White Potatoes: Evil or No?

As a kid there were only a couple of things that I hated eating: asparagus and potatoes. Since we had potatoes almost every single night, I spent a majority of my childhood sitting at the table, while the family was watching tv, with a small amount of potatoes I refused to eat in the corner of my plate. Since then, I realize that I probably didn't like them because my mom tended to use instant potatoes. I really like the real deal now. But, now that I actually like them, health magazines, etc., have been telling me that I shouldn't eat them, because they are a simple carbohydrate, and have a higher glycemic index than sweet potatoes. So, I've learned to avoid them, and go for the orange ones. Until recently....

The other day I was reading on a nutritionist's blog, and she mentioned in passing that white potatoes have a lower glycemic index when boiled than sweet. Wait, what?! She rocked my food world in that little sentence. Potatoes are such a staple of the american diet, and I've been avoiding them for years for the sake of health. All for nothing? 

I admit that I began questioning the validity of the "evil white potato" theory a few weeks ago when I was reading about a healthy diet for people struggling with hypoglycemia. White potatoes were one of the main foods mentioned to eat, and with butter no less. Hypoglycemics are supposed to avoid sugar (or high glycemic foods), so I was confused. With some searching I found this article: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/regular-vs-sweet-potatoes I will let you read it, and let it speak for itself. 

Notice that when you add butter, or fats, the glycemic index goes down even further. There are so many factors when it comes to what is best for your body, but to find out that I can enjoy white potatoes again as a slow burning food, just as much as sweet potatoes, makes me excited to explore new recipes and broaden my husband and I's food pallet, bringing us back to our "roots." ;)


  1. What a timely article Melissa. I just finished reading "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson; a great read for foodies and anyone interested in the health content of our daily foods. She talked about potatoes as well and said the longer white potatoes sit after cooking (say 24 hours in the fridge) the less "sugars" it contains. :)

    1. Nice. I've heard soaking them before cooking has a similar effect. I wonder if that is accurate?

  2. Oh cool, I'll have to check out that book!


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