Paleo diet became insanely trendy in the last few years. But the paleo regime is not so easy to maintain as it might seem to you. There are a lot of foods that we naturally consider as healthy that are still a big no-no in the paleo regime.
Paleolithic people or also called cavemen ate only foods they hunted or gathered since they didn’t have access to processed foods or foods harvested by agriculture as we do nowadays.
That makes us all wonder if potatoes are paleo-friendly. Can you eat white potatoes on paleo regime?
If you are a big potato fan and are intrigued by this diet regime, continue reading and learning more.
Related Post: Can You Eat Red Potatoes On Paleo?
What Is The Paleo Diet?
A paleo diet is a dietary regime based on foods eaten in the Paleolithic era; the name said it all.
Anyhow, in this regime, you are allowed to eat only food that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering, such as fish, lean meat (grass-fed), fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts.
This regime excludes dairy, legumes, and grains, which are a product of farming. You should also avoid processed food, salt, and refined sugar.
The primary purpose of this diet is to take us back to our roots. The human body was designed for a diet plan, such as paleo.
Since farming came, it changed the way people eat and contribute to obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes – these three are one of the most common health issues among humans nowadays.
If you chose a paleo diet, you might experience some of these benefits:
- Weight loss
- Better blood pressure
- Appetite management
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Lower triglycerides
Of course, all diets have some possible risk for your overall health as well. One of the primer concerns is the absence of fiber and vitamins that we obtain from grains and legumes. Also, when we exclude dairy products from our diet, we cut on calcium and proteins significantly, which may cause some unpleasant complications.
Remember, the paleo diet can be a bit expensive for your pocket, so make sure you consider that first before entering the paleo world.
So, Can You Eat White Potatoes On Paleo?
I am very sorry because I am about to tell you that white potatoes are a no-go for paleo eaters.
Simply the paleo diet doesn’t approve of this veggie, and the reason might surprise you.
The main reason why white potatoes are not considered paleo is because of their nutritional content. White potatoes are high in carb content and low in protein and fibers. I get that this might confuse you since sweet potato is allowed.
White potato is a whole food that might have existed when our ancestors roamed the Earth, but apparently, they offer nothing more than carbs. Paleo diet is all about low-carb content and low glycemic index. Here I will thoroughly explain to you why white potatoes are no-no food in the paleo world.
1. White Potatoes Are Starchy.
White potatoes are very high in carbohydrates, but it is wrong to use that argument against eating them.
There’s nothing wrong with carbs, and they aren’t dangerous at all for a healthy, active person. The real problem is in the toxins that usually come packaged with them, like wheat gluten.
Only people who need to avoid carbs are people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes or trying to enter ketosis.
2. White Potatoes Are Less Nutritious Than Sweet Potatoes.
Another argument against white potatoes is that they offer only empty calories from carbs. They are just not nutritious enough, so if you have a choice, you should always choose to get as many micronutrients as possible, and white potatoes can’t provide that.
I can’t fight against this argument, but there is a thing that makes me wonder why the sweet potato is a better option since white potatoes don’t actually lag far behind them in nutritional content.
Here take a look at the nutrition information for 100 grams of raw sweet potato and raw white potato.
- Both sweet and white potatoes provide somewhere between 0 and 5% of the RDA (recommended dietary allowances).
- Both provide 10% of Vitamin B6.
- The white potato provides 33% of Vitamin C while sweet potato only provide 4%
- On the other hand, sweet potato provides 284% of the daily need for Vitamin A, while white potato provides only 1%!
- Sweet potatoes have 20.1 grams of carbs, while white potatoes have 17 grams.
- Sweet potato has 3 grams of fiber, and white potato has 2.4 grams of fiber.
- White potatoes have less fructose, so that means that carbs from white potatoes present a healthier balance of sugar and starch.
So why is sweet potato allowed on paleo, yet white potato isn’t? Find it in the next chapter!
3. White Potatoes Have A High Glycemic Index.
The answer to the previous question is – white potatoes have a very high glycemic index! Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a specific food ingredient increases blood glucose and insulin.
The food ingredient with a higher glycemic index raises blood sugar more, and if consumed in excess, it can potentially set off metabolic complications.
Let’s compare the GI of boiled white potatoes and sweet potatoes. A boiled white potato has a GI of 78, while a boiled sweet potato has a GI of 63, which indicates that white potatoes have more glucose than fructose.
Naturally, the sweet potato with more fructose and sucrose and less glucose and starch is a way better choice in paleo cuisine than starchy white potato.
4. White Potatoes Are Nightshades.
Well, nightshade veggies contain glycoalkaloids or saponin, which can trigger leaky gut symptoms if you are intolerant to them. Potatoes contain two glycoalkaloid saponins, and those are α-chaconine and α-solanine.
Both can affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel diseases.
How To Replace White Potato And Avoid Cravings?
Honestly, it is hard to give up on white potatoes; believe me, I know. Imagine not being able to indulge yourself with French fries, creamy mash, or morning hash. Well, what if I tell you that you do not need to give up on all those goodies completely.
Well, simply find an appropriate replacement, or if you are lazy to experiment on your own, feel free to try some of my favorite replacement recipes. Let’s see what I have prepared for you.
Fake French Fries
You crave French fries so bad, but the white potato is a no-no on the paleo regime? How about trying carrot and celery fries?
Celery and carrot can be boiled, mashed, roasted, or fried into French fries or homemade “potato” chips. My recommendation is to try it like fries or chips and indulge your cravings for snacks.
To make carrot and celery chips first, you will need to peel the outer skin. The next step is to cut them into slices, boil them quickly, drain them, and then spread onto a baking sheet.
Drizzle some oil with and roast in the oven at around 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.
Aromatic Mashed Potato Substitute
First, you will need to wash your veggies well. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and kohlrabi into smaller pieces. Now you can opt between boiling and roasting the veggies for your mash.
No matter which method you choose, make sure your veggies are tender before putting them into the food processor. Whip this mixture until it’s creamy.
Since spices and seasoning are not so popular among paleo eaters, I advise you to roast some garlic and mash it with other veggies to spice up the game for a bit. You can add any other veggie like Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, carrots, etc.
Zucchini Hash Browns
Hash browns are my favorite Sunday breakfast; well, they were until I started the paleo diet.
When I realized I couldn’t use potatoes anymore, I was really sad, knowing I will need to change my Sunday morning routine. Then one morning, I thought to myself, you can substitute potato with some other veggie and try making hash brown.
The first veggie that came to my mind was zucchini. I was a bit afraid since we all know that zucchini is full of water, but I had to give it a try.
Make sure you use a large-scale grater to avoid creating thin zucchini strands; after grating, leave it in a bowl for about 10 minutes so they can rest and release excess water.
Pro Tip: use cheesecloth to wring out all the water.
If you decided to try the paleo diet, it is time to say goodbye to the white potato for some time. It will be hard since this veggie is a staple food in most households but think about your priorities, and I am sure you will be able to stick through it.
White potato is a whole food, and it is not unhealthy, but it just does not make a cut into paleo nutritional needs. It is not like you can’t do paleo if you eat white potato, but if you want to do something, then do it right.