The 60 day potato diet.

Back in 2011 the USDA tried to ban or limit potatoes in federal child nutrition programs, such as school dinners, arguing the tuber loaded with potassium and vitamin C should be considered junk food.

The head of the Washington Potato Commission and all round potato fanboy, Chris Voigt was so enraged by this that he went on all potato diet to illustrate the healthiness of the demonized spud.

Voigt’s point was that it is fried oils, and frying potatoes that does all the harm and not the potato itself. Obviously no one would listen to him and since his voice was going unheard in the sea of fear mongering fad-diet ignorance informed by the likes of Atkins and Paleo – Voigt took matters into his own hands and undertook a potatoes-only diet. He ate nothing but potatoes, around 20 of them per day, without any topping, and he went for 60 straight days.

According to Paleo and Atkins Aficionados, a two month diet of a pure starch should certainly cause Mr. Voigt to gain loads of fat. Especially if his choice was the evil carb rich white potato and especially if he was eating 20 of them per day…. Not to mention that he should  be “terrified” of becoming insulin-resistant by this ludicrous 60 day potato diet.

His timing could have been better though as allegedly Mr. Voigt and his family were forced to celebrated a potato-only Thanksgiving, consisting of five pounds of mashed spuds shaped into a turkey

So what was the outcome of this diet:

Over the 60 days on the all starch, all potato, no fun protest-diet. Mr. Voigt lost a total of 21 lbs.

His triglyceride levels dropped significantly, his resting blood glucose levels improved as well. His weight dropped from 197 pounds to 176 pounds and his cholesterol level fell 67 points. His doctor was amazed.

Now it should be obvious here that Mr. Voigt’s weight loss is more to do with him being in a caloric deficit and less to do with his actual choice of calorie.

But I feel this experiment beautifully illustrated his point.

Demonising the potato because of one basic tool such as the glycemic index  makes absolutely no sense and borders on the ridiculous.

As I’ve illustrated in an earlier post, white potatoes rank higher on the satiety index than any other food and by quite a big margin:

The satiety index (or the don’t go hungry chart)

In my opinion potatoes should be utilised instead of demonised.


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