Stephan Guyenet on “The Potato Diet”

Dr. Guyenet has a recent post on The Potato Diet.  It caught my eye since I include potatoes in my version of the paleo diet.  He starts thusly:

In 2010, I wrote a series of blog posts on the health properties of potatoes.  The evidence showed that potatoes are non-toxic, filling per calorie, remarkably nutritious, and can be eaten as almost the sole source of nutrition for extended periods of time (though I’m not recommending this).

Follow all of

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary Chicken (garnished with pico de gallo) and Rosemary Potatoes

Dr. Guyenet’s links and you’re sure to learn something new about potatoes.


6 responses to “Stephan Guyenet on “The Potato Diet”

  1. But…potato lectins bind to tyrosine kinase receptors…frequent ingestion could be part of the aetiology of matabolic syndrome and glucose resistance. Our physiology has eveloved to tolerate lectins from other legumes slightly better, and indeed so long as potatoes are very well cooked most of the lectins are de-activated – But since potatoes are effectively “novel” to our physiology I would observe caution with eating frequently and in large quantities. Our physiology developed millions of years ago – potatoes first became used as food 8,000 years ago. That is the problem!

    • Thanks for your input, Amanda. I wonder if my apparent tolerance for potatoes has anything to do with my Irish ancestry.

      • Hi

        Yes although our physiology is pretty much unchanged from our hunter gatherer days there most definitely are gene pools which have adapted (by virtue of exposure) to certain food stuffs. There are people whose lactase production does not wane at 18 months old, and who now produce lactase throughout life by virtue of continued consumption of dairy products through generations, – so tolerance to potato lectins is indeed another adaptive possibility. But the other thing here is that if potatoes are sufficiently well cooked and very low in solanin they would be better tolerated anyway.

        It is not an exact science! But its good mental gymastics to to work effect back to cause in presenting outcomes!

      • Potatoes, originating in South America, made it to Ireland in the 16th century. Fifteen generations isn’t much time for evolutionary adaptation of the human GI tract. I figure there must have been some type of tuber in the cradle of human development (eastern Africa) that hominins eventually started eating tens of thousands of years ago, if not longer.

  2. Or there is another possibility, and that is in those who exercise and do not eat beyond metabolic needs at any time, upregulation of the AMP-activated protein kinase pathways mediates the effects of adipokines, leptin and adiponectin,*1 and out of interest also acts in angiogenesis and tumour suppression! We are designed to be active beings and I begin to think that exercise is top of the hieararchy of health.
    *1 Towler m, Hardie D. AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic control and insulin signalling. Circulation Feb 16 2007