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Potatoes worse for you than dessert?

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Old 06-24-2011, 04:58 PM   #16
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I did not read the article but I would rather eat a plain baked potatoe rather than cake. Potatoes are a natural food no preservatives or crap. Recently (i forget what state) they banned potatoes from food stamps so someone who worked in the goverment wanted to change that and he ate nothing but potatoes for two or three months. He ate them in every possible way you can cook them and I forget how many he ate a day but the number was high. What he did not expect was that he would lose weight and he did and of course I cannot remember how much but I remember being surprised at how much.
It would be interesting to know what else these people ate and why did the contribute it to potatoes. I can pretty much eat anything and lose weight when I stay on plan it is when I eat to much of anything is when I gain.
Banned potatos but you can still buy candy bars and kool ade??? Potato's in moderation like any food i find quite healthy. I'm also sure most potato eating people were also eating a lot of those instand potatos and dousing them in butter and or gravy. I view it less as the food and more in how you eat it. I also would bet that they didn't eat just one serving but allowed it to over welm their calory budget for the meal as is easally don' with masshed potatos.

Personally i lust for sweet potato's. I bake them in the oven just like a potato and the skin peals right off like an orange after baked. Then i slice them in rings and they are great without even butter on them. The kids view them as a snack even! Then again i don't eat them daily and i eat ONE serving worth!
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #17
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A literary approach to The Potato Question.

------------------------------------------

It was still early when we got settled, and George said that, as we had plenty of time, it would be a splendid opportunity to try a good, slap-up supper. He said he would show us what could be done up the river in the way of cooking, and suggested that, with the vegetables and the remains of the cold beef and general odds and ends, we should make an Irish stew.

It seemed a fascinating idea. George gathered wood and made a fire, and Harris and I started to peel the potatoes. I should never have thought that peeling potatoes was such an undertaking. The job turned out to be the biggest thing of its kind that I had ever been in. We began cheerfully, one might almost say skittishly, but our light-heartedness was gone by the time the first potato was finished. The more we peeled, the more peel there seemed to be left on; by the time we had got all the peel off and all the eyes out, there was no potato left – at least none worth speaking of. George came and had a look at it – it was about the size of a pea-nut. He said:

“Oh, that won’t do! You’re wasting them. You must scrape them.”

So we scraped them, and that was harder work than peeling. They are such an extraordinary shape, potatoes – all bumps and warts and hollows. We worked steadily for five-and-twenty minutes, and did four potatoes. Then we struck. We said we should require the rest of the evening for scraping ourselves.

I never saw such a thing as potato-scraping for making a fellow in a mess. It seemed difficult to believe that the potato-scrapings in which Harris and I stood, half smothered, could have come off four potatoes. It shows you what can be done with economy and care.

George said it was absurd to have only four potatoes in an Irish stew, so we washed half-a-dozen or so more, and put them in without peeling.

------------------------------------
from Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome, written in 1888 and known for depicting the most disastrous holiday in English literature. It's still one of the funniest books I know. As I recall, they put pretty much everything into that Irish stew, and the dog ponders a little and then brings them a dead rat as his contribution, "whether in a sarcastic spirit, or with a genuine desire to assist, I cannot say."
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #18
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Actually the ban wasn't on food stamps- it was only forbidding the use of WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers for potatoes (white potatoes only, sweet potatoes are allowed).

I don't see a problem with this. Potatoes (though even the sweet potatoes) should be considered a starch/grain not a vegetable. To make that clearer, the the WIC bread and cereal vouchers should be useable for corn, rice, and potatoes (of both colors). I don't know if potatoes can be now purchased with one of the grain vouchers, but that would make more sense than using fruit and vegetable vouchers to buy potatoes.

WIC vouchers are different than food stamps though. With most food stamp programs, there are few restrictions on the types of food you can buy. WIC vouchers however are specific. Vouchers are given for specific food groups, depending on the ages of the children. There are vouchers for milk and formula, cereal and bread, fruit and vegetables and juices and some proteins. (I know my sister got peanut butter and eggs, but I don't know if she bought them with a protein voucher, or whether the vouchers were specifically for eggs and peanut butter). I know there's a list of which foods qualify for each voucher, but I'm not sure what the qualifyers are. For example, I think the cereal has a sugar limit (I'm guessing on this, this might just be my sister's choices).



Saying that potatoes shouldn't be counted towards fruit and vegetable servings, isn't the same as saying poor people shouldn't buy potatoes (and I don't think that's what WIC is doing). I have to admit potatoes counting as a vegetable bugs me. To be compensated for school lunch programs in the USA, the lunches have to contain 1.5 cups of fruit and vegetables, but potatoes can count for all of it. 1.5 cups of french fries should not be considered a vegetable (especially when it's the only "vegetable" or fruit on the plate, and it's paired with a burger on a bun - so the starch for the meal is upwards of 4-5 servings, with not a green or other colored vegetable in sight).

I read recently that in some regions it isn't uncommon for the only vegetables to be eaten at all are potatoes and corn. Which shouldn't technically be considered vegetables, but starches.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:19 PM   #19
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WIC vouchers are different than food stamps though. With most food stamp programs, there are few restrictions on the types of food you can buy. WIC vouchers however are specific. Vouchers are given for specific food groups, depending on the ages of the children. There are vouchers for milk and formula, cereal and bread, fruit and vegetables and juices and some proteins. (I know my sister got peanut butter and eggs, but I don't know if she bought them with a protein voucher, or whether the vouchers were specifically for eggs and peanut butter). I know there's a list of which foods qualify for each voucher, but I'm not sure what the qualifyers are. For example, I think the cereal has a sugar limit (I'm guessing on this, this might just be my sister's choices).
My first job was as a grocery store cashier, and boy howdy do I remember WIC. It was an incredibly specific list, and for good reason. The whole point of the program was to make sure that women, infants and young children received what they needed for proper nutrition.

The types of cereals were limited. For example, regular Cheerios were fine to buy, but Honey Nut Cheerios were not. Juice had to be 100% juice, and not any "juice mixes". Etc. Etc. Believe me there was no "junk" being bought with the WIC program. It was quite specific.

So I'm not surprised they've deemed that regular potatoes are more starch than they are vegetable.



Quote:
Saying that potatoes shouldn't be counted towards fruit and vegetable servings, isn't the same as saying poor people shouldn't buy potatoes (and I don't think that's what WIC is doing). I have to admit potatoes counting as a vegetable bugs me. To be compensated for school lunch programs in the USA, the lunches have to contain 1.5 cups of fruit and vegetables, but potatoes can count for all of it. 1.5 cups of french fries should not be considered a vegetable (especially when it's the only "vegetable" or fruit on the plate, and it's paired with a burger on a bun - so the starch for the meal is upwards of 4-5 servings, with not a green or other colored vegetable in sight).

I read recently that in some regions it isn't uncommon for the only vegetables to be eaten at all are potatoes and corn. Which shouldn't technically be considered vegetables, but starches.
And THAT is why I do not count potatoes & corn as vegetables. They count as a starch for my meals.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:45 PM   #20
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Well they are vegetables but they should be considered starchy vegetables. You should eat a mix of fruits and vegetables which shouldn't only be starchy vegetables. I didn't really grow up eating potatoes myself so I don't have a love for them that some people seem to although I think I started liking them more after I started losing weight.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #21
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I could never understand the anti-carbohydrate philosophy. Many of the world's populations live mostly on carbs as too poor to eat much protein or even many fresh vegetables--and historically, they have been slim and fit. Think about China (rice), India (rice, wheat flour) and Latin America (rice, corn, potatoes). These days, the middle class people are getting fatter as they are adopting western eating habits including the consumption of high-calorie snack foods combined with decreased physical activity.

Even earlier generations in North America with their omnivorous diet were slim and healthy as they were very active. Potatoes were a large part of their diet as cheap and abundant.

I read the articles in the media about the potato research, and they seemed to interchange the word "potato" with "fries" in every other sentence. They lumped in the fat-laded treats with the plain potato which IS NOT and NEVER WAS a villain in our diet.

Being vegetarian I regularly eat potatoes (and rice) but without fatty sauces. I hope the lowly but nutritious potato doesn't get any more undeserved negative publicity.

Note: To those on this site who have dietary problems with potatoes, I do respect your concerns. We all have problem foods and for some, I guess potatoes do create issues. My remarks are addressed to the general public.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #22
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I grow my own potatoes. They are very nutritional and give me a lot of energy.
I like them mashed with onions, milk, salt and butter.
I also put the white potatoes in soups and stews. I never fry them.

I grow Michigan white potatoes in 8 huge pots outdoors. We've had a lot of cool wet weather, which potatoes love, so I'll probably get 80 pounds this year.

Once in awhile I grow sweet potatoes, but they take a long time to start and have a long growing season, so it's easier for me to just buy them at the store.

I rarely eat flour-based desserts, as refined white flour doesn't have much nutritional value. Plus I don't need all the excess sugar and fat that is needed to make the flour palatable. Flour, especially when yeast is added to it, makes my feet swell. So I rarely eat bread or pizza. Potatoes never do that to me.

And I do grow most of my own fruit, so I make fruit salads for dessert. Fruit for a dessert is also very nutritional. But I never add flour or fat to my fruit.
I watch my calories and steer away from excess fat and flour as much as possible.
I hope to pick the last of my strawberries this year and freeze them today. I got 50 pounds from my strawberry patch this spring.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:32 PM   #23
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I could never understand the anti-carbohydrate philosophy.
I never could either, until my doctor recommended a moderately low-carb diet for my insulin resistance (which has since become diabetes), and through my symptom journal found it was the only plan I felt good on and could lose wieght on without insane hunger.

Most low-carb plans aren't nearly as anti-carb as most people assume, but they get the bad rap anyway because the whole diet is usually condemned and judged based on the shortest, most temporary part of the plan (usually the first two weeks or at worst the weight loss portion of the diet).

Also of most of the healthy high-carb traditions and cultures, while getting most of their calories from starch have or are getting most of their volume/bulk from non-starchy vegetable foods (with all those great antioxidants and other phytochemicals), and their activity level is much higher and overall calorie content much lower.

In the USA, we tend to eat by volume and calories more starches and sugars, and a lot more fat and meat without the abundance of low-calorie, high fiber fruits and veggies, and we're far more sendentary. The lower volume of food, means more hunger and more digestive issues (including a higher incidence of colon cancer because of the shortage of fiber).

I read once that something like 60 - 75% of the potatoes in the USA are made into processed/fried foods like french fries and chips (and that's not counting the number of fresh potatoes which consumers will buy whole and then fry in their homes after purchase).


It needs to be about balance, but even the experts and health professionals don't completely agree on what balance looks like, or even what it needs to be based on. When my doctor told me that I should try low-carb for my metabolic issues, he warned me not to go "too low," but when I asked him how low was too low, he admitted that he had no clue. He had just read several medical journal articles that found that folks with my metabolic issues tended to have better weight loss results with low-carb dieting.

There needs to be a lot more research in nutrition and diet therapy, but I don't think that will happen until medical insurance starts paying for dietitian visits and other diet therapy services, and not just for people with certain metabolic disorders.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #24
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I wonder why the media keeps focusing on potatoes. The study showed that red meat was also considered one of the foods that contributed to weight gain the most, but it doesn't seem to be getting much attention.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:49 PM   #25
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I also read another report on this study (I have to actually see the research), which made a whole lot more sense. This article made it sound like the study was much more focused on specific foods and food preparation methods. The study didn't exactly find that "all potatoes" were associated with the most weight gain. Rather the food associated with the most weight gain was actually, specifically potato chips, followed closely by french fries and fried potatoes. It sounded from this article that boiled, baked, steamed and mashed potatoes didn't even make the top five (though they still may have been higher than most desserts, but that doesn't necessarily mean that any of the potatoes were "worse" than dessert. It just means that more people gained weight from potato chips and french fries than from desserts).


"Potatoes worse than dessert" makes it sound like you can go eat tons of dessert, but that's not what the study found. What they found is that less weight gain was attributed to desserts, but that may be only because the people weren't eating as much dessert as the various potatoe foods that ranked higher.

I would argue that most people are more dessert conscious than potato-conscious. I think a lot more people are avoiding desserts than potatoes. But that doesn't really "prove" anything.

Also potato chips and fried potatoes being associated with the most weight gain, shouldn't really surprise anyone. Potato chips and french fried do tend to be more calorically dense or more calories per ounce, than most desserts, so yeah potato chips worse for you than most desserts makes sense.

Even if mashed potatoes were associated with more weight gain than cheesecake, it would probably be more due to the fact that people eat more mashed potatoes than cheesecake.



I love reading weight loss research articles (in the science journals), but I hate how it is reported. The medical and scientific journals require the researchers to report the data in a way that is as unbiased as possible. The conclusions are generally very carefully worded not to over-reach the results.

Then the common media gets ahold of it, and reports it in as sensational a way as possible. The newsy tv shows, newspapers, and magazine articles used to at least try to appear unbiased, not it seems that "tabloid journalism" is rampant throughout. There don't seem to be much if any "pure" news anymore (you can argue that the news was never unbiased, but at least there used to be an effort to appear so).

It's like taking a study about the incidence of drowning deaths and declaring that the study found that "water is bad."

Entertainment and attention seems to trump information every time.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:46 AM   #26
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I'm sure a lot of people read this article and got the message they they can eat unlimited nuts and yogurt because nuts and yogurt "make" you lose weight. I definitely agree with kaplods - the way nutrition and diet articles are written is appallingly oversimplistic and easy to misinterpret.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #27
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For a few months straight I ate a baked potato for dinner; usually with chicken or some other meat, and a veggie. I still lost weight even with that daily baked potato. I did not load it with butter and all the other bad things, though. I would usually put salsa on it with some fat free sour cream (I prefer the taste of fat free just like I love skim milk).

Now if I was eating cake every night, I don't think I would have had the same success with my weight loss

Rock on, potatoes!
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:44 AM   #28
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I eat potatoes everyday and am losing weight. I think potatoes have a bad rap and its really not fair for them lol... There is a Dr. McDougall and he lets you eat as many potatoes as yuo want and his study & plan helps get rid of many diseases including diabetes.

Plus potatoes contain more potassium than any other fresh veggie in the produce department. One potato has almost 900 milligrams, which is about 20% of what you need every day. Potassium is important for body growth and cell maintenance. It's also necessary for nervous function and for normal muscle contraction - including the heart muscle. Potassium is also an electrolyte that helps to balance the fluids in your body, which is important for healthy blood pressure. Potatoes also contain substantial amounts of vitamins C and B6, which are vital for blood clotting, wound healing, a strong immune system, normal nervous system function and for converting the food you eat to energy. There's also a substance called kukoamine found in potatoes that may help to lower blood pressure, although more research is necessary to know for sure.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #29
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I'm for the potatoes. Eaten in their natural form (baked, with skin) they are high in vitamin c, potassium and have fiber and some other vitamins. They aren't nutritionally empty foods, or fortified with vitamins like some cereals and other foods are. Carrots are considered starchy as well, but their nutrition out weighs that. Same for fruits.

As for weight gain, they can't label all starchy vegetables and sugary fruits as "bad, unhealthy" because some people gain weight on them. For people that don't gain weight on them they are a healthy food to have.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #30
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this reminds me of a saying in our region that " you are eating potatoes as if yo will spend the whole day doing casual work with no food or brake.
I never realized the sense in this till when i saw this thread, I hav e had doctors prescription to may weight related illness victims to avoid potatoes in their diet.
on this issue i totally agree; potatoes is not the best food to be made a daily meal.
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