Can you eat Potatoes on a Low Carb diet?

Yes. You can eat potatoes on a LCHF diet but not in the early weeks. Roasted spuds have become the biggest treat food for my most successful weight-loss clients.

Potatoes (known as spuds in Ireland) are a starchy vegetable, a root vegetable growing below the ground, thereby containing more carbohydrates  than non-starchy vegetables. They are ideal for those with energetic lifestyles,  maintaining their weight or gaining weight. For those who want to lose weight or better manage blood sugars, potatoes need to be portion-controlled whereas low-starch vegetables can be eaten in abundance.

For those following a low carb food plan, I encourage a treat once a week, usually at Sunday family dinner and spuds are proving to be a popular treat choice. They still lose weight on the week they treat.

Ketogenic diets involve eating less than 20g of carbohydrate  a day but a moderate low carb diet allows 50g to 70g a day. 3 baby potatoes is about 100g which is just 17g Carb and worth it. On the low carb food plan you can enjoy butter on the potatoes  – dream team. Fat reduces and slows the rise in blood sugars from the potato.

Most of the nutrients in potatoes are found in the skin which yields good supplies of potassium, B6, Vitamin C, B3, B5 and dietary fibre. If you peel the skin, you are mainly eating water and sugars. I recommend buying organic and eating the skin.

The younger the potato the higher the nutritional content. Eat them young with the skin on, boiled or steamed, in small amounts. When you cook vegetables, the sugars become easier to absorb. I use raw carrot, another starchy vegetable on my low carb food plan because they are such a valuable source of carotenes.

Many people do not know this but vegetables are a carbohydrate and provide glucose to the bloodstream as a fuel. They are a valuable source of fibre, water, anti-oxidants and micro-nutrients (vits & mins).

Starchy Vegetables – per  100g

Starchy Vegetables 100g Water Carb Kcalorie
Sweet potato, raw

73.7

21.3

87

Peas*, raw

74.6

11.3

83

Old potatoes,  raw

79

17.2

75

New potatoes,  raw

81.7

16.1

70

Parsnip, raw

79.3

12.5

64

Squash, butternut, raw

86.4

8.3

36

Beetroot, raw

87.1

7.6

36

Carrots, old, raw

89.8

7.9

35

*Note: peas have much higher protein content than other veggies to balance the sugars

Non-starchy vegetables

Non-Starchy Veg 100g Water Carb Kcalorie
Cauliflower, raw

88.4

3

34

Broccoli, green, raw

88.2

1.8

33

Cabbage, Savoy, raw

88.1

3.9

27

Asparagus, raw

91.4

2

25

Turnip, raw

91.2

4.7

23

Courgette, raw

93.7

1.8

18

Celeriac, raw

88.8

2.3

18

Tomatoes, raw

93.1

3.1

17

Peppers, green, raw

93.3

2.6

15

Safety: Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, included with tomatoes, aubergines & bell peppers. The nightshade family are suspected to adversely affect arthritic conditions.

They are very heavily sprayed with pesticides. To get the best nutrients from potatoes you need the skin therefore it is best to buy organic when you can and eat the skin.

Avoid potatoes with green spots/areas in them. Green colour indicates the toxic Alkaloid solanine may be present.

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