Consider the humble potato. Long a dietary staple, in recent years its had its ups and downs, leading to general confusion over whether it’s really healthy. Short answer: yes, if you’re eating potatoes, not french fries and chips, which helps keep portions small and gives you fiber, protein, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Does that mean you can build a whole diet around potatoes? Well, YouTuber Rob Rivera, whose life philosophy is “I try stuff,” decided to try it.
As Rivera points out in his video, there are plenty of potato-based diets floating around, each with their own rules and guidelines. He took some of the most common—no added oils, little to no salt (but plenty of spices), non-starch vegetables are allowed, and only plain decaffeinated tea or coffee—and tried the diet for seven days.
He started out at 138.9 pounds and with a waist a little under 31 inches around, with a breakfast of a seasoned, boiled potato and water to drink. It wasn’t bad, he says, and kept him full for much of the day. Preparing his own meals was the way to go, he points out, as many processed potatoes contained sugar and other unhelpful additives.
Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes—he soon realized you can’t eat just potatoes, as his blood sugar cratered and his electrolytes dropped. Eating fruits and added a pinch of salt to his potatoes helped with that.
At the end of the week, he tallied up his results: he’d lost more than six pounds and about an inch around his waist. Of course, he notes eating any single food low in calories for a week would lead to weight loss. And he really did need sugar and salt to stay energetic throughout the day. Overall, he says, while the potato-based diet did help him lose weight, there are healthier and more nutritious alternative.
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