Potatoes and Resistant Starches
If you are anything like me you can’t resist potatoes. I can eat them any which way. I think my favorite would be mashed though. My family purposely made sure I was the last to get them at the dinner table because of my heaping portion I would take. There would definitely NOT be leftovers.
Unfortunately when potatoes go through the digestion process they convert to mostly glucose which is sugar. Sugar is the culprit that has made me gain weight, continue to overeat and causes an addiction to guess what??? MORE SUGAR.
I’ve learned a lot about sugar and all it’s consequences as I became more educated by my physician and then as a chef and food advocate. I’ll reserve all the bad news about sugar for another time. What I really wanted to know was could I ever allow potatoes back in my diet without having the addiction and weight gain come back. Then I learned about resistant starches, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk potato first!
What is a potato and what is the nutritional take away if any? The potato is actually part of the nightshade family (for those of you with inflammatory conditions). It is grown for its starchy tuber that grows underground. Potatoes range in shapes and sizes as well as colors. My favorite are the purple ones. Potatoes offer nutrients such as vitamin C, Potassium (found in the skin), and folate. However it is mostly carbs which converts to sugar as you digest it. I think it is well known that sugar contributes to a number of health issues including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and depression to name a few. So we should all avoid potatoes, right? Well there may be another answer.
I recently learned about resistant starches. What are those, right? Well in foods like pasta, rice, beans and of course potatoes there are resistant starches. Resistant starch resists digestion which is how they got their name. The trick, it seems, is to eat foods with resistant starch either in it’s raw form or cooled after cooking. According to Dr. Steven R. Gundry who wrote in The Plant Paradox when a resistant starch passes your small intestine they get eaten up by your gut microbes converting them to short chain fatty acids instead of glucose, like a ferment-able fiber. To learn more visit the links below.
Summer Potato Salad
- 3 lbs baby red potatoes skin on
- 3 strips pasture raised bacon cooked, chopped
- 2 ribs celery small diced
- 1/2 each red onion small diced
- 3 TBL avocado Oil adjust to taste
- 2 TBL red wine vinegar adjust to taste
- 2 TBL Grainy Mustard adjust to taste
- 2 TBL fresh dill chopped
- 2 TBL fresh parsley chopped
- 2 TBL fresh thyme chopped
- 1 tsp Kosher salt + more for boiling potato adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper adjust to taste
- Fill a large sauce pot with cold water and add enough salt for the water to be salty. Place whole baby red potatoes in the pot on the stove-top and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender without over cooking. Remove potatoes from water and let cool. Once cool, dice the potatoes into bite size pieces.
To cook bacon
- Place bacon strips on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven until desired crispiness is reached (10-20 minutes). Drain on a paper towel, then chop in to small pieces.
To make the potato salad
- Place the cold potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper and serve cold.