The potato diet is a weight-loss method created by Andrew Taylor, which helped him use over 50kg in just one year. Is it safe to follow? Nutritionists weigh in.
The Potato Diet
Andrew Taylor lived off of exclusively potatoes for a year as a way of losing weight. It sounds pretty counterintuitive, since potatoes are known to be large contributors to weight gain, but it worked for him.
Taylor started his weight loss journey in 2016, when he weight about 150 kilograms. His diet previously consisted of deep-fried foods, chocolates, cake and pizza. But he chose to eliminate all of that, and everything else, except potatoes.
“Potatoes came up as being the best choice. They've got the most amounts of scientific evidence behind them,” he said. “They've got all the carbs and proteins and fats and minerals and fibre and everything else.”
He also said that the diet helped alleviate his feelings of anxiety and depression.
Nutritionists On the Diet
As you may have guessed, “Australian Popular Science” issued a report criticizing the concept of a potato diet. However, it did say that it’s possible to extract enough nutrition from just potatoes, but for a limited period of time.
The traditional white potato contains all the essential amino acids you need to build proteins, repair cells, and fight diseases.
'And eating just five of them a day would get you there,' wrote journalist Ellen Airhart.
“However, if you sustained on white potatoes alone, you would eventually run into vitamin and mineral deficiencies. That's where sweet potatoes come in.'
Fiona Hunter, another nutritionist, also agreed that potatoes get unnecessary political baggage. "Although many people think potatoes are nothing more than starch carbs, they are a surprising source of several vitamins and minerals. However, eating just potatoes will not provide all the nutrients needed for good health."
"The body needs 40 nutrients to function and no single food will provide all of these, which is why the nutrition guidelines from groups like the Department of Health stress that we need to eat a variety of food.”
"A diet of just potatoes will be deficient in vitamins A, E and K, the minerals calcium and selenium, essential fatty acids, protein and dietary fibre. Although they may provide enough iron for a man, they will not provide enough iron for women.”
"One way of addressing the vitamin shortfall would be to substitute white potatoes with sweet potatoes, which have more vitamin E and A."