Time for a new Potato Diet thread...thanks, Terry H., for the prompt!
After Mark Sisson's post today on tubers, I'm not sure what Mark thinks of them. I think potatoes are a good source of vitamins, nutrients, carbs, and protein. They are certainly a staple for me, I probably eat 2-3 pounds a week, not with every meal or even every day, but I consider myself a regular consumer of potatoes.
Throughout history, people have survived--and thrived--on a diet consisting wholly of potatoes. Prisoners of War were often fed just potatoes for months or years and they came through it in fine shape. Criminals in prisons were often fed only potatoes and thrived. People in famines or times of war were often forced to eat potatoes and survived well.
A couple of articles from the 1840's recently surfaced at Free The Animal and I'd like to repost them here:
And another:NEW-YORK, APRIL, 1849.
Few are aware of the great value of the potato as an article of diet. It may astonish some of our readers when we assert that potatoes alone are sufficient to sustain the human body in a state of firm and vigorous health. Prisoners in the old country have in numbers been kept upon the potato diet for months, and what may appear singular, the majority of such have gained in flesh during the experiment. Lean men grow fat, and fat men become lean—lean as they ought to be. And so all grow better in health.
Strange enough is it that the potato diet cures almost all who are subjected to its influence a few months; and what is yet more strange, after two or three months of this regimen, prisoners regret being put back upon their ordinary or mixed diet.
Let those who have dyspepsia—and that means a multitude of ills which the American people in their luxurious habits are fast bringing upon themselves—try for a time the potato diet. We have tried it not for months, but a few days at a time—long enough to satisfy us of its good effects; long enough, too, to teach us well how good bread and apples and peaches are. We are far from believing that God created wheat, rye, corn, barley, buckwheat, etc.; chestnuts, beechnuts, butternuts, walnuts, etc., etc.; apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, and ten thousand other delicious things, not to be eaten by man.
And yet, as before said, we advise our dyspeptic friends to make a trial of the potato diet. Eat, of course, no salt, no butter, or condiments of any kind. Our word for it, the experiment will prove a good one; and the prescription costs no money, but, what is incomparably better, an amount of self-denial which is possessed only by a few. And making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through with it. We do not, of course, recommend this prescription to those who have to labor very hard, for a sudden change, of whatever kind, does not answer well with such.
So, here's the gist of the potato diet: As a quick way to lose fat, eat nothing but potatoes for a week or two. As seen above, you can gain weight if you eat too many, so don't overeat. Try to eat 2-3 pounds per day as plainly as possible. No butter, sour cream, no milk, no eggs--just potatoes. Nearly everyone who tried this last year in the numerous threads and on many different website forums found they could effortlessly lose 1/2 to 1 pound per day and keep the weight off afterwards. It's not water-weight, it's fat!Eight different forms of diet were prepared, and a class of prisoners was placed on each diet, and confined to it for one month. Before commencing, each prisoner was examined as to the state of his health, and weighed; and the same was done at the end of the experiment. The following were the different diets, and the results of the various trials of them:...
Breakfast.—Two pounds of potatoes, boiled.
Dinner.—Three pounds of potatoes, boiled.
Supper.—One pound of potatoes, boiled.
A class of ten young men and boys was put on this diet. All had been in confinement for short periods only, and all were employed at light work, teasing hair. At the beginning of the experiment eight were in good health and two in indifferent health; at the end, the eight continued in good health, and the two who had been in indifferent health had improved. There was, on an average, a gain in weight of nearly three and a half pounds per prisoner, the greatest gain being eight and a quarter pounds, by a young man, whose health had been indifferent at the beginning of the experiment. Only two prisoners lost at all in weight, and the quantity in each case was trifling. The prisoners all expressed themselves quite satisfied with this diet, and regretted the change back again to the ordinary diet. .