ThePaleoList Answers:  Are Potatoes Paleo?

Potatoes are not a paleo friendly diet option but the sweet potato variety does count as a Paleo friendly option.  So are potatoes Paleo?  Are sweet potatoes Paleo?

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Many people starting on a paleo diet are interested in know whether or not starchy vegetables such as potatoes could actually be considered for paleo friendly dietary options. Some vegetables classified in the same area as potatoes could be considered paleo diet friendly but many are not. Some well-known starches and tuber vegetables include radishes, beats, carrots and potatoes. Only a few of these vegetable types actually classify as paleo diet friendly however see need to be very careful with what you are eating for your paleo diet recipes.

Because the paleo diet is all about eating foods that were available in a pre-agricultural phase in a non-processed manner, plainly potatoes don’t actually count as a paleo diet friendly option.

Why White Potatoes Aren’t Paleo

The reason that way potatoes failed to qualify for the paleo diet is that they aren’t a low-carb option. White potatoes are actually fairly high in carbohydrates and as a result they can lead to a huge energy crash which is not ideal for training or paleo diet participants. Potatoes also have a very low glycemic index and this is what makes them partially responsible for the massive energy loss from the starchy carb makeup.

The white potato is commonly confused as a natural food or paleo diet friendly vegetable because it would have definitely existed when caveman were walking the earth. The issue with potatoes is that they wouldn’t be something that many would have eaten. They are very low in proteins, they don’t have much fiber, vitamins or minerals. They also don’t contain many of the healthy fats that can be found in sweet potatoes and other vegetable tubers of the same classification.

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What qualifies a vegetable:

The best paleo diet vegetables are all very low on the glycemic index and this is an index that’s responsible for the measuring of the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. High glycemic index vegetables will give you more energy than other types of vegetables but they will provide a sudden burst of energy that will fade very quickly. Vegetables on the low-end of the glycemic index like sweet potatoes will offer energy over time and a non-sudden surge in blood sugars. It is this level of control and ongoing energy that gives them an advantage over other types of carbs and unhealthy vegetables.

The other big problem with potatoes that makes them not fall in line with the paleo diet is that they’re commonly processed into some extremely unhealthy food products. Eating chips, mashed potatoes and french fries is certainly not paleo diet friendly and this can cause major digestion issues especially when you’re really watching what you eat.

Are Potatoes Paleo?

Adding sweet potatoes into your diet could help you to improve vitamin A and more nutrients than the average white potato. Of course for sweet potatoes to be included in a paleo diet they need to be lightly cooked or consumed in their raw form to be used effectively.

The short answer to the question of our potatoes paleo diet friendly is this; sweet potatoes raw are okay, but white potatoes in any format are not.   Are potatoes Paleo?  Nope.

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:

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