes are in no way contributing to the modern world’s obesity issues. Many cultures around the world eat potatoes and other starches as a staple of their diets and have extremely good health markers.
Potatoes boost immunity, help the body recover from stress and workouts, and provide clean fuel. They are also great to eat.
Cory has been a professional writer and researcher since 2002 and has written 1000’s of articles on health, wellbeing and nutrition. Cory is very active and loves riding his bike when he is not working on his numerous blogs.