Can You Eat Too Many Potatoes?

It seems that there is a fair bit of confusion surrounding whether potatoes are healthy or unhealthy.
On one hand they are a vegetable = healthy
On the other hand they make chips and crisps = unhealthy
I’m sure alot of you have been told or have read to avoid white starchy foods, things like pasta, bread and of course potatoes.
These white starchy carbs are high on the glycemic index which means that they spike insulin levels and potentially taking your body out of fat burning mode and into fat storing mode.
There is no question that chips and crisps are no good for you so that’s all I need to say about that.
So mash potato, boiled potatoes, jacket potatoes can they all be bad for you?
Well let’s just think what does a good food or a bad food actually mean?
I think the basic presumption is a good food doesn’t make you fatter and a bad food makes you fatter if eaten regularly so that’s what we’ll go with today.
So do potatoes make you fat or are they okay?
Like a lot of things it depends on quantities, how you cook  them and what you eat them with as well as one other crucial factor which is your body shape and exercise habits.
If you are lean and exercise at a high intensity regularly then you don’t really need to worry about carbohydrates and over consuming them too much. Potatoes are actually rumoured to aid fat loss for lean people.
Here’s why:
The fuel Glycolysis – Potatoes contain the purest glucose molecules which are the fuel we use for our anaerobic exercise (without oxygen), so by doing regular interval, sprint, circuit or weight training at a high intensity potatoes can help to fuel Glycolysis. This means your body will efficiently be able to use other carbohydrates as energy and produce more energy in the process.
They replenish glycogen levels and reset our fat burning hormones – Following a low carb diet causes your body to drain it’s glycogen levels (energy), which is why people suffer from tiredness and drowsiness on a low carb diet. Eating potatoes and other white carbs can help to keep your metabolism firing if you don’t overeat them and you are a high intensity exerciser.
They promote an anabolic environment – Regular high intensity exercise stresses your body which can lead to you going into a catabolic state (muscle wastage) which means you lose muscle tissue and your metabolism slows. Eating something like potatoes can boost your metabolism and put you back into a muscle growing anabolic state.
So I hope this has helped clear a few things up for the high intensity exercisers out there. So just remember you can have these white starchy potatoes on training days ideally after exercise when your body needs more energy. Also always consume with lean protein rather than just carbs on it’s own.
For those looking to lose weight then the rules change.
If you are looking to lose weight and you are not a high intesnsity exerciser then you need to try and stay away from white carbs as much as possible (that doesn’t mean cut out all carbs). Stick to no more than 2 pieces of fruit a day, try to avoid bread and pasta and limit your intake of potatoes and rice, this may seem hard at first but it’s key to fat loss and you will get used to it.
So if you are used to having chips and you go for boiled potatoes instead then well done, this is a healthier alternative providing it’s not covered in mayo, cheese or BBQ sauce. But if you are serious about losing some fat then you need to limit the amount of white starchy foods that you consume.
So I hope this clears up a bit more on the subject.
Any questions comment below or if you want to have a say on what articles to write mention a topic in the comments section below.
Until next week,
Jamie Stedman
PS Similar rules apply to Sweet Potatoes but I would say sweet potatoes are a better choice and taste amazing!
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