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The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory

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  • I'm intrigued by this potato diet and keep an open mind about it. A few days is not a fad where there's a basis of scientific reasoning. Individual success is of course very context dependent - the metabolism/thyroid stimulating effects for someone who had previously been chronically eating a very low carb diet are obvious.

    The arguments I've seen here that Grok never had the luxury of micromanaging his macronutrient intake or eating a 'balanced diet' within the timescale of a few days are very valid IMO.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
      The arguments I've seen here that Grok never had the luxury of micromanaging his macronutrient intake or eating a 'balanced diet' within the timescale of a few days are very valid IMO.
      That's what sets this apart from the run-of-the-mill crash diet or fad. All parts of the world have long-lasting starchy tubers or fruits--potatoes, plantains, squash, rice, cassava, taro, etc... For some reason, God or Evolution gave us starch sensors in our mouth and the ability to process starch in a very efficient manner. When you eat starch, amylase sensors in your mouth sense the starch and tell your pancreas to release some insulin in preparation for the starch-bomb about to come. Your saliva then starts breaking the starch into glucose before you even swallow it.

      Now a vegan might say this is proof we should only eat plants, I'm just saying we are well-developed to eat starch. i'm also saying that it is highly probable that ancient man had periods where the only food he could find was starchy tubers or fruits. These foods can withstand frost, drought, and rain. Some are underground and would withstand a plague of insects or rodents. The above-ground types like plantains and squash are so tough most animals and birds ignore them. Even the inuits had "Eskimo Potatoes" a viny tuber that was eaten in late winter when little other food was available.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by otzi View Post
        That's what sets this apart from the run-of-the-mill crash diet or fad. All parts of the world have long-lasting starchy tubers or fruits--potatoes, plantains, squash, rice, cassava, taro, etc... For some reason, God or Evolution gave us starch sensors in our mouth and the ability to process starch in a very efficient manner. When you eat starch, amylase sensors in your mouth sense the starch and tell your pancreas to release some insulin in preparation for the starch-bomb about to come. Your saliva then starts breaking the starch into glucose before you even swallow it.

        Now a vegan might say this is proof we should only eat plants, I'm just saying we are well-developed to eat starch. i'm also saying that it is highly probable that ancient man had periods where the only food he could find was starchy tubers or fruits. These foods can withstand frost, drought, and rain. Some are underground and would withstand a plague of insects or rodents. The above-ground types like plantains and squash are so tough most animals and birds ignore them. Even the inuits had "Eskimo Potatoes" a viny tuber that was eaten in late winter when little other food was available.
        Absolutely. Amylase is the only digestive enzyme released into our saliva. I agree that this doesn't emply obligate veganism. There are no fat or protein-digesting enzymes released into the mouth as they would damage it.

        Ability to store tubers safely in quantity to consume during cold winter weather and absence of other foodstuffs required a certain amount of intelligence and application - hence it became a winning genetic adaptation. No nearly so easy as it is for a squirrel to bury a nut for future consumption.
        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
          Ability to store tubers safely in quantity to consume during cold winter weather and absence of other foodstuffs required a certain amount of intelligence and application - hence it became a winning genetic adaptation. No nearly so easy as it is for a squirrel to bury a nut for future consumption.
          Actually potatoes store better if left undisturbed in the soil where they grew. In the spring, they can be dug and eaten before other plants start to grow. However, potatoes are native to the Andes in South America, so they were not widely eaten by the guys who originated in Africa. But there were starchy tubers there, too, like taro and cassava, probably more.

          Cattails also have a starchy root that was eaten by many cultures.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by otzi View Post
            Actually potatoes store better if left undisturbed in the soil where they grew. In the spring, they can be dug and eaten before other plants start to grow. However, potatoes are native to the Andes in South America, so they were not widely eaten by the guys who originated in Africa. But there were starchy tubers there, too, like taro and cassava, probably more.

            Cattails also have a starchy root that was eaten by many cultures.
            Potatoes may well store better that way - but surely there is plenty of competition from other humans/animals to eat their precious starch?
            F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by pklopp View Post
              Understanding something does not constitute over thinking it. Why should one care for the mechanism that underlies this miraculous potato? Because this dietary intervention is not universally applicable, and the very next question that ought to be on your lips is, why? To which the devotees of "not over-thinking it" can only shrug and offer a very unsatisfying "Dunno ... sucks to be a non-responder ... have you given blood letting a go?"

              -PK
              What body fat % are you at? I doubt would be as effective for someone at 12% body fat compared to people who have 60lbs to lose.

              It's going to be hard for people to out-eat their daily caloric requirement on potatoes if they are overweight, yet it's doable for someone with a lower caloric requirement.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by pklopp View Post
                Kwashiorkor is indeed dramatic and prevalent in children due to the fact that they are irrevocably dependent upon their parents for their nutritional well being, and if you're only being fed starches as a child ... well, that's what you eat. You simply have no recourse.

                Please explain to me the substantive difference between that and an adult willingly subjecting themselves to incipient kwashiorkor via adopting the precise diet which leads to the condition.

                If you wish, I can go back and excise the parts of my earlier post that reference children, leaving only the salient bits relating to how the condition is brought about by eating starches. I'd rather not do that, but if it would reduce the drama factor so we can address the biology behind it, then I would seriously consider it.

                -PK
                No one is going to develop kwashiokor on a week or 2 of potatoes. A lot of fruitarians live on fruit for months and even years without problems yet most fruit is much lower in protein than potatoes.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                  Potatoes may well store better that way - but surely there is plenty of competition from other humans/animals to eat their precious starch?
                  You are right about that! I was thinking in terms of humans who were still more ape-like, but once we 'got organized' potatoes may have changed everything:

                  "Adoption of a potato-based agriculture is credited with the virtual elimination of famine in Europe by the early nineteenth century. As a testament to the capacity of the potato to support people, between 1801 and 1851, the populations of England and Wales doubled to almost 18 million people, and the Irish population was able to double to eight million between 1780 and 1841 as a direct result of the widespread cultivation of the potato. Fortunately, the common potato is now being rediscovered as a nutritious crop, producing a delicious food, which will cheaply feed an increasingly hungry world. This enlightenment has the potential to save the human race from starvation, as it has done for so many communities in the past. The United Nations has declared 2008 the “International Year of the Potato,” and for good reason: to raise “global awareness of the potato's key role in agriculture, the economy and world food security.”

                  Comment


                  • I looked at that 100 grams of glucose and the baseline for 4 groups within the hour graph, posted by pklopps. After scratching my head, I concluded that I am in the obese groups (definitely!), but not the diabetic groups. I looked again at where the blood sugars ended up in one hour. All I have to say is - what were those 100gm of glucose made of? I've been eating only taters today, and tracked my sugars sporadically, but faithfully for an hour after lunch. Starting at 5.3 (95.4 ), in 15-20 minutes from starting to eat my cold potato with salt and hot tea,, it went to 5.7 ( 102.6 ), then to 8.2 (147.6) in 15 minutes, then back to 6.3 ( 113.4 ) in the next 30 minutes. Basically, it shot way up and then receded in about an hour. I probably ate more than 100 gms of potatoes, as I can eat 2 at any time, and sometimes 3. These are mixed, but not small potatoes.
                    Why cold potatoes? Because I'm lazy, and roast a batch and refrigerate the extras. If I want/need to, I will reheat them. If I were to add vinegar with the salt, I'd likely get more down, because vinegar sharpens my appetite. So far today I've eaten the skin, but I've eaten them without as well. Could I eat like this for 2 weeks? Likely not, but for a weekend or non-busy few days, probably. Do I think I'll harm myself? Of course not. It's just one of those simple little n=1 experiments I try occasionally, just to see what happens.'
                    PS. I am not several orders of magnitude way above my baseline in an hour. But if that were pure sugar, I might have been! And starving all afternoon, to boot.
                    Last edited by Paysan; 11-13-2012, 05:50 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                      Cattails also have a starchy root that was eaten by many cultures.
                      Oh geesh, every time my step son comes over, he reminds me that cattails are edible. I had a bumper crop this year. Maybe I research how to catch 'em, skin 'em, cook 'em up and eat 'em. I missed the garden club meeting today, it was on succulents.
                      65lbs gone and counting!!

                      Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                        That's what sets this apart from the run-of-the-mill crash diet or fad. All parts of the world have long-lasting starchy tubers or fruits--potatoes, plantains, squash, rice, cassava, taro, etc...
                        That is a non-sequitur. Availability of starches or lack thereof has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a diet based exclusively on potatoes is a fad or a run-of-the-mill crash diet. The most common and long lasting carbohydrate in the world is ... cellulose and non-ruminants such as ourselves have zero capacity to process it.

                        Originally posted by otzi View Post
                        For some reason, God or Evolution gave us starch sensors in our mouth and the ability to process starch in a very efficient manner. When you eat starch, amylase sensors in your mouth sense the starch and tell your pancreas to release some insulin in preparation for the starch-bomb about to come. Your saliva then starts breaking the starch into glucose before you even swallow it.
                        That exact same process applies to sucrose. We have an amazing affinity for sucrose, as evidenced by the sheer volume of industrial food-like products based on it. Your argument would apply equally to sucrose as it does to starch. Say hello to Otzi's All Sugar Diet. I can tell you right now that if you can show me the science behind how that diet would work, I would support you 'til the end of all time! Even if you can demonstrate how a bagel diet might work I'd support you.

                        Originally posted by otzi View Post
                        Now a vegan might say this is proof we should only eat plants, I'm just saying we are well-developed to eat starch.
                        Yes, we are well-developed to eat starch, and fats, and meat, hence the designation of humans as omnivores.

                        Originally posted by otzi View Post
                        i'm also saying that it is highly probable that ancient man had periods where the only food he could find was starchy tubers or fruits. These foods can withstand frost, drought, and rain. Some are underground and would withstand a plague of insects or rodents. The above-ground types like plantains and squash are so tough most animals and birds ignore them. Even the inuits had "Eskimo Potatoes" a viny tuber that was eaten in late winter when little other food was available.
                        That is all fine and well, and absolutely none of it even remotely begins to address the miraculous claims made with respect to the weightloss aspects of potatoes. No one has argued against eating potatoes, or fruit, or corms, or anything for that matter. The crux of the disagreement is over the miraculous weight loss properties being attributed to potatoes in a sucking vacuum that is the lack of a coherent argument as to why this would work.

                        You argument as presented above is:
                        1. Humans are uniquely designed / evolved to eat tubers ( starch ).
                        2. Tubers may very well have been the only food source available during times of scarcity.
                        3. Therefore, when an organism encounters the perfect food for sustaining it during times of scarcity, rather than being weight stable, it starts to lose weight at an accelerated rate.


                        I used the phrase non-sequitur earlier, and just in case some people are unfamiliar with it, it literally means "it does not follow." And a perfect example of this is point 3 above. It directly contradicts points 1 and 2.

                        Here's how that would look if it did follow:
                        1. Koala bears are uniquely evolved to eat Eucalyptus leaves.
                        2. In the absence of Eucalyptus availability, Koalas rapidly lose weight and ultimately die.
                        3. Therefore when the Koala encounters Eucalyptus, it is weight stable, and even exhibits growth periods.


                        -PK
                        My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                        Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                          You are right about that! I was thinking in terms of humans who were still more ape-like, but once we 'got organized' potatoes may have changed everything:

                          "Adoption of a potato-based agriculture is credited with the virtual elimination of famine in Europe by the early nineteenth century. As a testament to the capacity of the potato to support people, between 1801 and 1851, the populations of England and Wales doubled to almost 18 million people, and the Irish population was able to double to eight million between 1780 and 1841 as a direct result of the widespread cultivation of the potato. Fortunately, the common potato is now being rediscovered as a nutritious crop, producing a delicious food, which will cheaply feed an increasingly hungry world. This enlightenment has the potential to save the human race from starvation, as it has done for so many communities in the past. The United Nations has declared 2008 the “International Year of the Potato,” and for good reason: to raise “global awareness of the potato's key role in agriculture, the economy and world food security.”
                          :-) This is a fascinating.

                          I am of Irish/Celtic descent, so clearly my ancestors on the Irish side survived the potato famine during the mid 19th century. What should I take from this? That perhaps I can do well on moderate carbs?
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Paysan View Post
                            I looked at that 100 grams of glucose and the baseline for 4 groups within the hour graph, posted by pklopps. After scratching my head, I concluded that I am in the obese groups (definitely!), but not the diabetic groups. I looked again at where the blood sugars ended up in one hour. All I have to say is - what were those 100gm of glucose made of? I've been eating only taters today, and tracked my sugars sporadically, but faithfully for an hour after lunch. Starting at 5.3 ( ), in 15-20 minutes from starting to eat my cold potato with salt and hot tea,, it went to 5.7 ( ), then to 8.2 ( ) in 15 minutes, then back to 6.3 ( ) in the next 30 minutes. Basically, it shot way up and then receded in about an hour. I probably ate more than 100 gms of potatoes, as I can eat 2 at any time, and sometimes 3. These are mixed, but not small potatoes.
                            Why cold potatoes? Because I'm lazy, and roast a batch and refrigerate the extras. If I want/need to, I will reheat them. If I were to add vinegar with the salt, I'd likely get more down, because vinegar sharpens my appetite. So far today I've eaten the skin, but I've eaten them without as well. Could I eat like this for 2 weeks? Likely not, but for a weekend or non-busy few days, probably. Do I think I'll harm myself? Of course not. It's just one of those simple little n=1 experiments I try occasionally, just to see what happens.
                            The graph showed insulin response relative to baseline, not blood glucose levels. The reason that your blood sugars shot up was due to digestion and absorption, and the reason they started to come down was precisely because you had a surge in insulin which caused increased uptake of blood glucose by peripheral tissues.

                            -PK
                            My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                            Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                              "Adoption of a potato-based agriculture is credited with the virtual elimination of famine in Europe by the early nineteenth century. As a testament to the capacity of the potato to support people, between 1801 and 1851, the populations of England and Wales doubled to almost 18 million people, and the Irish population was able to double to eight million between 1780 and 1841 as a direct result of the widespread cultivation of the potato. Fortunately, the common potato is now being rediscovered as a nutritious crop, producing a delicious food, which will cheaply feed an increasingly hungry world. This enlightenment has the potential to save the human race from starvation, as it has done for so many communities in the past. The United Nations has declared 2008 the “International Year of the Potato,” and for good reason: to raise “global awareness of the potato's key role in agriculture, the economy and world food security.”
                              This is an argument in favor of potatoes helping one gain and/or maintain weight, not lose it.

                              One does not eliminate famine by making formerly fat people skinny. In fact, famine is a great way to do that. Moreover, reproduction is predicated on nutrient surplus, so the doubling of a population over 60 years is a great indicator of surplus energy that can be dedicated towards sustaining a conceptus.

                              I have yet to see a nutrient surplus being advocated as a miraculous weight loss technique, but I guess that if you live long enough, you do get to see it all!

                              -PK
                              My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                              Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

                              Comment


                              • Cattails are supposedly as good as ox tails. Oh, you mean the plants, not the feline appendages! Good one. Heheheh

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