Potatoes and Health

Potatoes provide the body with many nutrients that are beneficial to the body. However, they are also several dangers that are associated with excessive consumption of English/white potatoes.

Why Should Potatoes Generally Be Avoided

Potatoes:

  1. Are High Glycemic Index (GI) Foods.  This means that when consumed they raise blood sugar levels faster and higher than foods that have a lower GI. Check out this list here to see the actual scores for potatoes.

  2. Increase risk of type 2 diabetes. Eaten in excessive amounts over time they have been associated with development of type 2 diabetes. This is because of the chronic high blood sugar levels.

  3. Can cause liver complications. Excessively eating raw potatoes can result in liver complications because starchy foods like raw potatoes contain large amounts of carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body. This triggers the release of insulin, which instructs the body to lay down additional fat. This fat can accumulate around the liver, resulting in a fatty liver. This can result in fatigue, weight loss and abdominal pain.

  4. Can lead to insulin resistance. Eating potatoes in the form of French fries increased insulin resistance and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is associated with obesity.

 General Dangers of Eating Potatoes

Potatoes produce several different subtances known as glycoalkaloids, with the most common being solanine and chaconine. Consuming large amounts of glycoalkaloids can cause a bitter taste or a burning sensation in the mouth which indicates that the food is toxic.

**Cooking or frying does not destroy glycoalkaloids.**

Do not eat:

–        Potato peel. The majority of glycoalkaloids is found in the peel, or just below the peel.

–        Greening potatoes as this may indicate that it is toxic.

–        Potatoes that have physical damage or are rotting

–        Sprouting potatoes. These contain more solanine.

–        Potatoes taste bitter or cause a burning sensation after cooking

Symptoms of Solanine poisoning usually occur about 6 to 12 hours after ingestion, but can also occur within several minutes if the solanine content is very high.

Symptoms  include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Burning sensation in throat region
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations

**If ingested in large quantities (3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight), solanine can even cause death.**

***Store potatoes in cool, dark areas, and to trim away green areas before preparing them to eat in order to avoid solanine poisoning.***

So remember, like with every other food, practice temperance-moderately use what is good for you and completely avoid things that are harmful.
References:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/1/274S.abstract

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/2/284.abstract

http://www.diabetes.org

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/type-2-diabetes/

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/consumer-centre/food-safety-tips/specific-products-and-risks/natural-toxins/eng/1332276569292/1332276685336

http://drbenkim.com/green-potato-solanine-dangers.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/369187-what-are-the-dangers-of-eating-raw-potatoes/

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/524648

http://myhealingkitchen.com/medical-conditions/diabetes/diabetes-make-it-worse/pass-on-the-white-potatoes/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/369187-what-are-the-dangers-of-eating-raw-potatoes/#ixzz2LVCnvqmb

HealthyBodyEqualsHealthyMind

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2 thoughts on “Potatoes and Health

  1. This is very interesting. I didn’t know the peel of a potato wasn’t good for you In fact, growing up my mom always encouraged us to eat the peel because she said it was better for us! I currently don’t eat potatoes hardly ever because they’re too carby for me. Thanks so much for sharing this interesting post with us on Wellness Wednesday @ Intoxicatedonlife.com!

    • I didn’t know about the peel either. Do you know how much potato peel I ate!!!
      And the green potato. I ate some one time and they had a turpentine taste. I just thought that they were “young”… Now I know better.

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