Are Potatoes Getting A Bum Rap?



B

Brojack

Guest
Pritikin convinced many of us as to the value of potatoes which he deemed a complex carbohydrate. I
for one did exceedingly well on the Pritikin regimen. Now we learn of a glycemic index and the
assertion that white potatoes are "simple" carbohydrates, much like white bread and even sucrose.

What are your opinions?

Jack
 
E

Eric Bohlman

Guest
[email protected] (BroJack) wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> Pritikin convinced many of us as to the value of potatoes which he deemed a complex carbohydrate.
> I for one did exceedingly well on the Pritikin regimen. Now we learn of a glycemic index and the
> assertion that white potatoes are "simple" carbohydrates, much like white bread and even sucrose.

By the technical definition, starches are complex carbohydrates (note that potatoes are not
carbohydrates; they're food that *contains* a large amount of carbohydrates). However, many of them
[1] behave metabolically pretty much the way simple carbohydrates do. The moral of the story is that
the chemical distinction between "simple" and "complex" carbohydrates is too, well, simple to apply
to nutrition.

[1] Starches consist of long chains of monosaccharides (usually glucose). Some of the chains are
straight; others branch like trees. Starches that consist mostly of straight chains are called
amyloses; starches that consist mostly of branched chains are called amylopectins. Digestive
enzymes break down any starch (well, almost any starch; there are some "resistant starches")
into their constituent monosaccharides, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. The
enzymes work by removing monosaccharide units from the ends of chains, and take a small but
finite amount of time to remove each monosaccharide.

That means that amylopectins are broken down much more quickly than amyloses, because their chains
have many ends and several enzyme molecules can be working on one starch molecule at the same time.
Amyloses break down more slowly because they have only a few ends (in the extreme, some amyloses
have only one chain, so only two monosaccharides can be removed simultaneously). And that means that
the more amylopectin-like a starch is, the faster the resulting influx of glucose into the
bloodstream from consuming it.

Note, though, that some foods (like whole grains) can contain amylopectins and still not produce a
fast glucose influx. The reason is that the starch is tied up in fiber and it takes some time for
the digestive process to extract it. Thus while the starch is converted quickly, only small amounts
of starch at a time are being converted.
 
T

Tim Tyler

Guest
BroJack <[email protected]> wrote or quoted:

> Pritikin convinced many of us as to the value of potatoes which he deemed a complex carbohydrate.
> I for one did exceedingly well on the Pritikin regimen. Now we learn of a glycemic index and the
> assertion that white potatoes are "simple" carbohydrates, much like white bread and even sucrose.
>
> What are your opinions?

I don't eat potatoes - but at least on the plus side there is the fact that they are quite fibrous
and satiating.

Still - try sweet potatoes, taro, jerusalem artichokes and yams instead.
--
__________
|im |yler http://timtyler.org/ [email protected] Remove lock to reply.
 
D

Darwin

Guest
On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 13:55:08 GMT, [email protected] (BroJack) wrote:

>Pritikin convinced many of us as to the value of potatoes which he deemed a complex carbohydrate. I
>for one did exceedingly well on the Pritikin regimen. Now we learn of a glycemic index and the
>assertion that white potatoes are "simple" carbohydrates, much like white bread and even sucrose.
>
>What are your opinions?
>
>Jack

Many foods with a high glycemic index cause a hypoglycemic reaction in me but potatos and rice do
not. This has always been a mystery to me.
 
T

Tcomeau

Guest
[email protected] (BroJack) wrote in message news:<949da166[email protected]>...
> Pritikin convinced many of us as to the value of potatoes which he deemed a complex carbohydrate.
> I for one did exceedingly well on the Pritikin regimen. Now we learn of a glycemic index and the
> assertion that white potatoes are "simple" carbohydrates, much like white bread and even sucrose.
>
> What are your opinions?
>
> Jack

I've been low-carbing for 3 years. I still eat potatoes. BUT... I eat them in much smaller
quantities. Less volume of potatoes than meat on the plate. And I slather it in butter to help keep
the total GI values down. Fat (or butter) will slow down the absorption of the carbs in teh potato.

TC
 
J

Joe

Guest
On 16 Feb 2004 13:22:26 -0800, [email protected] (tcomeau) typed:

Less volume of potatoes than meat on
>the plate. And I slather it in butter to help keep the total GI values down. Fat (or butter) will
>slow down the absorption of the carbs in teh potato.

This interests me. My digestive system can't seem to tolerate a high carb diet, but I lose too much
weight on a low carb. I would like to start getting more calories from fats, but I'm afraid that my
cholesterol will rocket if I'm not in ketosis.
 
T

Tcomeau

Guest
Joe <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> On 16 Feb 2004 13:22:26 -0800, [email protected] (tcomeau) typed:
>
>
>
>
> Less volume of potatoes than meat on
> >the plate. And I slather it in butter to help keep the total GI values down. Fat (or butter) will
> >slow down the absorption of the carbs in teh potato.
>
> This interests me. My digestive system can't seem to tolerate a high carb diet, but I lose too
> much weight on a low carb. I would like to start getting more calories from fats, but I'm afraid
> that my cholesterol will rocket if I'm not in ketosis.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Specifically regarding cholesterol and ketosis. Can
you clarify this

TC
 
J

Joe

Guest
>I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Specifically regarding cholesterol and ketosis. Can
>you clarify this
>
My simplistic understanding, probably way off mark, is that if the body is using carbs as its energy
source then some of the excess fats consumed end up in the blood stream. So, my thinking goes, if
I'm in ketosis my body is utilizing fats for energy, and my blood stream, therefore is not clogged
up with fats.
 
T

Tcomeau

Guest
Joe <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> >I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Specifically regarding cholesterol and ketosis. Can
> >you clarify this
> >
> My simplistic understanding, probably way off mark, is that if the body is using carbs as its
> energy source then some of the excess fats consumed end up in the blood stream. So, my thinking
> goes, if I'm in ketosis my body is utilizing fats for energy, and my blood stream, therefore is
> not clogged up with fats.

Ketones are broken down fat molecules and will be washed away in the urine. It has no relation to
blood cholesterol.

Blood cholesterol is not related to ketosis nor is it related to a high-fat or high-cholesterol
diet. It is produced by the body as a result of a diet too high in refined carbs and too low in fat.
That is why blood cholesterol levels improve on a low-carb diet.

Most people, including the medical community believes that cholesterol in food causes high blood
cholesterol and that high-fat foods cause obesity. They are wrong on both counts.

TC