Potatoes Are Not Evil

Potato Facts:

1) Potatoes are not evil.

They have their place in our diet. However, they do cause health problems and should be avoided at all costs! (Not just because of the color!)

2) White potatoes are healthier than brown or red ones.

The reason?

Brown potatoes contain vitamin C which helps prevent skin cancer and other types of cancers. Red potatoes contain oxalates which may increase blood pressure and heart disease risk factors.

3) Eating too many potatoes can lead to weight gain.

If you eat too much, it’s best to cut back on your intake. A healthy amount is around one cup per day. (That’s about half a pound!)

4) Potato skins are full of bacteria and viruses that could make you sick if eaten raw or undercooked.

To keep them safe from contamination, they need to be cooked before consumption. That means don’t eat any raw potatoes!

5) While potatoes are good sources of carbohydrates, they’re also high in calories.

So eating too many will result in weight gain.

6) Potatoes are a great source of vitamins B1, B2, C and K.

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But these nutrients aren’t just useful for humans; they’re essential for plants to grow properly and produce food for us to eat! Without them, plants won’t survive! (They’ll die. No potatoes means no us!)

7) The amount of potassium in a potato can prevent our blood pressure from becoming too high.

This reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure. (Potatoes also contain magnesium, which helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis.)

Why Do Not Eat Potatoes

1) Eating too much of any food is bad for you.

And potatoes are no exception. It’s best to eat them in moderation.

2) They contain high amounts of carbohydrates which are converted into sugar by your body.

This can cause your blood sugar levels to rise a lot and even lead to type 2 diabetes. (This is an incurable and fatal disease that causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin, which helps turn sugars into energy. It usually affects overweight people in middle age or older.)

3) A diet high in sugars is also bad for your teeth.

And while brushing your teeth after eating potatoes can prevent tooth decay, the sugars can still cause cavities to form if you eat them too often.

4) Although potatoes are natural and don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or colors, they can still lead to weight gain.

In fact, it’s best to avoid all starchy foods if you’re on a diet. (Starchy foods are carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index. This means they break down quickly during digestion and release sugars into your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.)

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5) Some people claim that potatoes cause stomach aches and make them feel bloated.

While it’s true that potatoes can cause this, it’s mostly because they sit in your stomach for a long time since they’re so dense and heavy. (This makes you feel heavy and icky too! It’s like eating a big, hard rock. Yuck!) This is known as satiety and is the reason why fad diets that severely restrict the amount of food you eat don’t work.

Your body goes into starvation mode which makes you crave food even more.

6) Since potatoes have a high glycemic index, they’re not ideal for people with diabetes.

This is because they raise blood sugar levels and cause insulin to be released into the bloodstream. Even diabetics should only eat them in moderation!

7) If potatoes are boiled or baked and then smothered in fat-filled gravy, they can cause weight gain.

(Fat is high in calories and will make you fat if eaten in excess.) It’s best to just eat potatoes by themselves, without any additional toppings or side dishes. (Butter or sour cream are okay though. Just don’t drench your potatoes in them!)

8) If you want to lose weight, you should avoid eating potatoes and other starchy foods altogether.

But a better (and healthy) alternative would be to eat whole-wheat bread, quinoa, barley, brown rice, oats, corn and other grains instead.

Trivia

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1) During the 1845 Irish Potato Famine, over a million Irish citizens died of starvation and many more became refugees due to a lack of food.

This was caused by a plant disease (which turned the potatoes black and inedible) that spread throughout Ireland’s potato crops. In fact, the British government at the time ignored the problem completely since they believed that the Irish were poor and lazy anyway. They felt they deserved their fate!

2) There are more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes in the world today.

3) The Incas regarded potatoes as sacred, and only the priests were allowed to eat them.

(The average Inca couldn’t afford to eat this food since they were too busy working to grow it!)

4) Potatoes have no detectable flavor of their own.

This is why they can be eaten with so many different types of spices and seasonings.

5) Contrary to popular belief, the sweet potato is not related to the common white potato.

It is part of the morning glory family and is not even a root!

6) The skin of a potato contains a poisonous chemical known as solanine, which is found in many plants.

It can cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea and even hallucinations if enough of it is consumed! Eating potatoes with their skins on helps prevent this from happening. (That’s why kids tend to eat more potatoes with their skins on! The skins are actually good for you!)

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7) It takes the eyes of two dozen potatoes to make a pint of vodka!

(The reason why many brands of vodka often come in green bottles.)

8) The world’s largest potato chip (or crispy, as they’re called in Britain) was made in Guiness Book of World Records in 1999.

It was over 5 feet and 7 inches long and 3 feet and 5 inches wide!

9) The town of Rupert, Idaho is the potato capital of the world!

(It even has a life-sized replica of a giant potato in a cowboy hat downtown!)

10) In the United States, the average person eats about 80 pounds of potatoes per year. (

Doesn’t seem like very much, does it?

)

11) The longest potato ever grown was over 28 feet long and weighed almost 40 pounds!

12) The United States is the world’s biggest producer of potatoes. (China grows the most potatoes overall, but they’re mostly eaten by their own population.)

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13) McDonald’s used to use a species of red-skinned potato known as the ‘New Potato’ in its fries, but it had to stop using it because the New Potato takes too long to make into French fries, and McDonald’s can’t wait that long. (They already get their fries at a lower quality than other fast-food chains!)

14) The fastest consumption of a large order of French fries was 8 hours by Kyle Baldock (UK). He consumed 2.4 pounds of fries in that time. (Mostly salt and carbs….yum!…just kidding!

)

15) The first frozen French fries were served at the World’s Fair in 1933. The original Frozen French Fry was invented by a chef from Natick, Massachusetts named Robert C. Baker who owned the snack company Life Savers. (

Ever heard of it?

)

And…that’s all I’ve got!

Which is your favorite fact about this versatile veggie?

And did you learn anything new?

Thanks for reading!

Here’s a link to another longer veggie quiz: QuizMe – The Ultimate Trivia Quiz

Have a great day!

Sources & references used in this article:

… the OLD and NEW Methods; The Raising Large Crops of TURNEPS, CABBAGES, CARROTS, POTATOES, &c. and Several Plants Not Usually Cultivated, as … by A Young – 1770 – books.google.com

Irish potatoes and British politics: interests, ideology, heresthetic and the repeal of the Corn Laws by I McLean, C Bustani – Political Studies, 1999 – Wiley Online Library

Hot Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, and Bad Objects: Discussion of “Contempt Management: You’re Crazy, I’m Not” by A Schwartz Cooney – Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2019 – Taylor & Francis

How to grow and store potatoes for the chip industry by O Smith – American Potato Journal, 1955 – Springer

The necessity of gratuitous evil by W Hasker – Faith and Philosophy, 1992 – pdcnet.org

Peel, Potatoes, and Providence by B Hilton – Political Studies, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com