Are Potatoes Paleo Friendly?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether potatoes and white potatoes specifically are a Paleo friendly food. The Paleo community seems fairly divided and confused about this issue with different experts all over the place on their recommendations. This, despite the fact that a tuber like a white potato would probably be one of the most recognizable foods we eat, to a Paleolithic human.

A lot of this confusion stems from the fact that while potatoes and white potatoes specifically are Paleo friendly in that they do not contain compounds that will actively harm you digestive tract in the same way wheat or corn might. White potatoes do represent a lot of fairly simple starch, and therefore should not be eaten if you are at a low activity level, especially if you are still struggling with insulin in-sensitivity. This means many paleo diets and experts will recommend you not eat white potatoes, but it is usually not for the same reason you should be avoiding grains.

Potatoes should be treated like any of the other hunter gatherer diet foods, like nuts and fruits; you must keep your personal dietary and caloric needs in mind. This is no different from other foods in the diet though, you should not be eating pounds of nuts or piles of fruit a day, if you are not at a high enough activity level.

However if you are an athlete, or someone who has a heavy physical work load, I think you would be remiss to not eat some white potatoes. Or at least you would be missing out on a delicious way to refuel yourself after a workout.

Make sure to peel the potatoes before you eat them however, as the skins can contain anti-nutrients, also as with everything try to buy local organic potatoes if possible.

photo by sethoscope

Hunter Gatherer Diet

The hunter gatherer diet, also known as the paleo diet, is a diet that approximates the diet that our ancestors would have evolved with for the millions of years before the rise of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. Since agriculture is such a recent development in evolutionary time, our bodies and genetics are still adapted to a diet that is free of those foods which are exclusively the products of agriculture; such as grains, dairy, and processed sugars.

The return to a diet similar to the one humans evolved with can have many health benefits. The hunter gatherer diet promotes fat loss, improves cardiovascular risk factors, and helps reduce or eliminate many autoimmune disorders.

Autoimmunity disorders are the result of our own body’s immune system mistaking its own tissue for a foreign invader. These autoimmune disorders are linked to intestinal damage which lets foreign food particles into the bloodstream that can then trigger out of control immune response. What causes this intestinal damage? You guess it, those same foods that are the result of agricultural development; grains, legumes, and dairy.

The hunter gatherer diet is also effective in reducing insulin insensitivity, which is important for avoiding diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.

Even if you don’t have any health disorders and are in fairly good shape, chances are that if you switch to a hunter gatherer style diet you would never want to go back. One of the largest groups of people adopting the diet are competitive athletes that know it gives them the best results.

How to make the switch

So maybe you would like to try the diet out but don’t know where to start. First thing is to eliminate grains legumes and dairy from your diet, you won’t see the kind of results you would like to cheating with these things, especially at first. This is because your body needs to repair the damage done by the harmful elements of grains, legumes, and dairy.

This leaves everything our ancient ancestors would have had available; lean meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and healthy fats. These foods are high in nutrients and generally more filling.

This switch can feel overwhelming for people at first, as many of us were pretty reliant on grains and dairy in our cooking. That’s why I recommend getting a recipe book that follows these tenants to make the transition easier.

The Paleo Recipe Book

Affiliate disclosure: the owner of this site is affiliated with some of the products promoted on this page.

Photo by Mike Johnson – TheBusyBrain.com

Hunter Gatherer Diet Overview

Greetings and welcome to HunterGathererDiet.org! I created this site to help people find out about the hunter gatherer or “paleo” style diet.

If you have suffered from digestive distress, auto-immune disorders, or a host of other health aliments, or if you just want to feel better with less fat and more muscle; the hunter gatherer style diet may be able to help you.

I know because the hunter gatherer diet has helped me personally get in the best shape of my life. I had struggled before to put on muscle as well as with digestive issues that had plagued me, but since starting the hunter gatherer diet I am feeling and performing better than ever. I hope the resources I collect on this site are able to help you to make this lifestyle change, and join me in becoming the healthiest you possible.

-Jack

Want more help switching to the hunter gatherer style diet, I recommend the Paleo Recipe Book.
The Paleo Recipe Book