Rich or poor; at one point, you ate potatoes on a regular basis. You might even be eating some potatoes right now. But if you follow the paleo diet, well, you just might be committing a crime against the paleo community.
As your lawyers, we’ll answer the question, can you eat red potatoes on paleo. We won’t just answer it; we’ll go over it in-depth, covering any possible detail that we can think of.
So get ready, you’re about to learn some useful stuff.
Can You Eat Red Potatoes On The Paleo Diet?
No beating around the bush here; we’ll just straight up tell you, you can’t eat red potatoes on paleo.
That is if you want to remain ‘pure’ paleo if there is such a thing.
But for those of you wondering, “why the heck not, my grandparents are eating potatoes every meal, and they’re like 120 years old.”
Well, our genetically gifted reader, there are a few reasons you should skip them, and we’ll get into them right now.
So keep reading, you might find out something interesting.
The Paleo Guidelines
Let’s define the rules of the game first, before disqualifying someone or something.
Paleo is short for the Paleolithic era. You’d be surprised just how many people are surprised about this.
During that time, our ancestors didn’t discover agriculture yet.
That means their food intake consisted of what they were able to find out there in the wild.
The food you shouldn’t eat if you’re on the paleo diet:
- Some vegetables
- Some fruit
- Your mom’s cookies – Put those down right now!
As you can assume, the things on that list weren’t available ten thousand years ago.
Some of the foods listed might not be considered paleo, but they can wiggle their way into this diet if consumed in reasonable amounts.
Let’s say rice; find out can you eat rice on paleo, right here.
Red potatoes belong to the ‘some vegetables’ category and aren’t considered paleo.
Let’s get into it a bit more.
Red Potatoes Facts
Red potatoes are medium-sized potatoes that contain a relatively high amount of starch and sugar.
Because they can be more firm than white potatoes, they’re not very good for mashing.
They’re used in salads, stews, soups, etc.
They shouldn’t be eaten on paleo because of their glycemic index position; more on that later.
For now, let’s just look at the nutrition chart and see what we got.
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.3 g||5%|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.1 g|
The main thing that stands out is the carbohydrate count.
Contrary to popular belief, the paleo diet is not necessarily a low-carb diet.
Sure, if you’re eating a lot of carbs and not that much fat or protein, then you’re definitely doing something wrong.
However, if you are eating fruits and vegetables, which are allowed on Paleo, and you have a versatile daily menu overall, you should be good.
That being said, red potatoes are just too full of carbs to get a green light here.
But not just that, they have a decent amount of sugar as well.
This conveniently reintroduces our high on the glycemic index point.
Glycemic index(GI) is a metric that is assigned to food based on how slowly or how quickly it spikes your blood glucose(sugar) levels.
The lower the glycemic index, the more steadily sugar is released in the blood, the better you feel and function.
If you have quick and high sugar spikes, you tend to feel tired, and what’s worse, you tend to crave more food that is high on the GI.
Basically, trapping you in a closed circle of unhealthy food will cause you to gain weight the more you eat it.
People with diabetes should especially pay attention to GI as it can literally mean life or death for them.
For those of you saying, ‘what are these people talking about? Potatoes can’t be that bad!’.
Red potatoes, when boiled, have a glycemic index of 78.
Just for comparison, soft drinks tend to have around 60.
That means that for someone trying to lose weight and for someone on a strict paleo diet, these babies are a big no-no.
It Isn’t All That Bad
We admit we wanted to scare you a little.
Although red potatoes are not paleo, they aren’t the most unhealthy, ‘shame on you for having it’ food ever.
They’re rich in vitamin B-6:
Vitamin B-6 plays a role in the production of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
It can help better your mood and combat symptoms of depression.
It’s also important in the production of hemoglobin, reducing the risk of anemia.
For all the ladies out there, vitamin B-6 can be used to treat PMS symptoms, like irritability.
So tell your significant other to pipe down and get you some vitamin B-6.
It can prevent your arteries from being clogged up and, in turn, make you less prone to heart disease.
It can even protect your eyesight, so you can keep from wearing glasses for longer.
With all these benefits lined up, you might think we don’t know what we’re saying if we’re not recommending red potatoes.
Well, the paleo diet is by no means lacking when it comes to vitamin B-6 sources.
Turkey, salmon, and tuna are all rich in vitamin B-6.
Those are all great paleo foods that will provide you with the benefits mentioned above.
The Next Thing On The List Of Pro Red Potato Arguments Is Vitamin C:
We’ve yet to meet someone who has bad things to say about vitamin C.
It reduces the risk of chronic disease.
Consuming the right amount on a regular basis raises the level of antioxidants in your body,
making you more immune to chronic diseases.
It makes you less forgetful.
It’s been proven to protect your memory and thinking.
It would help if you consumed it more regularly as you age as it could prevent dementia.
Protects you from heart disease and boosts immunity.
Consuming the recommended daily basis of vitamin C can keep you healthy in the long run, which should be one of your goals when it comes to nutrition.
Eating healthy to lose weight is great, but you shouldn’t go back to the old ways when you achieve what you aimed for in the looks department.
Most fruits and vegetables have more than enough vitamin C for you to reach that recommended daily intake on the paleo diet.
There are other vitamins and minerals in red potatoes, but we felt these were the ones that stuck out the most.
Related Read: Best Potato Masher: 5+ Detailed Reviews
Can You Eat Red Potatoes On Paleo – Conclusion
We’ve been pretty thorough here so let’s wrap it all up.
Often if food is widely available and cheap, it means it isn’t paleo.
In order for something to be cheap, it needs to be mass-produced.
The same goes for red potatoes.
The number one reason you can’t eat red potatoes is how they are rated on the glycemic index and just how starchy they are.
The paleo diet might not be a low-carb diet per se, but it does rely much more on fat and protein.
The sugar spikes you get from red potatoes can cause crashes and cravings for more starchy food.
The more you eat this type of grocery, the bigger the chance you’ll put on unwanted weight.
Red potatoes do have a decent amount of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, but we’ve given you great paleo alternatives for that, as well.
All in all, stay away from this one if you want to keep your paleo diet as pure as possible.