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Potatoes are actually good for blood sugar?

June 14th, 2018 | no comments

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Are potatoes actually good for your blood sugar?

Well, sort of. It depends on whether the cooked potato is eaten hot or cold. 

When a potato is cooked and then cooled, it forms a type of dietary starch called resistant starch– which means it passes through the stomach and small intestine undigested (i.e. it resists digestion) and therefore does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels after consumption. On the contrary, several studies (1, 2, 3) have shown that resistant starch may actually improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar after meals.

Guess what this means? Potato salad is back on the menu baby! (Check out my recipe below for Better-for-YOU Potato Salad)

Another noteworthy fact about resistant starch–it’s considered to be a very powerful prebiotic food! Prebiotics serve as “fertilizer” for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. I know you’ve heard me say it before, but it’s worth repeating: The collection of more than 100 trillion microorganisms living within your intestines, mouth and nose, called your microbiome, influences practically everything about you, including your:

  • Blood sugar level
  • Mood
  • Immune system
  • Sleep
  • Digestion
  • Body weight
  • Food cravings

So if you want to enjoy good health, glowing lab results, and consistently balanced blood sugar, it’s critical that you keep the good bugs alive and growing in your body. Check out this post on how to do just that!

Other forms of resistant starch you may want to add to your meal plan include: Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch (see this week’s product pick!), green (unripe) bananas, plantains, cooked and cooled parboiled rice and soaked and cooked/cooled legumes.

PS: Because there is always one (or 50) individuals who think “WooHoo! I can eat a bucket of potato salad at the next family picnic because Melanie said it’s good for me and won’t raise my blood sugar!” (I love you so much!) You still have to be mindful of your portion friend. A half-cup of potato salad… not a problem. A quart? Well, I think you intuitively know that’s not right. Right? 😉 

Mel’s weekly product pick:
Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch

Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch (NOT potato flour) is a form of resistant starch that ultimately becomes food for the good bacteria in your gut. It has a very mild potato flavor and can be added to cold or room temperature water, unsweetened nut milk, or blended into smoothies. To maintain the benefit of resistant starch in Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch, do not heat it above 130 degrees. 

It may be tempting to eat this stuff by the tablespoon…but hold onto your panties, because too much unmodified potato starch too fast can cause excess gas and bloating. To be on the safe side, begin with 1/4 of a teaspoon once a day and increase as tolerated up to one tablespoon per day. You may experience a little bit of gas and bloating at first, but you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Better-for-YOU Potato Salad

When I have a taste for one of my traditional favorites (i.e. potato salad) I like to go on the hunt for a nutritionally-upgraded recipe. At the end of the day, I want something that tastes good AND is good for me. After all, my body is my residence…and who wants to live in a messy house?

Traditional potato salad is made with soybean, canola, corn, or safflower oil- based mayonnaise. These oils are highly processed and create an inflammatory state in the body. Even those boasting of claims such as “made with avocado oil/olive oil” are still merely blends of those oils along with soybean and/or canola oils. They also contain hidden sugar and preservatives! Check out the nutrition label of Hellmann’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise with Olive OIl. Pretty sad if you ask me. The same goes for the Kraft brand of “mayo”. 

My favorite healthy oils are: extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, and avocado oil.

I found this recipe for potato salad using homemade mayonnaise made with avocado oil (you could also use extra virgin olive oil) and adjusted it just a bit. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make this mayo…it literally took me less than five minutes!

This recipe suggests using a stick blender (also known as an immersion blender) and blending the ingredients in a mason jar. I totally concur, as I attempted the first round using my regular blender and it didn’t emulsify. Immersion blenders are relatively inexpensive– I paid $35 for my Cuisinart Smart Stick Blender at Bed Bath & Beyond. 

Print Recipe
Better-for-YOU Potato Salad
A simple red skin potato salad (with skin intact) made with homemade avocado oil-based mayonnaise. You can fancy this recipe up a bit by adding chopped hard boiled egg, carrots, and red peppers, along with a scoop or two of cooked lentils or black beans. 1 Earthfood per serving: ♥
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound red skin potatoes
  • 1/3 cup homemade avocado oil mayo You could also use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound red skin potatoes
  • 1/3 cup homemade avocado oil mayo You could also use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil, remove the lid, season liberally with salt and let the potatoes cook for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and let them cool completely.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare mayonnaise (see NOTES section below for recipe). Whisk together the prepared mayo, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery, onion, dill, and chives.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooled completely cut them into cubes and add them to the dressing. Gently toss to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Click HERE for homemade mayonnaise recipe!

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 220Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Sodium: 140 mg; Potassium: 580 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 22 g; Dietary fiber: 4 g; Net Carbohydrates: 18 grams; Sugar: 2 g (no added sugar); Protein: 2 g

 

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