Potatoes are grown in over 100 countries all around the world and the countries that grow the most are China, USA, India, Russia, and Ukraine. Despite being so popular, potatoes aren’t believed to be very healthy and are even considered dangerous for your body. But maybe this is just a stereotype created by chips, French fries, and fast food.
We at FoxSumo figured out whether it’s actually dangerous to eat potatoes every day. And the results confused us.
1. A small history lesson
Potatoes are from sunny South America and there, even today, you can still find some kinds of potatoes that are wild. Potatoes were first used in the area of modern day Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC. By the way, cats were domesticated at about the same time.
2. Don’t be afraid of eating potatoes every day.
- Potato peel is rich in potassium which keeps your heart healthy. Aside from this microelement, potatoes contain a little phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, and zinc.
- Potatoes also contain a lot of vitamin C (about 45 % of the daily norm in one piece). But most of it is destroyed when heated, so it is more beneficial to eat cooked, unpeeled potatoes.
- Also, potatoes contain fiber that is great for the health of the intestines.
- Potatoes don’t contain any cholesterol. But depending on how you cook them (for example with oil), you can “add” cholesterol to the potato — it’s present in French fries, chips, and so on.
- Potatoes can improve the health of the skin, and help with depression and stress.
- Unlike many other popular side dishes with a lot of carbohydrates, boiled potatoes can make you feel more full. As a result, you eat less but you stay full for a longer time and can lose weight faster.
3. “Safety rules”
- Sometimes, eating potatoes can actually lead to gaining weight. Especially if they are fried or served with fatty additions like cheese. But in order to have serious health issues, you have to eat these foods often and in high quantities.
- People with diabetes should be very careful with potatoes: many kinds of potatoes have a very high glycemic index. But if you cool them down, their influence on the blood sugar level will decrease by 25%.
- Of course, there are some women who want their breast size to decrease. If you cook potatoes in the right way, they make a healthy side dish and will help you lose some of the fat in your body, which influences breast size.
- It is better to not eat unripe potatoes since they contain a lot of solanine. And its level doesn’t decrease even after cooking. But don’t panic: it’s not likely that something bad will happen to you if you eat just one unripe potato.
- You have probably noticed how hard it is to stop when you’ve started eating a bag of chips or French fries. As a result, you eat more than you should and you can gain several extra pounds.
So, in general, potatoes can be considered a healthy food.
4. But what happens if you only eat potatoes every day?
In 2016, Andrew Taylor from Melbourne (YouTube channel Spud Fit) decided to find the answer to this question by himself. The Australian man started with going to the store and buying 13 pounds of potatoes. According to him, he got 99% of all his calories from potatoes. And the other 1% was spices, herbs, sauces, and low-cal things like garlic, soy milk, and so on.
Andrew also wanted to become active, deal with being overweight, and lose his food addiction. He tried to only treat food as a fuel for the body,instead of treating it as a reward or a consolation. Beforehand, he learned a lot about this vegetable and consulted his nutritionist. They decided that they would stop the experiment if Andrew started feeling bad.
He went through regular medical checks and he had his blood tested often. His cholesterol and sugar levels dropped, and his blood pressure and other health indicators were fine. He also played sports and felt great and after 9 months, he managed to lose 110 lbs.
Andrew decided to challenge himself and was on the diet for one year. By the end of it, he had lost 117 lbs. He was featured on several TV shows and wrote 2 books: a recipe book and a book about how he overcame his food addiction.
Despite his personal success, scientists were not very optimistic about his diet. If you are on the potato diet, your nutrition becomes very limited. Your body doesn’t get vitamins A, E, and K or calcium and selenium as potatoes either don’t have these elements or have very little of them. Also, potatoes have very little protein and fatty acids. Protein is necessary for the immune system, and they both help regulate body weight and increase muscle weight. And the fatty acids are the nutrition for the skin, hair, and nails.
So potatoes are not as bad as we used to think, but we would definitely not agree to eat only potatoes for one year! Would you?