Tatertot Tim Experiment: Low Carbers SO IN SHORT PANTS. 140g Starch Carbs in a Single Meal, Blood Glucose “Spikes” to 110

Oh, what the hell. I’m having fun laughing my ass off at 5 decades of Abject Low Carb Ignorance. When are they going to stop harming people for the fun or it, or out of ignorance, or because tehy knwZ teh SCIENZEZ?

Here’s the comment. Test it for yourselves, but take note, Tim has been on a 15-30g dose of resistant starch for over 6 months, now.

I broke down and bought some more glucose test strips because I wanted to try it out after eating this:

  • 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted rice, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 cup fermented black beans, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 a large plantain raw, cubed
  • 3TBS Palm oil

Heated palm oil to almost smoking, stir-fried the rice and plantain cubes until browned, added beans until just warmed.

  • BG prior – 83
  • 30 min – 110
  • 60 min – 98
  • 90 min – 95
  • 120 min – 90
  • 150 min – 90
  • 180 min – 89

This was a meal that consisted of 850 calories, 28.8g fat, 141.1g carbs, and 14.6g protein. I estimated the RS at 40g.

I didn’t pre-ingest any potato starch, my lunch that day was a can of sardines, a salad, and a handful of sugar-free chocolate chips.

The stir-fry I made would be an awesome base for any meat and veggies, I wasn’t really surprised with the results. My FBG this morning was 77. Not bad for a guy who had normal FBG of 130 while low carbing.


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  2. tatertot on September 25, 2013 at 09:01

    Here is the study I just mentioned. Rats, oh well.

    “There is evidence that the substrate interaction between starch and dietary fiber fermentation may occur in the large bowel and that the colonic microflora preferentially use the more easily fermented carbohydrates in starch, indicating a dietary fiber-sparing effect by starch. Just the opposite may hold true for the interaction of certain dietary fibers with higher fermentability and starch; that is, a starch-sparing effect by dietary fiber.”

  3. marie on September 24, 2013 at 20:54

    Funny, I just noticed something.
    Discussion on this subject is taking place in the preceding post where the comment was first posted.
    Meanwhile, discussion on the preceding subject is taking place in a post a few days back where that comment was first posted.
    It’s an IQ test to find/follow these discussions – and Richard, it’s definitely not Hadza-neutral ! ;)

  4. Los on September 24, 2013 at 21:01

    There was a show in one of the cable channels a couple of months ago where a guy lived by himself on an island for two months with no tools.

    He would take root tubers and chop them up into slices. He would take the slices and put them on a rock and let them cook out in the sun for a couple of hours. These tubers where definitely partly raw.

    He would take the nodes/eyes of the tubers and grow his own tubers. You really couldn’t tell a difference in the area that he farmed or preexisting island plants and trees. Definitely within one year you would not be able to tell the difference in areas that he farmed and natural occurring vegetation. The weather was ideal to farm the tubers fast.

    People probably have been mini-farming tubers and eating them partly raw for a long time but there are no drawing in pyramids showing this and they mini-farmed right next to other plants. Therefore there is no easy evidence to draw quick conclusions about what earlier humans ate.

  5. tatertot on September 24, 2013 at 21:18

    @Marie – I just look at the ‘Last 10 Comments’ sidebar and try to keep up, for some reason I don’t get emails on every thread even though I subscribed, or thought I did. More fun this way…I feel like one of those chess savants playing 10 games at once in the park…

  6. marie on September 24, 2013 at 21:51

    tatertot, yep, definitely a savant :)
    But I’m so glad you said that about the subscriptions, I was just telling Richard I had that problem too. I’ve been just checking back to about a week’s worth of posts in the evenings for responses. Same idea.

  7. marie on September 24, 2013 at 21:55

    Los, that sounds interesting, do you happen to remember a title or key word for that show so maybe we can find it on youtube, if it’s there? Your point is well taken, can’t get broad picture of what they ate, but coprolites can be pretty informative for some things. Resistant starch for example.

  8. LeonRover on September 25, 2013 at 02:39

    I understand that the paleolithic ancestors of the humble coney (coinín in Gaelic) ate their own coprolites, one can tell from the ground down nature of their teeth – as they thought them “SOOOO lithic”.

    Modern coneys are suing the Australian Government on the grounds that myxomatosis is a ‘neolithic agent of death’ caused by Wheat Production.
    Perhaps Richard Adams (Watership Up) should inform them – in Lapine -that coprolithic starches are super-resistant.


  9. Clem on September 25, 2013 at 07:10

    RS and GERD. Dr. Eades has a new post which can be interpreted as the dark side of RS. One theory of GERD has it that one must avoid RS to cure GERD. I previously had severe acid reflux which was fixed by low carb. My own limited experience says my AR had more to do with fructose than with RS.

  10. tatertot on September 25, 2013 at 07:52

    Clem – I’m not 100% convinced of what Eades and Robillard say about RS. Their theory is that any food eaten that isn’t immediately absorbed in the stomach and first part of the SI will be fermented by out-of-place microbes living distally in the SI, causing gas, back-pressure, and GERD, IBD, IBS, etc… While this may be true, not all fermentable fibers are created equally. RS is fairly speciic in what can ferment it. I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘cold potatoes (or rice) give me horrible gas’. I also think that the gas we see when first adopting a high RS intake is not from the RS, but other foods eaten alongside it that are feeding still thriving colonies of gaseous gut microbes. The beneficial ones eat all the RS and that leaves a lot of food for non-beneficial, gas-producing microbes which are eventually crowded out, putting an end to the gas in a few weeks.

    There is a study on eating RS and psyllium. Eaten alone, they are digested in the first part of the large intestine, but eaten together, the fermentation site of the psyllium is shifted to the end of the LI. I’ll post it here in a bit.

    That being said, someone with GERD, IBD, IBS, etc… has my sympathy and I give them a pass on trying anything they can to eliminate it.

  11. Richard Nikoley on September 25, 2013 at 08:26


    Thanks for bringing that to our attention. Just skimmed as of yet and I’ll probably have more to say, either in Mike’s comments or here. Anyway, I don’t think RS is the issue, and I speculate that it corrects or manages SIBO over time. I’ve discussed this with Norm Robillard (who Mike hooked me up with when I began posting about RS—though an LCer to the max, Mike is an honest, good guy).

    Two outaa-my-ass speculations:

    1) View the trillions of bacteria in your gut as in constant, brutal war. Good vs. bad (to the host—us), to-the-death, winner take all. If RS primarily feeds the “good guys” (they’re amoral, after all), then you’re simply giving aid & comfort to your allies by feeding them. Or, they have such an evolutionary leg up anyway that simply cutting NAofD and adding RS helps them keep things in check as they’ve been doing for millions of years or, rectifying adverse situations.

    2) Since it’s well known that bacteria glom onto RS granules and provide safe passage to the colon, why can’t bacteria too numerous in the small intestine “get on the bus” as RS passes through, and get taken to their intended place? I get the sense that those not really digging into the science see bacteria as just taking a bite out of RS, multiplying, etc. So in that context, it make logical sense that RS could actually proliferate small intestine bacteria and make SIBO worse. But that’s not what they do. They glom on, and all the while, stuff is moving through. So, by necessity, they are being moved further and further down the whole poop chute.

    Make any sense?

    For myself, a GERD sufferer since I was a teenager, the following:

    1) Beer and pizza in college was BAD.

    2) Wonderful baguettes and cheese, and that 1-2 aperitif before the noon or evening meal while living in France in the early ’90s was BAD.

    3) I first did Atkins in 1991 (while in France). Cleared up my chronic heartburn like magic in days. Did it a number of times in coming years, same result. But I was never LC for more than a coupla months at a time.

    4) Went on PPIs around 2000, was on them for seven years. They’re a miracle in the sense of virtually eliminating GERG no matter what. If you don’t know better, they become your best friend miracle drug ever because GERD is really fucking debilitating, especially waking up at night choking, because you’ve just aspirated stomach acid. But, this is where I went from just a bit overweight of 10-20 pounds to 70-80 pounds overweight.

    5) 2007 I transitioned into LC Paleo, got of PPIs (there is withdrawal, and you’ll get nuclear heartburn). But, GERD gone and this persisted for a long time. Then it came back, eventually, but slowly, over time, even LC. At a point, everything gave me some measure of heartburn. Only difference was it seemed less intense, unless I indulged in pizza, pasta, beer, etc. Then, nuclear.

    Those are the facts, I can’t say for sure why or by what means, but I have a few ideas.

    1) Alcohol is a definite promoter for me.

    2) A good 30 hour fast (which is also “LC” by definition) seems to reset things. So, if I’m diligent and do at least one 30 hour fast per week, it keeps heartburn well in check.

    3) Supplementing RS (potato starch, tapioca starch, plantain four) over the last few months, 15-30 g/d on average—some days none in supplemental form—SEEMS to be giving me a more long-term corrective solution. I’m fully aware of my own “bright eyed” tendencies, so I am holding out for more experience.

    4) I’ll post about this but always wanting to try something new, I’ve been experimenting with some of the new gluten free products out there, in the form of pasta and bread. They aren’t LC, but guess what? Two things different from the standard wheat varieties (and I must say, they are damn close in taste & texture): a) no heartburn, and b) no coma. Interesting.

    Anyway, in all the anecdotes posted in comments here or in email from those supplementing RS, not one person has said their GERD got worse, or that they developed GERD. Based on the number of people who’ve purchased Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch using my Amazon links, there’s well over 100 and it probably represents less than half of all, since it’s easily obtainable in local markets and many have indicated that’s how they got it.

    Well, more later, perhaps.

  12. steve W on September 25, 2013 at 08:53

    SIBO and Resistant Starch

    Does RS adversely affect SIBO/IBS sufferers? Any SIBO folks out there who have been using RS?

  13. LeonRover on September 25, 2013 at 09:17


    Mike Eades has in the past noted that he too has suffered from GERD .

    I note that Mike & Yourself have an a priori interest in the subject of whether or not Res Starch can improve stomach & colon health.

    I would, were I to have such distress. I’m so glad I do not.

    Bonne chance & Sláinte

  14. Wolfstriked on September 25, 2013 at 09:22

    Purchased a Turkish yogurt drink just now that has live active cultures plus tapioca and corn starch added.Found that kinda funny.TT,what I think would really be eye opening is to do a test using glucose based drink,as in the glucose tolerance test,and see if there is any difference.The way your cooking the food and the food your using will alter this test considerably if most of the starch is undigestable.

  15. BigRob on September 25, 2013 at 09:32

    I understand that RS won’t kick you out of ketosis, but will it prevent you from going into ketosis if you are eating VLC and only supplementing with PS?

  16. tatertot on September 25, 2013 at 09:40

    @Wolfstriked – I’m certain they are both fine, their stuff is made in different processing plants so you are probably just seeing that difference. As long as it’s unmodified potato starch you have the right stuff. Very interesting about the Turkish yogurt w/added starches–sounds like they are getting smart!

    @BigRob – No reason it should have any impact on ketosis except to enhance it via the SCFA produced.

  17. Richard Nikoley on September 25, 2013 at 09:42


    Mike & I have actually discussed it over email a time or two, going back. My dad ate Rollaides like candy when I was growing up. All four of his sons have the same problem.

  18. yien on September 26, 2013 at 03:47

    A new study just published, might be of interest in discussion of glucose regulation.

    The product used contributes more calories to the Hadza diet than any other species (the baobab).

  19. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on September 25, 2013 at 21:13

    good for you.

    RS has to be cold or raw, yes?
    i prefer warm & cooked. dont’ think cold & raw work so well w/ my digestion.

  20. Tatertot on September 25, 2013 at 22:39

    @Doc CG – Not necessarily. Did you read the post above? The recipe for stir-fried rice and beans was piping hot and had about 40g RS. Turns out that retrograded RS (RS3) retains most of it’s RS when heated back up.

  21. LeonRover on September 26, 2013 at 01:39


    I believe I was an 8 yr old when Mother introduced me to Potato Salad – a dish comprising cold diced potato, mixed with chopped scallions and parsley, drizzled with vinaigrette and accompanied by whole hard boiled eggs.
    (She would be delighted to know she was upregulating my good gut bacteria.)
    Maybe I’ll renege on my Texas Home Fries – cooked in ghee. I wonder if I have the guts . . . ? OTOH I might be developing an inner resistance. TheRapy ? Hmmmm. Decisions, descisions. Where is my damned bare bodkin? Kein quietus.

    It was in London in my late twenties I discovered stir fry and paella. I later bought a Wok; his descendent is regularly used.
    (I recently named that unknown Chinese restaurant proprietor HatTip. He is duly grateful for this honourable cognomen.)


  22. LeonRover on September 26, 2013 at 08:13


    I saw yr exchange with Mike on his twitter feed.

    I was left hanging in expectation after Mike’s last quip:

    ” Mike:@RN I’m glad you clarified. :) ”

    I was looking for (something like) –

    RN: @DrEades Ghee, I mostly do. :)


  23. Richard Nikoley on September 26, 2013 at 08:42


    I’ve met Gentleman Mike a few times in person. He invited me up to SF for the sous vide kickoff show with Heston Blumenthal and it was he, Tim Ferriss and I at table (Tim totally hogged the scrambled eggs with shaved truffle, in case anyone’s interested). Bea and I met him and Mary Dan in our hotel lobby when we were down to Santa Barbra for a family event. He invited us to chez Eades but timing didn’t work. Then, again at AHS11. Among other things, had a drink with he and Gary Taubes in the bar.

    All that name dropping because, I like Mike, and extremely so on a personal level I’m fortunate to know. I have to be honest, but I think there’s a world of difference between an obesity doc who knows the therapeutic value of LC, and someone just promoting it as lifestyle. To my knowledge, Mike has never said everyone ought to be on this diet. And when I see him tout a study on effectiveness, I take it to mean that it’s a BENIGN intervention (I’m not splitting hairs there…look at SAD), even if you don’t need it; i.e., no harm on trying for anyone (just like RS); so, he gets a total pass in terms of my current mission (i.e., not being condescending) and I was happy to try to clarify that in 140 characters or less.

  24. Tatertot on September 26, 2013 at 08:59

    @yien – Interesting study you linked. Tells me that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we know about ancestral diets and why they worked so well. It’s not always about the macro ratio. So the Hadza were also eating starch blockers, and the Inuits were eating Eskimo Potatoes…what next?

  25. LeonRover on September 26, 2013 at 10:49

    Jeez Rich, I’ve just now seen DrEades twitter update.

    Consequently, I have just rated you 1 (scale 1 to 10) on the Didn’t you see the Joke Scale.


  26. Richard Nikoley on September 26, 2013 at 11:02

    “1 (scale 1 to 10) on the Didn’t you see the Joke Scale.”

    Leon. Thing is I love thinking that you think I don’t get your jokes, even if I have to Google around a bit for Latin translations.

    But I’m torn. “…If Leon thinks I get his rather esoteric jokes, will he get bored and go elsewhere with them?”

    …Ah, in labores of being a blogger.

  27. Richard Nikoley on September 26, 2013 at 11:09

    …BTW, your follow up would have packed a bit more punch leading off with…

    “Gheez Rich”


  28. LeonRover on September 26, 2013 at 12:54

    Touché :)

  29. Jeff on September 27, 2013 at 06:46

    This may be a stupid question but how does resistant starch figure in with the recommended grams of fiber we are told we should get each day? I am assuming that 30 grams a day of resistant starch could replace the 30 grams of day of “regular’ fiber recommended for my age and gender. Does that seem correct?

    For example: Fitday says that yesterday I ate 18.5 grams of “regular” fiber. In addition, I calculate that I consumed about 40 grams of resistant starch (2 potatoes, cooked and cooled; 2 unripe bananas; 3 tablespoons of unmodified potato starch). The 18.5 grams indicated by Fitday is less fiber than normally recommended but I would imagine that the resistant starch would more than make up for it. I am also curious how this might translate into net carbs.

    I have just moved to a moderate carb diet (100-200g carbs each day) after seven years of low carb (under 100g carbs a day). The low carb years were great for my waistline but no so much for my gut. Several months of eating probiotic yogurt helped slightly but but my first week of increasing resistant starch has made a _huge_ difference. Thanks, Richard. I believe that resistant starch will turn out to be as important as Vitamin D.

  30. R on September 27, 2013 at 08:36


    What did you mean when you said this over on Matt’s site? I thought one of the benefits of resistant starch was that it helped with weight loss? Are you referring to resistant starch filled foods, such as potatoes, or does your comment include the resistant starch supplement that you have been referring to from Bob’s Red Mill? I’m just confused about your comment, and hope you wouldn’t mind clarifying it. Thanks.

    “The biggest joke of all is that resistant starch will likely make you fatter, but healthier. There’s actually a term for it in the studies: ‘MHO’, Metabolically Healthy but Obese.”

  31. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 08:54

    @R – One thing that I am super-glad about is that nobody has chimed in and said, “I ate 4TBS of potato starch a day for 6 weeks and lost 12 pounds!” It would be cool if it was that easy, but RS is not a weightloss tool, just like Vit D is not a weightloss tool. Eating RS rich foods or taking straight potato starch needs to be looked at as a way to set your gut flora straight, and once that’s done, hopefully reap the rewards in better insulin sensitivity, better sleep, better digestion, better conversion of vitamins and minerals, and better metabolism–all which may lead to long term weight control.

    I made the comment because of a little dig that Matt took in the main article saying RS will become a new diet fad for 2014 or something like that.

    Thanks for asking!

  32. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 09:02

    @R – Oh, this probably answers your question better…I was reading this study just before I saw that 180 post: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725498/

    “The failure of advice from the medical profession, scientists and governments for people to lose weight has forced consideration of whether people can be fat but healthy (metabolically healthy but obese, MHO). Although a proportion of the population appears to be naturally MHO [73], which may be associated with factors such as distribution of fat mass [74] and inflammatory status [75], the question remains are there simple life-style interventions than can improve metabolic health in the majority of the obese population? The current study suggests that, in the short term, this is not achieved by moderate increases fibre intake, either in RS or NSP form, above that currently recommended. There may be effects of such dietary interventions but these appear small compared with the improvements achieved by only a very modest weight loss. Of course, there may be additional beneficial effects on gut health, especially in the colon [15,72,76]. The careful nutritional control exerted in the current study was of only limited duration and other benefits may emerge from longer studies, as observed with low GI diets [12]. Furthermore, dietary fibre may alleviate the potential reduction in IS induced by certain nutrients, including protein [50]. Nonetheless, longer term weight loss also produces substantial benefits in terms of metabolic health [61] and so the route of reduced body mass should still be the main target of lifestyle intervention. ”

    What this study looked at is: is it possible to feed unhealthy obese people resistant starch and miraculously make them healthy while still obese? The answer is NO. Weight loss needs to be the primary concern. In my opinion, it needs to be done in conjunction with healing the gut–and that’s where RS comes in. If you just unleashed RS on the public and said, ‘eat this and you will lose weight’, most would probably end up fatter. One reason being that having better gut microbes means they can extract more nutrition out of the food your eat–a study Richard put up a couple weeks ago explored this in depth, and found that rats (I think) got heavier, but not fatter. They grew lean body mass.

  33. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 09:12

    @Jeff – We are kind of making this up as we go along. There is no ‘protocol’, but I’m sure some slick salesman doctor will come up with one soon.

    My thoughts are: Screw Fiber. The fiber labels placed on food are meaningless. The term ‘fiber’ as we use it means any fiber, soluble, insoluble, fermentable, non-fermentable. Some fibers you want–some you don’t.

    I say, aim for eating as many fruits and vegetables in a day as fits your appetite, workload, calories targets, etc… Try to eat a wide variety of fresh and cooked veggies, and eat some every day. Include the RS-rich foods we have talked about in your meal plans. I like to think that 20-30g/day is a good target for RS, if you aren’t hitting that with food, take a spoonful of potato starch.

    20-30g/day in food looks like: 2-3 green bananas. 2 cups of cooked, cooled, then re-cooked rice, beans, or potatoes. 1 large plantain either dried or cubed and stirfried. There’s RS in other foods, if you’ve seen the Master List, but you’ll see it’s hard to get more than 2-3g per day from those, unless you can eat 3 cups of cashews.

  34. R on September 27, 2013 at 09:15

    Oooooh! That makes complete sense now. Thank you for taking the time to clarify that. I only check Matt’s site ever now and then to see if there’s anything worth reading (he sometimes says something I agree with), so I was a bit confused seeing your comment (I don’t know your opinion on Matt’s point of view). I’m okay with RS not directly creating weight loss, I just don’t want to gain weight. I have several health issues related to my current weight (not “high” cholesterol, or any nonsense like that), and I can’t gain more weight. Your comment temporarily scared me since I just started taking the potato starch supplement to help improve my gut health. I hope that will result in weight loss down the road as my health improves. I’m not willing to do anything that will screw up my health or metabolism, and risk gaining more weight, so adding the potato starch feels like a safe step to take as long as it doesn’t cause weight gain. Time will tell, but your explanation eased my mind, so I will continue to take the potato starch and see what happens. Thank you.

  35. Richard Nikoley on September 27, 2013 at 09:25

    Who the fuck is Matt Stone, who cares, and why?

  36. Richard Nikoley on September 27, 2013 at 09:27

    …Are you talking about the guy who did ONE POST on RS like 4 years ago, never mentioned it since, and quickly moved onto refined sugar as the new medicine for all that ails you?

  37. R on September 27, 2013 at 09:51

    He recently took a poke at RS in one of his posts. I didn’t know he mentioned RS before now. I only came across his site a year or so ago, but I don’t ‘follow’ him. I only pop in every now and again to see what he’s talking about, so I can’t say much about him other than that.

  38. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 09:53

    @Richard – Yep, that’s the guy. I go there for lafs every now and then. I think he has a good blog for people who got caught up in the various dieting scams trying to look like bikini models and ruined their health…he makes them feel good and tells them it’s OK to be heavy…eat that pizza…drink that Coke…recently Anthony Colpo has been doing a guest appearance talking about the stupidity of Healthy Whole Grains and nailing it.

  39. Richard Nikoley on September 27, 2013 at 10:02

    @tatertot 9:43

    Yea, the actual cool thing about RS is that it’s not a short term miracle in terms of weight loss.

    But the jury is still out on it’s being an easy long term solution. Look, getting fat didn’t take a week or two. It took years of frog in the increasingly boiling water, until he was cooked. That’s what I’m betting on. Look at it this way. If increasingly compromised gut bacteria motivate you to eat a bit more because of malabsorption, but healing that provides for better absorption, then this pretty much leapfrogs (wow, two frog metaphors in one comment) all dietary advice including Paleo.

    My view: fix the 90% and have the patience to see if over time! with ups & downs, you lose the excess fat at roughly the same way you gained it.

    This is why I’m not only not adverse, but celebrate food manufacturers to get RS into their goodies. It won’t help Paleo because that’s a whole other step, but it might minimally help reverse 4 decades of ignorance.

    In my view, the thing that will actually derail manufactures in this is that their products cause people to fart more. That’s the subject of a post I’m working on, but requires a total effort in funny and ironic.

  40. Richard Nikoley on September 27, 2013 at 10:12

    @tatertot. I was being facetious. Search my blog for Matt Stone.

  41. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 10:13

    @Richard – I’m with you 100%, I just rue the day when every wheat flour muffin, bagel, and cupcake comes ‘fortified with resistant starch!’ and people stuff them down faster than ever.

  42. Tatertot on September 27, 2013 at 10:16

    @Richard – just searched…yes you know the guy well. Making money off people who can’t ‘do paleo’ is still makin’ money–gotta give him that.

  43. CDLXI on September 27, 2013 at 10:37

    Has anyone noticed improvement in low body temperature using RS? I have hypothyroidism and have checked my temp nearly every day for 20 years. I averaged about 97.5 for a few years then did LC for a few years and temp stayed around 97.1. I switched to VLC because LC didn’t seem to be working any more and my temp dropped to 96.8. Not good. My prescription was raised yet again but most days my temp would still barely hit 97 plus I felt like crap so I started PHD safe starches plus plenty of fruits and immediately felt better and body temp climbed to a average 97.2 for the past couple of years. I have tried coconut oil, increased activity, herbs, and so on and nothing helped to raise my temp.
    2 weeks ago I started 4 T potato starch per day and within 5 days my temp started to climb daily. I took my temp this morning it was 98.6 I don’t fucking believe it! It’s been decades since I’ve seen that temp. I have made no other changes other than the 4 T RS. Is this a fluke? Has any one else noticed this or checked for body temp changes?

  44. E on September 27, 2013 at 11:28

    @CDLXI – I’m so glad that you brought body temperature up. My temps in the morning have averaged between 95.5 – 96.5 for years and would go up to just past 97(at best) in the late afternoon. Since starting potato starch(4T) per day, my waking temps are just above 97 and get to 98.1(my highest) in the late afternoon. I couldn’t be happier. I assume its the better digestion and absorption but who knows.

    @tatertot – about weight loss… when I first started the potato starch, I couldn’t stop peeing for 3-4 days and lost 6 pounds that I haven’t put back on.(about 3 weeks)

  45. […] temperature measurers for those into that (I'm not, even though I'm clinically HypoT). Here's the comment from CDXLI—who's been checking body temperature daily since young Matt Stone was in diapers, or thereabouts. […]

  46. Richard Nikoley on September 27, 2013 at 11:36


    I checked. You’re at about 18 total comments at FTA. Some do hundreds.

    But you get a whole post:


  47. CDLXI on September 27, 2013 at 12:28


    I am so curious to see if others experienced this but most people don’t keep a close eye on their body temps. Maybe those just starting RS can watch for temp changes now .

  48. R on September 27, 2013 at 13:59

    @ CDLXI – I’m hypo as well. I can start checking my temps, but I’ve been taking the potato starch for several days now, so I have no idea what my start temp was. It would still be interesting to see if it goes up at all from this point. I can update you in about a week.

    @ E – I have been peeing a lot the last two days as well, even though I haven’t changed my fluid intake. I was down a pound this morning. I didn’t mention it because 2 days and 1 pound down really isn’t proof of anything. A several pound fluctuation is normal anyhow. Now I’m curious if what happened to you is happening to me. Well, if my weight keeps going down, and stays down, I’ll let you all know that as well.

  49. CDLXI on September 27, 2013 at 16:09

    E- Very interesting.

    R- Looking forward to your temp readings.

  50. R on September 28, 2013 at 03:00
  51. Alexandra on September 28, 2013 at 06:03

    Richard, how was your appetite in the days and hours after these tests ?(if you talked about this and I missed it, sorry) My main issue with carbs, starchy ones in particular is that I become preoccupied with eating and am never quite satiated and feel driven to continue eating.. I suppose they somehow interfere with hunger/satiety signals but I really don’t know. I prefer to forget about food between meals so LC works for me. I have no blood sugar issues and health problems.

  52. tatertot on September 28, 2013 at 06:49

    @Alexandria – I used to get that preoccupation with eating and never felt satiated when I was eating Oreos and Pringles. I pretty much got control over it when I went paleo and stopped eating junk food. I was LC/VLC for several years–when I added potatoes, rice, and beans back, they didn’t have any effect other than making me feel really, really full and warm after eating.

    If you google ‘food satiety index’ you’ll see the lowly boiled potato looming high above all other foods–meaning most satiating. I can attest to that.

    I can’t really say that RS does much for me in terms of feeling full, and lots of studies have been done on that very thing. Some say yes, some say no. Some people say that gut flora is a leading cause of bingeing and food cravings, so maybe straightening out gut flora can straighten out hunger issues.

    I can guarantee that eating a couple spoonfuls of potato or tapioca starch will not do anything to your hunger in the short term. You do it, and it’s like it never happened–you don’t feel anything. Just like drinking water, if that makes sense.

  53. Alexandra on September 28, 2013 at 17:43

    @tatertot Thanks for that. I’ve been doing this for nearly six years now and have had great success (down 130 lbs) Low carb has worked so well, is so easy and I enjoy the food and results.. I believe I am completely healthy with no known gut issues ( though I suppose there are ones that aren’t obvious.) I enjoy mashed potatoes so I may include that in a future meal and see what happens to my satiety.
    Quite honestly, the only thing I really miss eating on a regular basis is really strong, salty black licorice.. I am no cook but I am pondering a recipe trial to see what I can up with that has no wheat and only enough molasses for a hint of sweet. Most good black licorice is made from licorice extract, wheat, molasses, salt, and anise.

  54. Spanish Caravan on September 29, 2013 at 14:44

    Hey, you know, I think I’m noticing the same thing. I’ve been only been doing it for 10 days. I just noticed that my body temp is higher, around 98.2, which is very high for me. I’m usually at 97.0. Wow.

    Has anyone checked their thyroid hormone levels (like T3 or FT3) or their white blood cell counts? I’ve long suffered from low FT3 and WBC (due probably to my foolish VLC experiment that lasted more than a year, which kickstarted my hypothyroidism) and I’m wondering if it will go up the next time I test. Has anyone got themselves tested yet?

  55. Johan Lindén on September 30, 2013 at 03:27

    Two questions regarding potato starch:

    1. What happens when people add it in their oat meal, make a sauce with it, or add it to other hot foods? Doesn’t the gelatinazition make it lose its RS properties?

    2. How come, according to the RS pdf, does potato meal and potato starch differ so extremely much in RS content? I thought PS was pretty much the same thing as potato meal. Can someone please clarify to this concept?

  56. La Frite on September 30, 2013 at 04:18

    I think I can explain 2:
    – PS is obtained by mechanical processed that do not heat the starch (the only heating applied is when the starch is dried, which does not heat it up beyond its breaking point)
    – PM is a different thing: it is cooked potatoes that are dehydrated and turned into a powder. The taste and color are quite different between PS and PM …

  57. […] Spanish Caravan // Sep 29, 2013 at 14:44 […]

  58. La Frite on October 1, 2013 at 04:11

    Buckwheat groats make a nice carby, RS rich sort of porridge. Buckwheat flour (called sarrasin in French) makes fantastic crêpes! I gave my recipe to Richard a while back:

    – 150g buckwheat flour
    – 3 cups of milk (full fat, A2 type preferably) or water or half milk / half water or how you feel like it
    – 3 large eggs.
    – salt to taste
    – optionally: flavor like onion / paprika powder / herbal salt

    Mix all this together, you get a quite liquid batter. Let it rest between 5-10mn to 1 hour either at room temp or in the fridge.

    – warm up a pan (non stick preferably), add a little butter and make crêpes as usual. They should be thin and wide, I am not talking about pancakes here. You can then add some more butter in the middle of the crepe, add an egg, ham and some grated emmental. Fold back the crepe edges without completely covering the egg and let the stuff cook until done. You then have a “Galette bretonne” :)

    You can check this picture:

    Eat that with a nice apple cider (bolée) and you have a very decent meal!

  59. Johan Lindén on September 30, 2013 at 14:13

    Thanks La Frite, that explains it!

    hopefully someone can explain the important question no. 1.

  60. marie on September 30, 2013 at 14:32

    Johan Lindén, see extensive information re.no.1 in the RS series on this blog. Short answer: yes, for it to stay resistant you don’t cook it.

  61. Johan Lindén on October 1, 2013 at 03:16

    Thanks! That’s what I thought.

    I read a lot of information here on the blog. But there are many posts on this subject right now : )

  62. Johan Lindén on October 1, 2013 at 03:18

    An idea that I have that should be tested is that people who have changed their intestinal bacteria with RS should try regular organic milk to see if they now can stand lactose better.

  63. La Frite on October 1, 2013 at 03:29

    Hello Johan,
    I did not try to see if I am better at lactose digestion (last time I tried again, I got super bloated) but a few weeks ago, I tried coconut milk … that screwed me up big time.

    BUT! The last 3 days, I took some PS just before bed time. In the past, I could hardly ingest PS mixed in water but after reading this blog some more, I tried again and lo and behold! I can down it just fine … and the amazing thing : no increased fartage at all! … so I may try the milk thing again when I am comfortable with the PS sup. I eat stir-fry rice, roasted potatoes, buckwheat and green bananas quite frequently so the PS sup is only on days when I eat nothing but animal foods (like eggs, liver, steaks, sausages, cheese, yogurt). I will keep you posted if I do the milk experiment (I suck at lactose digestion usually).

  64. Johan Lindén on October 1, 2013 at 03:51

    Frite, how do you eat buckwheat?

    Richard, how about getting a forum for discussions? This comment sections are getting pretty off-topic (but interesting).

  65. La Frite on October 1, 2013 at 04:12

    You can also wrap a nice sausage in it, and get a “Breton hot-dog”, to be eaten by hand :D

  66. Johan Lindén on October 1, 2013 at 04:16

    Will try that for sure! I’ll think I’ll make mine crêpes suzette or even better so… with dark chocolate! ; )

  67. La Frite on October 1, 2013 at 05:05

    Sarrasin (buckwheat) and sweetness / chocolate ? … I don’t know, the flavor if this flour is quite earthy / strong. I am not sure it would make a terrific sweet treat. But please try and report!! :D

  68. Johan Lindén on October 1, 2013 at 06:14

    I love granola/müsli on soaked and raw food dried buckwheat. Perfect in sweet condition! Even had that raw food granola with chocolate taste. Very tasty!

  69. kate on October 5, 2013 at 07:57

    @ tatertot, I like your theory above about gas. Hoping mine will eventually go away, even though I’ve been RSing for about four months.

  70. Tatertot on October 5, 2013 at 09:16

    @kate – how much are you taking?

  71. kate on October 5, 2013 at 14:13


    Between 2-4 tablespoons of potato starch. I quit for a few days when I was getting ready for my daughters wedding, but gas recommenced when I started up again. I recently read your discovery about fried rice somewhere on this blog, and I do eat fried rice for breakfast fairly often–so perhaps I’m getting more rs than I thought.

  72. yien on October 5, 2013 at 18:42

    It would be interesting to get people’s experiences with fartage, i think a combination of rs amounts, plus gut health, plus other probiotics is a key to getting ovrr fartage. honey helped me

  73. tatertot on October 5, 2013 at 21:37

    @kate, yien, and whoever else is interested –

    Dr. BG wrote this today: url-removed/2013/10/giq-and-distal-gut-microbiome-as-driver.html It has lots of good references to what we are doing here with potato starch.

    I think if people have trouble with fartage after 3-4 weeks, I’d recommend sticking with 1TBS of PS per day and see how you do, while eating lots of RS rich and fermented food/dairy or probiotic supps.

    It’s very likely you are missing important ‘keystone’ microbes that help ferment RS. You need to SEED and FEED them, as Dr BG would say.

  74. tatertot on October 5, 2013 at 21:40

    Meant to include this from AnimalPharm article I linked above. Words to live by!:

    There are a couple of elements that I believe are fundamental in a stable, homeostatic gut ecosystem that will take one to advanced longevity:
    –genetics (respect your ancestry… don’t mess genetic expression with synthetic hormones, vitamins, endocrine-disrupting pollution, pesticides, GMO food/products, lifestyles, thoughts or people)
    –super tight junctions and intestinal IMPERMEABILITY
    –balanced flora
    –special ‘keystone leaders’ like E. limosum, B subtilis, B licheniformis, and many others
    –seed (return to the earth and intake healthy earth — soil based organisms in fermented organic vegetables, fresh salads, and supplements if necessary (list here I like))
    –weed (avoid mercury, toxins, food allergens/gluten and detox/chelate safely)
    –feed with fiber (resistant starches, heirloom and native tubers, organic whole non-gluten grains, lentils, chana dal, legumes)
    –exercise daily to move the gut (peristalsis), e.g. 10,000 steps or one hour mild to mod intensity. SIBO causes impaired gastric and intestinal peristalsis (and vice versa, sitting/atrophy can affect SIBO)
    –misc (avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, CDAD (iatrogenic or antibiotic-induced C. difficile-associated diarrhoea), antibiotics, and other gut irritants like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) — ibuprofen, motrin, aleve, excedrine, etc)

  75. kate on October 6, 2013 at 05:55

    Thanks everyone. Very interesting. I confess I have trouble with fermented foods. Miso or Kefir equals massive migraine. Sauerkraut, yogurt equals headache. Going to a Korean restaurant with my Korean friend is always an act of trepidation for me. Actually, that was the main reason I started the potato starch experiment, to see if I could mediate this intolerance. PS does not have any negative effects except the gas. (And several positive ones, especially excellent tmi) I have tried various probiotics, which don’t seem to bother me, but don’t help the gas. I have some prescript assist, I’m going to try that with reduced amounts of potato starch. I suspect soil based organisms are important.

  76. tatertot on October 6, 2013 at 10:09

    And, just remember, RS/potato starch is probably not the mythical magic bullet we are all searching for, just a step in the right direction.

  77. tatertot on October 7, 2013 at 07:59

    @Johan L – Good question, here’s how to find quick answers to questions like that you may have in the future.

    Bookmark this link: https://freetheanimal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Resistant-Starch-in-Foods.pdf It’s the 7 page list of ‘RS Contents in Food’ that we put together a while back. Find the food, or a similar food, you are curious about, and then start looking at the references. In this case–Frozen Potatoes–you can scroll down to the “Roots and Tubers” section and you will see a listing for “Potatoes – Boiled/Frozen for 30 days”with references 2, 8, and 12. Click on the link for reference 2 and, viola! All your questions answered!

    But for people to busy to do this, here’s the Cliff Notes version:

    Freezing does not effect raw starch granules (RS2), only the plant cells they are contained in. There is a South American food staple called Chuno, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu%C3%B1o , made by repeatedly freezing and thawing potatoes. This eventually drives all moisture out and leaves them with a mummified potato that is nearly pure starch.

    Freezing has a profound effect on starch granules that have been cooked (swollen/burst). It is mainly an effect of amylose starch (not amylopectin), but when this type of starch is cooked and then cooled to at least 40 degrees, the starch will crystallize and for retrograde resistant starch, known as RS3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrogradation_%28starch%29 .

  78. Johan Lindén on October 7, 2013 at 05:49

    Have anyone really checked is RS in frozen potatoes really works? One could make the reasonable claim that when water expand in frozen state it destroys RS, and make it more like a baked potato, with less RS, than if boiled.

    Just a food for thought.

  79. Natural on October 7, 2013 at 10:08

    I can’t seem to get rid of these dull headaches since I started on PS. I am taking 1 T with breakfast, 1 T with my evening protein shake and 1T after dinner with yogurt. Diet is non-paleo but I try to get as much protein as possible (about 100 to 120 g) and most of my carbs are from milk, parboiled rice, veg, oatmeal, wine etc.
    This dull headache usually starts around 4 PM. What do you think is going on? Do you suggest I take all my PS at night with yogurt?
    I have been doing this PS regimen for 3 weeks now. I checked my FBG yesterday and it was 94. Five months ago my lab said it was 100. How long did it take for you to get your FBG to such low levels of 70’s?

    I plan to do the blood glucose spike test once I get more testing strips. As well, I will also take multiple readings over a period of 1 week to check the average FBG.

  80. tatertot on October 7, 2013 at 11:02

    @Natural – Here’s a couple ideas:

    1. Instead of BG test strips, get an HbA1c done ASAP.

    2. Stop taking PS for a while and see if headaches clear up. I seriously doubt they are related, though.

    3. Clean up your non-paleo diet. As a minimum, eliminate wheat, vegetable oil, and added sugars/chemical sweeteners for a couple months. And try to eat lots of RS rich foods, a green banana per day, perhaps.

    4. If you eliminate PS as the cause of headaches, re-introduce as you were taking it before.

    5. Get an HbA1c after 6 months and compare to earlier reading.

    All this stuff we’ve been doing with FBG and after-meal BG spikes is not really that important to someone with normal BG regulation. We have just been doing it to show that it does have an impact and that ketosis and diet also play into it. It’s not really something that most people even need to think about. The A1c test will show long term insulin sensitivity/resistance and is a way better marker to track than FBG or post-meal spikes in the absence of diabetes or pre-diabetes.

    Hope that all makes sense!

  81. Natural on October 7, 2013 at 12:08

    You are right in that my headaches may not be related to PS at all. I have not been getting my 8 hours of sleep lately and that could be another reason. I’ll eliminate PS for a couple of days and see what happens.

    I did get the HbA1c from my last labs in May of this year and it was within normal range. The next comprehensive lab for me will be in May 2014 which is about 6 months away. But currently I am really interested in regulating my post-prandial BG spikes as I am trying to get rid of the last few body % of fat and the post meal energy slump.
    I want to continue supplementing with RS/PS and see what happens at my next labs. I have diabetes on both sides of my parents and want to take all the precautions I can.

    One by one, I am changing my food habbits for the better- both for nutrition as well as time saving. I have started freezing batch cooked parboiled rice (and fry it some times- huge time saver), lentils cooked and chilled after soaking. Rice is a staple in our culture and wheat is not, so I am good on the gluten front. I’ll now start cooking big batches of various kinds of beans after a 36 hour soak and freeze them(I am talking batches to last a whole month).

    I love beans for their protein and satiety benefits. I did the Tim Ferris slow carb thing for a while and I think he got it only partially right. His theory is that- by reducing the number of BG spikes and therefore insulin secretion, the body is less likely to store energy as fat. He got the beans part right but not how to get the most RS from beans; nor the connection between RS, gut bacteria and BG regulation.

    Oh BTW, thank you so much for everything you are doing on the RS front.

  82. tatertot on October 7, 2013 at 12:21

    @Natural – I’m not convinced at all that completely minimizing BG spikes and insulin is good for us in any way–I hope I never gave that impression, but see how it might look that way.

    I think insulin sensitivity is the goal, and that will only come from spiking BG on a regular basis. If your last A1C was normal and your FBG is regularly under 100, you are good to go in the insulin sensitivity department. Eating RS foods will help keep you there, but don’t sweat the BG rise after eating and don’t avoid certain foods just to prevent spiking BG a bit after meals.

    If you are like 5-10 pounds from your goal weight, here’s how to lose it without screwing up your metabolism and wasting months dieting: Just eat potatoes. Nothing else. You can use a tiny bit of fat when frying some, but eat most of them plain. Maybe a tiny bit of ketchup to help them go down, some salt and vinegar, too, but no other food. Eat 2-3 pounds a day and watch the fat melt off. Do it for 5-7 days, then go back to regular plan for a week or so. Do this as many times as it takes to lose all the weight you want. You’ll know after the first 5 days if this is for you or not. I used to waste so much time trying to lose the ‘last 10’ and then was petrified that it would come back.

    The Potato Hack is like hitting the reset button. No counting macros or calories. You just have to muscle through the monotony. It’s a self-limiting yo-yo as you will not want to do this very often! A hack of epic proportion, but it works. Try it!

  83. Natural on October 7, 2013 at 12:42

    Potato hack…thought about it but haven’t been able to convince myself yet. Is there a specific way that the potatos must be cooked? Like bake, roast or steamed? Can I put other spices like garlic, chili pepper or hot sauce etc or should I limit the spices to salt and vinegar only?
    By my calculation, 3lb of potatoes is about 1300 kcal. You don’t think that is too little and it won’t mess up my metabolism, right? My normal resting metabolic rate is about 2300 kcal. I am not trying to be obsessed with calories-in-calories-out but want to make sure I don’t screw up my metabolism by eating too little.

  84. Natural on October 7, 2013 at 12:55

    Also, it’s really not the pounds I am trying to lose just the last 2-3% of body fat- which in my case is about 5 pounds of fat. If I have to sacrifice a couple of pounds of muscle in the process I am ok, but definitely don’t want to lose much more muscle than that.

  85. tatertot on October 7, 2013 at 13:45

    @Natural – What screws up people’s metabolisms is trying to lose weight by manipulating calories and macros for long periods (IMO). People can fast for 5-7 days, eating a crap-load of potatoes for that long is a piece of cake. You lose the fat, then get on with your life. If you have 50-100 pounds to lose, you need to be really smart about it and do it slowly, steadily, and keep at it. When you just need to lose 5-10 pounds, I think it should just be done as fast as possible (without starving) so you can get back to normal life, but realize you may need to cut back a bit to maintain at the lower level.

    Most think it is way easier to gain or maintain than to lose, the potato hack levels the playing field–losing is just as easy as gaining and maintaining, in reality.

    Here’s how to do it. Plan on 7 days. Make sure you don’t have any parties or eating events in that time. Buy 20 pounds of really nice potatoes–doesn’t matter what kind, I like Yukon Golds or red ones. Try to get them all in the 1/2 pound range.

    Boil half of them. Store in fridge. Use these for lunches and snacks, cold or microwaved. For dinners, get a bit more inventive if you like. Oven fried, baked, cubes, hashbrowned, pan-fried, whatever. Use whatever spices you want. I like lots of salt, and salt may be important while doing this. Drink water or coffee/tea only.

    Eat your first potato (or two) at 11 or 12 (assuming you are on a normal schedule), eat again at dinner–have 2-3 potatoes. If you need a snack, eat a potato. So easy a caveman could do it.

    Don’t eat 10 pounds of potatoes a day and say you gained weight. Don’t eat 3 potatoes, then a half a chicken and say you gained weight. Don’t eat potatoes all day and a handful of nuts and 3 bananas and say it doesn’t work. You probably will be hungry during this, but not painfully so. You may be only getting 800-1000 calories a day. Don’t count the calories if that bothers you. You will be amazed what food tastes like at the end of 5-7 days after eating potatoes only, that alone is worth it to me.

    You will lose mainly fat on this, hardly any muscle or water weight. Don’t work out like a madman while doing the potato hack, think ‘de-load week’. Walk if you want to exercise. This is all about mobilizing fat stores and this plan is fool-proof for doing that. When you start eating normally again, most people lose an additional 2-3 pounds over the next week–it’s not like when you fast and lose only water weight, you will see.

    Give it a shot–what have you to lose?

  86. Natural on October 7, 2013 at 13:59

    Perfect timing then…my de-load week is coming up in about 2 weeks time. I think I am going to try this hack. What have I got to lose- except a few lbs of fat :-)

  87. tatertot on October 7, 2013 at 14:07

    Don’t go into it with the mindset that you can eat as many potatoes as you can, go into it with the mindset that you will only eat as many potatoes as it takes. I find after day 2 or 3 I only need 2-3 potatoes (1-2 pounds). You will get sick of potatoes, but that’s part of it. As soon as you give yourself permission to eat other foods, it’s over. You’ll see what I mean! You will also get to experience the joy of daily weighing again.

  88. Richard Nikoley on October 7, 2013 at 14:09

    Very nice 1 pager, Tim.

    It’s all anyone every really needs to do that.

    I’d add one thing. If you get bored, go get some kitchen basics beef and chicken stock. It’s the best, and the only one with 5g protein per cup. Very low calorie and you can make a soupy thing with your boiled taters, mash it up with taters, or reduce it and make a gravy for mash (my personal fav)

  89. yien on October 7, 2013 at 19:00

    I like Dr BGs stuff but think she misses her own points sometimes. For example, weeding is about avoidance and no antibiotics, whereas the opposite should perhaps be applying. You absolutely need antibiotics if you have a heavy pre and probiotic diet. HGs can get the majority of their calories , depending on season, from antibiotic foods.

  90. Perry on October 10, 2013 at 13:54

    Tater wrote:
    Here is the study I just mentioned. Rats, oh well. link to jn.nutrition.org

    “There is evidence that the substrate interaction between starch and dietary fiber fermentation may occur in the large bowel and that the colonic microflora preferentially use the more easily fermented carbohydrates in starch, indicating a dietary fiber-sparing effect by starch. Just the opposite may hold true for the interaction of certain dietary fibers with higher fermentability and starch; that is, a starch-sparing effect by dietary fiber.”

    Hi Tim,

    Do I take this to mean certain undesirable gut bacteria in specific places, large colon, small intestine, (sibo), can be culled by restricting starch in general (a traditional LC/VLC approach) but using RS and possibly low starch fruit sugar?

    The RS feeds the good bacteria which it thrives on while the much larger population of bad actors starves for lack of it main food source, starches – non-RS, and any additional fructose/sugar goes towards Jamanet PHD style maintenance carbs, mucosal barriers, collagen production etc.

    Maybe this is why many people cannot each “starch” but others have no problem, seems to be a common anecdote in blogasphere.

  91. tatertot on October 10, 2013 at 14:50

    @Perry – What you are saying is probably right, but not what the study linked was saying.

    When they said: “There is evidence that the substrate interaction between starch and dietary fiber fermentation may occur…” The starch they are referencing is High-Amylose Corn Starch, a resistant starch–not a regular starch.

    The study was just comparing the fermentation sites of RS and Psyllium Fiber in the large intestine and showed that when the two were combined, the RS was fermented first which allowed the psyllium fiber to travel further down the large intestine before it got fermented. If either is consumed alone, they would just get fermented in the very first part of the large intestine.

    Lack of fermentation in the further (distal) parts of the large intestine is thought to be a major contributor of colon disease, most often seen in the distal portions of the colon.

    Good question and good observations about why some cannot eat starch–I see that all the time , too, reading around.!

  92. tatertot on October 13, 2013 at 08:53

    @Natural – You caught me surfin’. Go check this out:

    But also lots on FTA: https://freetheanimal.com/?s=potato+hack Lots of good comments on all these.

    I think the real reason it works is a huge calorie deficit with just enough gut activity and protein (and fat from your own stores) to keep you out of any conservation mode. A lot of people compared it to doing HCG in that respect.

    Skin on, skin off, doesn’t matter–just take normal precautions–trim away eyes, green, and black stuff. Try to get some really good quality spuds, organic if possible, but right now is the best time to do this as potato harvest is in full swing and fresh, untreated potatoes are easily available. I’m always leery of potatoes in the spring and summer that have been stored in a warehouse for 8-12 months by that time.

    Extra RS? Dunno. I would think an extra dose of RS would help things as the RS mainly serves digestion/gut microbes. You will still get a big BG response from a big potato, trust me! But lots of success without any thought to RS last year from everybody.
    Keep us posted!

  93. tatertot on October 13, 2013 at 12:00

    @Johan – re: freezing potatoes. The only way I have found to freeze then where they don’t get mushy is in a seal-a-meal type vacuum bag. Re-heat by boiling and they come out perfectly. But unless you just have leftovers you are wanting to freeze, storing them in the fridge is enough to turn the starch back into RS and less a pain than freezing them. Freezing works really well for rice and beans, though.

    If you are wanting to do the Potato Hack, then you will, by definition, need to avoid animal fat. Richard found that using a tiny bit to fry the potatoes in worked well, but you need to make sure it is calorically insignificant. I, personally, avoid everything that is not a potato. Minimal spices, salt, and a touch of ketchup make it easier, but I draw the line when it comes to any other food or fat.

    You said:

    “Maybe one could try half green bananas for one meal in a day and potatoes for the rest and it would work better, the same or slightly worse than potatoes alone? Comments on that appreciated.”

    That may work. All green bananas may work. All eggs may work. Any combination of anything may work, but then it wouldn’t be the potato diet, would it? Many have tried different combos and all, to my knowledge, have failed. The satiety just isn’t there.

    Google ‘food satiety chart’ and tell me what looms above everything else.

    This guy devoted a whole website to disprove the Potato Hack, but it looks like the website is no longer working. We talked about it on MDA here: J. Stanton from Gnolls.org even gets in the comments.

    What was his ‘Potato Diet’ that was an epic fail? Potatoes+eggs+tuna, hardly the potato hack at all!

  94. Natural on October 13, 2013 at 08:40

    I have marked up my calendar to begin the Potato Hack the week of 10/28. The idea is to do it for 5 days- both myself and wifey- and see if we can pull it off.
    The theory about pancreas drawing up on body fat to produce insulin when on a fat-free high-glycemic (aka potato) diet is very intriguing to me and I have tried to find some scientific literature on this. But I have not been able to find anything that supports this theory. Would you please point me to any references in this regard, if you have any? Thank you!

    Also, is it ok to eat potatoes with skin on? I read here something about the eyes of the potato being harmful. What’s the deal with that? I am also going to cook the potatoes the normal way and not try and enhance the RS content by freezing etc. as I believe the extra RS content might be detrimental to the BG spike we are seeking and therefore required insulin. Please tell me if my thinking is wrong.

  95. Natural on October 13, 2013 at 10:45

    Thanks so much tatertot. Will update our progress beginning 10/28

  96. Natural on October 13, 2013 at 10:46

    BTW, I am assuming your handle on MDA is otzi, correct?

  97. tatertot on October 13, 2013 at 11:07

    That’s me!

  98. Johan Lindén on October 13, 2013 at 11:08

    I made some boiled potatoes and than froze them. When thawing them they become very soft and “mushy”. Is that something someone else experienced? Or did I just over-boil them to begin with?

    Also, should one avoid palmitic acid (fat from meat) during this high carb diet? [You should according the rat study below]

    *Benoit SC, Kemp CJ, Elias CF, Abplanalp W, Herman JP, Migrenne S, Lefevre AL, Cruciani-Guglielmacci C, Magnan C, Yu F, Niswender K, Irani BG, Holland WL, Clegg DJ (2009). “Palmitic acid mediates hypothalamic insulin resistance by altering PKC-θ subcellular localization in rodents”. Journal of Clinical Investigation 119 (9): 2577–2587. doi:10.1172/JCI36714. PMID 19726875

  99. Johan Lindén on October 13, 2013 at 11:17

    Another question regarding Tatartots well-writen diet suggestion to @natural above. Tatartot wrote: “Don’t eat potatoes all day and a handful of nuts and 3 bananas and say [the potato diet] doesn’t work.”

    Is that a guess or has that been tested? Maybe one could try half green bananas for one meal in a day and potatoes for the rest and it would work better, the same or slightly worse than potatoes alone? Comments on that appreciated.

  100. tatertot on October 13, 2013 at 12:07

    In case anyone cares, these were J. Stanton’s comments from the MDA post above:

    “pklopp: Thank you for the exhaustive self-documentation.

    Don’t worry about the haters: these arguments are always circular. If the fashionable-hack-of-the-month doesn’t work for you, it’s because you did it wrong — and if it does work, it’s because you did it right!

    Richard Nikoley added butter, onions, beef liver, and BCAAs (extra protein) to his potato regimen. Clearly he did it wrong! But since it worked for him (at least in the short term…the jury’s still out on long-term effectiveness), the advocates give him a pass. Whereas when it doesn’t work for pklopp, it must have been because he added tuna and egg whites instead of butter, onions, beef liver, and BCAAs.


    pklopp isn’t the first person to report that the potato hack doesn’t work for them. If you don’t want to hear that, go ahead and register 30potatoesaday.com. ”


    “I agree that pklopp didn’t do it like otzi…but neither did Richard, and no one’s telling Richard he did it wrong.

    No, I’m not arguing that it’s a dumb idea that doesn’t work! Clearly it works very well for some people, at least in the short term (the jury’s still out on long-term effects) — just as VLC/keto works very well for some people.

    However, I am not personally invested in its success or its failure. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I am still skeptical of the following claims:

    None of the weight lost is lean mass
    Eating anything but potatoes, including lean protein, disqualifies you (already disproven by Richard)
    The weight will always stay off in the long term (>1 year)

    Again, it’s funny to watch these fashions swing back and forth. “OMG weight loss on keto” “OMG weight loss on potatoes” Human metabolism is complex, we don’t fully understand it, and there are a bewildering variety of sound biochemical reasons for why you might carry more fat mass than you’d like.

    pklopp: I’m glad you find my articles useful, and I’m glad that you enjoyed The Gnoll Credo.


  101. Spanish Caravan on October 13, 2013 at 22:43

    This is TMI but I have to mention this since it seems to confirm the RS-inducing effect of freezing. I ate some green plantain slices after freezing them for 24 hours and then thawing. My stool was normal. Then I ate some plantain slices without freezing — my stool ballooned and I believe this is all insoluble fiber, which did not become soluble fiber. Is that right? The difference seems pretty drastic.

  102. tatertot on October 14, 2013 at 09:15

    The RS in plantains is different than the RS in frozen rice, beans, or potatoes. In plantains, the starch is resistant because it is in it’s natural form (RS2), just like a raw potato. To benefit from the RS formed after freezing (RS3) you need to cook it first, which turns the natural RS2 into plain old readily-digestible starch. When the RDS is cooled and even frozen, it reforms into a crystal structure called retrograded starch (RS3). The RS 3 holds onto this structure even when reheated and recooled, gaining even more RS3 each cycle (but only a fraction of the first cycle).

    So what you probably saw with the frozen plantains didn’t have much to do with RS, but more to do with the changing of the other fibers. Freezing is a lot like cooking in that respect, it destroys plant cells and causes them to burst open. I don’t think it effects the RS, though, but maybe.

  103. Spanish Caravan on October 14, 2013 at 10:06

    Thanks for your insights, Tatertot. I thought you only had to dehydrate plantains, freeze them, then thaw either at room temperature or microwave or heating a little bit. You’re saying I have to cook plantains first? Perhaps microwave, boil or fry in EVCO? And then freeze and thaw?

    But freezing does convert insoluble to soluble fiber, right? And isn’t insoluble fiber responsible for stool ballooning? Gee, need a whole anarchist’s cook book to follow instructions on RS!

  104. tatertot on October 14, 2013 at 11:20

    The biggest bang for your buck with plantains and green bananas is eaten raw or dried. Cooking them produces fine table fare, and cooling/freezing cooked plantains will increase the RS3, but nowhere near to what is was when it was raw–if that makes sense.

    I love cooked plantains and eat them maybe once or twice a month. I also make a huge batch of dried plantains about once a month and nibble on them daily for a couple weeks until they are gone. Drying them takes a bit of patience, takes about 2 days on hot sunny days, or 2-3 days in the house but sometimes they turn black if you dry too slowly. A fan on them helps a lot. Richard has an oven he can set to 100 degrees F or so, mine will only go down to 150 F.

    I read what you said about beans–bravo! Keep eating them–they are definitely good for you!

  105. Johan Lindén on October 14, 2013 at 12:12

    Tatartot, regarding the reheating of frozen potatoes. I have mine in Ziplock bags. Did you mean you reboil them putting the plastic bag in boiling water or to take out the potato?

    When thinking of it I guess you must mean to put the whole bag in. Just hope that it won’t contaminate with plastic chemicals when boiling.

    Thanks for your continuous ideas in this subject.

  106. Johan Lindén on October 14, 2013 at 12:20

    Btw, very good thoughts from J Stanton quoted above!

    Why can Richard succeed with his alternative potato diet while others won’t. Maybe you can cheat a bit, but just not too much, and then it won’t matter if it’s tuna, egg, liver, lard, or protein powder you cheat with.

  107. tatertot on October 14, 2013 at 14:00

    I meant put the whole thing in boiling water–that’s kind of what those sealer bags are for. Don’t think it would be the same with ziplocks. I know what you mean about the plastic.

    I thought those Stanton quotes were great, too. I’d forgotten all about those until I saw them yesterday. I love J Stanton’s stuff.

  108. Richard Nikoley on October 14, 2013 at 14:39


    The important thing to learn from the two cheaters is that I wanted it to succeed and the other guy did not.

    One other important thing is that I encouraged people to try it for themselves. I’m not too sure whether the other guy was trying to get others to duplicate his failure results or not, but I would guess not.

  109. marie on October 14, 2013 at 14:53

    I’ve never understood why people focus on some variation of some diet or method rather than doing the ‘straight’ or original method first, seeing whether it works for them and Then playing with it. Forums are frustrating that way, I don’t know how you manage to patiently deal with that… :)

  110. tatertot on October 14, 2013 at 21:25

    @marie – I learned pretty quickly that I could easily turn an N=1 into an N=100’s.

  111. Brad on October 15, 2013 at 11:48

    Tater/Marie, off topic but do you know if mixing a raw starch in fat and/or another sugar would affect it’s chemical makeup? Meaning, I know in water you have to heat it up to 150F for it to change. But could fat or sugar change it chemically in any way? The reason I ask is curiosity from what I see when I make a version of a high fat syrup I’ve tried a few times on some home made waffles. I mix tapioca starch in melted (liquid but cool) butter combined with a little cinnamon and molasses. Upon stirring it turns into a caramel-like goo. I don’t have any way to test BG so I don’t know if this mixture is harming the RS in the starch or not.

    Thanks for any insights.

  112. Brad on October 15, 2013 at 11:55

    Sorry, I know BG testing wouldn’t tell me much. But the question still stands of if this could break down the starch grains, and more broadly, what methods other than heat break down the starch grains? Acids? Perhaps something in the butter? What makes me wonder is how it turns into a goo similar to what I see when it’s heated in water.

  113. tatertot on October 15, 2013 at 13:28

    @Brad – Love it! A new challenge.

    Did a bit of digging after I read this on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starch_gelatinization “The gelatinization temperature of starch depends upon plant type and the amount of water present, pH, types and concentration of salt, sugar, fat and protein in the recipe… Some types of unmodified native starches start swelling at 55 °C, other types at 85 °C”

    So, I looked up the gelatinization temps, and potato is 60 degC while tapioca is 65-68 degC.

    I found this: http://www.corn.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Starch2006.pdf which says:

    “The effects of other materials in the solution on the rate of gelatinization of starch and the characteristics of the resulting pastes also can be observed. For example, when cooked in 10% sucrose solutions, starches gelatinize less rapidly and form less viscous pastes, since sucrose
    binds water so that less is available for granule gelatinization.”

    So, it looks like adding sugar would increase the temp needed to gelatinize the tapioca starch, and since it is already pretty high (65-68 deg C), I doubt that your melted butter and syrup are causing changes to the starch that would effect it’s RS qualities.

    A good experiment would be to make your syrup without any starch, then with a different starch such as potato.

    It’s possible you are seeing a caramelization of the sugars used, or an emuslion created with the oil and water fractions.

    To answer you second question, I read that the milling process can damage the starch granules and make them behave differently, but still in a band of only about 5 degrees–maybe important to food manufacturers, but not us.

  114. MsMcGillicuddy on October 16, 2013 at 09:48

    TT, I found a bag of frozen shredded potatoes at my local grocer – ingredients listed: organic potatoes.

    Since these are frozen, do you think we can assume they have more RS3 than if I made them at home myself – what I am getting at is that I don’t know of any other freaky processing they might do at the tato plant?

  115. tatertot on October 16, 2013 at 11:08

    Those should be great. I would imagine they are blanched before packaging, so they should have a nice bit of RS.

  116. MsMcGillicuddy on October 17, 2013 at 07:53

    They tasted great, but the shrinkage was incredible. The label didn’t mention any added water or liquids. I don’t recall freshly prepared shredded potatoes shrinking this much when cooked. You mentioned in a recent thread that you thought you found a reference regarding the amount of RS in frozen, then reheated potatoes and beans, as well as rice?

  117. DuckDodgers on October 19, 2013 at 17:24

    @tatertot, can you clarify about encouraging regular insulin spikes? I don’t measure BG as I have never had a need to (and I don’t want to) and my annual checkups have always showed FBG under 100. I went VLC for 6 months last year and FBG rose from 93 up to 97 and I got adrenal fatigue. Then I started the Perfect Health Diet with safe starches, my adrenal fatigue went away, and now I feel better than ever. Haven’t had my FBG tested since last year but I suspect it went down with the increased daily starch consumption. Starches were a life saver for me.

    Now everything is great, but the only thing is that I noticed that when I cheat on PHD and have an ice cream or a large cookie, I get quite sleepy an hour later — and I feel like taking a nap. I assume this is my blood sugar spiking rapidly followed by a sugar crash. It seems to happen 60-90 minutes after eating a good amount of refined sugar. Not a big deal and taking even a little RS makes those sugar crashes non-existent. I don’t remember these intense sugar crashes when I was eating high-carb SAD two years ago, but then again, I was always tired back then. I can’t tell if intense sugar crashes are just a normal/human response to eating refined sugar — and just never noticed it until now — or if VLC caused me to become overly sensitive to the occasional good-sized dose of refined sugar. Perhaps a bit of both.

    So, when you say we should encourage regular blood sugar spikes, are you just talking about the kind of “spike” someone would get from regularly eating a good meal with starches and feeling fine afterwards? Or are you saying that I should occasionally eat ice cream (without RS) and take a nap? :)

    PS — I do really well on RS. No gut issues. I just feel terrific when I take it. Thank you for all your research!

  118. Johan Lindén on October 20, 2013 at 21:01

    Anyone having any thoughts about a sweet potato (or similar) diet?

    Yes, sweet potatoes has lower satiety index and contains more sugar (probably fructose) but it is still a starch product and contains RS. So maybe it won’t lead to the same quick weight loss as potatoes, but it may be a good alternative. Especially as a way to broaden your potato menu.

    Also see this thread on the topic:

    Feel free to offer your thoughts on the subject! :)

  119. Brad on October 20, 2013 at 20:08

    @Tater, thanks for that info and trying to investigate. Sounds good. Another piece of evidence is when I eat this high fat syrup, which has a large amount of tapioca starch in addition to molasses, on my home made waffle I don’t get any carb crash afterwards, which makes sense if the starch is not hitting my BG and combined with the butter is blunting the effect of the sugar in the molasses.

  120. St. George's Dragon on October 20, 2013 at 21:04

    Duck, it seems like you may have reactive hypoglycemia. I’d get my HbA1c measured. You’re probably prediabetic, over 5.5. Trying to diagnose diabetes through fasting blood sugar in this day and age is like trying to kill a moose with a pop gun. Usually the fasting blood glucose crumbles after your postprandial blood sugar control disintegrates. It happens after you’re already diabetic. I’d get my A1c checked and also get my fasting c-peptide checked. Eelvated CP but normal FBG and prediabetic A1c are a sign that your insulin resistance is dangerously approaching the diabetic fault line. And I’d not do cookies or ice cream if I’m prediabetic.

  121. tatertot on October 21, 2013 at 08:55

    @Duck Dodger – I was referring to people who believe that the best way to prevent insulin resistance is to completely avoid anything that causes blood glucose spikes, ie. low carb/very low carb eating. I don’t think that eating ice cream and cookies for the sole-source of causing a BG spike is a good idea, just eat PHD style like you are and the BG will spike in response to the starches. Once you are insulin sensitive, your pancreas should be able to handle occasional sugar treats, if you go that route.

    @St G.D. – Good explanation!

    @Johan Linden – You’ll have to experiment and tell us. An all-sweet potato hack I doubt would work as well as regular potatoes, but just for eating as a near daily staple, they are fine.

  122. Johan Lindén on October 21, 2013 at 18:28

    I made some research. These are the 5 places in the world were they live healthiest the longest, with a list of typical food:

    1. Sardinia, Italy (legumes, potatoes, nuts)
    2. The islands of Okinawa, Japan (tea, fermented soy, low on rice, legumes, sweet potatoes)
    3. Loma Linda, California (nuts, veggies, legumes)
    4. Nicoya, Costa Rica (sweet potatoes, legumes)
    5. Ikaria, Greece (tea, taro root, nuts, potatoes, legumes, veggies, olive oil, sourdough bread)

    See a common denominator?

    What is as important though or more important maybe is what they don’t eat. They most likely eat moderate amount of grass-fed meat (not soy-fed), they don’t eat cow milk or cheese, hardly any vegetable oils beside olive oil, and are low on drugs.

    Enjoy the list fellow tuber eaters!

  123. Brad on October 22, 2013 at 05:40

    Ikarian’s and Okinawans eat a fair amount of fish. 50% of the people in Loma Linda are ovo-lacto (they eat eggs and dairy). The common denominator in this group is they don’t eat sugar and processed (man made) crap. They eat natural foods. And they don’t eat calories far in excess of what they need for the lifestyle/activity levels.

  124. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 19:45

    With regards to PHD levels of carbs feeling a bit high, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) says:

    “The Food & Nutrition Board of the National Academies, Institute of Medicine has released new recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for energy yielding nutrients including carbohydrate. The RDA for carbohydrate has been set at 130 grams per day for children and adults.

    The standard recommendation for carbohydrate is 45-65% of total calories. This means if 1800 calories are eaten each day, the recommended amount of carbohydrate is 202-292 grams based on 45-65% calories from carbohydrate.

    Carbohydrate (glucose) is your body’s favorite energy source. Many organs in the body can use protein or fat for energy if carbohydrate is not available. The brain, however, requires some carbohydrate (glucose) to function.
    The brain uses an average minimum of 130 grams carbohydrate daily. This minimal amount is where the RDA is derived. Consider that other parts of the body would like to use carbohydrate for energy as well.

    The importance of eating a diet with carbohydrate sources including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low fat dairy products is stressed in the American Diabetes Association journals. The American Diabetes Association also indicates that consideration for the total amount of carbohydrate in each meal and/or snack should be held with high importance.

    Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington D.C., National Academy of Sciences.

    Franz, Marion J. Nutrition FYI. So Many Nutrition Recommendations – Contradictory or Compatible? Diabetes Spectrum 16: 56-63.

    Not sure if there’s good science to back that up or not, but if that’s true, it sounds like the PHD might be closer to the sweet spot.

  125. Brad on October 22, 2013 at 05:48

    Blue zone common denominators (supposedly)…

    Exercise and keep your body moving
    Find and know your purpose in life
    Work less and find periods of calm in your life
    Eat wisely and eat less
    Include more vegetables, less protein, and less processed food in your diet
    Drink red wine—in moderation of course
    Stay social and engaged

  126. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 10:13

    @tatertot, @St G.D., Thanks for the replies. I will ask for those tests on my next appointment.

    I’m 6’1″ and 160 Lbs. In other words, I’m rail thin. Not saying I can’t be pre-diabetic, but if I were, wouldn’t I have other metabolic issues? I have no metabolic issues that I’m aware of. I can eat practically whatever I want — and as much as I want — and my weight never fluctuates. Additionally, I have very few genetic risk markers for either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes — I mostly protective genes.

    So you think if I just continue with PHD (and RS) I can reverse this? Thanks again.

  127. tatertot on October 22, 2013 at 10:31

    @DD – I think that everyone who tries, unless they have a very special medical condition where they can’t eat carbs at all, would do great on PHD plus RS.

  128. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 11:19


    Thanks so much. I went back and looked at my labs and saw that I had my FBG tested twice last year, after having been VLC for ~9 months. Turns out my FBG was 95 mg/dL both times. After that I transitioned to PHD but it was only 3 months ago that I started weighing my food and realized that I wasn’t eating enough carbs to meet PHD requirements. Once I acclimated — with the help of RS — I’ve been doing really well. I feel like I’m finally moving in the right direction.

  129. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 11:42

    By the way, how exactly did the Paleos miss starchy tubers? I am beginning to wonder if starchy tubers were probably a mainstay of our Paleolithic ancestors.

    @tatertot, have you seen this?


    If you limit your Google Books search to the 19th century, you can find all sorts of interesting research on the effects of different potato diets being fed to military prisoners, etc. Fascinating stuff.

  130. tatertot on October 22, 2013 at 12:00

    @DD – You are correct, sir. Paleo never should have targeted tubers, legumes, or rice.

    re: Your link above…holy shit! That is hilarious! Can’t cut and paste from it, but in 1849, they were doing a potato-only diet, ‘no salt, butter, or condiments of any kind’ and said ‘…making this experiment for one week will great increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through it. We do not recommend this to those that have to labor hard…’

    You will not believe it, but a couple weeks ago, I was emailing a couple friends, and said exactly this:

    “Everybody said it was a fad/yo-yo/dangerous diet, but it is none of those–fad, well, maybe, but not in the ‘Low-carb fad’ or ‘Paleo fad’ sense. If there isn’t a low carb dieter out there who isn’t changed forever by doing a week or two of the potato diet, I’d like to meet them. For me, after 2 years of LC and 1 year of trying to lose the ‘last 10’, it was like a miracle. It’s fat loss like it’s supposed to be. Fast and painless. And, it led me to explore more carbs in general which was the real ‘win’ in my book. This past summer was great–eating and overeating and not being freaked when the scale went up 10 pounds because I knew how to melt it off if it got out of hand, but it didn’t. Muscle gain and fat loss are two completely opposing processes, but 90% of paleo newbies are trying to do just that. “

  131. Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2013 at 12:21

    OK, more synergy. Now I have tatertot, marie, and DD locked in cages in the backyard. They get fed potatoes, and they get 2 hrs per day on WiFi. So make it count.

    Ha. I love this shit, and this is exactly how it’s supposed to go.

    And BTW, that’s total joke, above. The reality is that it’s the opposite and I’m their gopher. But I will say that me, Tim and Marie have only a passion for all this to be out in the open, experimented with, written about.

  132. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 13:11

    @tatertot, the experiment that 1849 article refers to was done at the “Glasgow Bridewell” Prison in 1840. Basically they gave eight different diets to eight different sets of prisoners. The eighth diet was an all potato diet. There are plenty of Google references to this prison’s experiment, but here is one:


    “During the present year, an experiment in diet has been made in the Glasgow Bridewell, which, although not carried on for a sufficient time, and under a sufficient variety of circumstances, to render it safe to adopt as a guide, appears to me to be of sufficient interest and importance to record, and to submit to your lordship’s attention. Eight different forms of diet were prepared, and a class of prisoners was placed on each diet, and confined to it for one month. Before commencing, each prisoner was examined as to the state of his health, and weighed; and the same was done at the end of the experiment. The following were the different diets, and the results of the various trials of them:


    Eighth Diet.—Cost, including cooking, Md.

    Breakfast.—Two pounds of potatoes, boiled.
    Dinner.—Three pounds of potatoes, boiled.
    Supper.—One pound of potatoes, boiled.

    A class of ten young men and boys was put on this diet. All had been in confinement for short periods only, and all were employed at light work, teasing hair. At the beginning of the experiment eight were in good health and two in indifferent health; at the end, the eight continued in good health, and the two who had been in indifferent health had improved. There was, on an average, a gain in weight of nearly three and a half pounds per prisoner, the greatest gain being eight and a quarter pounds, by a young man, whose health had been indifferent at the beginning of the experiment. Only two prisoners lost at all in weight, and the quantity in each case was trifling. The prisoners all expressed themselves quite satisfied with this diet, and regretted the change back again to the ordinary diet. . Upon the whole, the prisoners who were put upon these different diets increased in weight and improved in health, the females improving most in health, and gaining most in weight. How far any one of these diets would prove to be superior to the others in a long experiment, and with prisoners of different ages, employed at different kinds of work, and confined for different periods, I cannot say; but so far as a trial of one month can be depended upon, it would appear that the cheaper diets, and those containing no other animal food than milk, are the best. There can, however, be no doubt that, whatever diet be chosen, whether one without meat or not, it should allow of frequent changes, giving a preference to each article of food in its season.”

    There may have been some biases in the experiment — since they were trying to cut costs and the meat they fed the prisoners was probably rotting. But it’s interesting that the potatoes supposedly put on weight for those who needed it!

  133. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 13:26

    Here’s another good one from an 1856 book (that tried to prove that a plant-based diet is best)…

    “That a considerable degree of physical power may be maintained on potatoes only, we learned from John M. Andrew, of Remsen, N.Y., who, after adopted a vegetable diet for sixteen months, thus writes: “I do not go beyond the truth, when I say that I cannot find a man to vie with me in the field with the scythe, the fork, or the axe. I do not want any thing but potatoes and salt, and I can cut and put up four cords of wood in a day, with no very great exertion. I have frequently been told by friends that my potato-and-salt system would not stand the test of the field; but I have silenced their clamor, by actual demonstration with all the implements above named. At present, no consideration would induce me to return to my former mode of living.”


    If that story is true, it’s impressive. Seems like people really get hooked on potatoes when they accept them. The Glasgow prisoners, for example. It’s like it ignites a primal gene or something.

  134. tatertot on October 22, 2013 at 13:28

    @DD – thanks for expanding on that…were you able to cut and paste or did you write that all out?

    6 pounds of potatoes contain about 1900 calories (45g protein, 3g fat, 427g carbs). I would bet most people doing a week or two of the potato hack would gain weight on 6 pounds of potatoes per day. The usual amount on a potato hack is 2-4 pounds per day, and most will lose weight fast.

    The whole article was very interesting. Compare diets 1 and 3, the only difference was that in diet 1, the 3 pounds of potatoes at dinner were boiled and in diet 3 they were baked. On diet 1, there was an average gain of 4 pounds, and on diet 3 (baked potatoes) there was an average loss of 1.5 pounds.

    Cool stuff! Thanks.

  135. DuckDodgers on October 22, 2013 at 15:44

    @DD – thanks for expanding on that…were you able to cut and paste or did you write that all out?

    I was able to copy and paste the first quote from Google Books. The trick it to go into the large cog-wheel icon on the right (settings) and click to toggle the plain text version. Sometimes it takes you to the wrong page, but you can easily find your way to the proper text.

    Not every book with a free preview lets you toggle a plain text version. The second quote I posted didn’t, and I just transcribed that short paragraph.

  136. Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2013 at 15:58

    “Cool stuff! Thanks.”

    And with that, Tatertot retreated to his man cave to watch 80s blockbuster movies while chewing on elk jerky from his garden.

  137. tatertot on October 22, 2013 at 16:13

    Actually, I have been reading page after page of 1800’s prison and prisoner-of-war menus featuring potatoes…thanks for making me waste an afternoon Duck Dodger!

  138. Brad on October 22, 2013 at 17:41

    I’m curious if you have ever read up on the LeanGains IF style. If so, what was your thought of it? Seems like Martin is saying that you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but it’s not easy. I got pretty lean (for me) doing low carb IF but yeah, had trouble building muscle over a certain point, but that may be near my genetic potential. Everything you said about your experience on a LFHC diet is what I experience on the opposite LCHF diet. This must be due to big differences in hormonal makeup.

  139. Brad on October 22, 2013 at 17:53

    Also, the PHD amount of carbs is way too much for me and I’ve had to cut it way down. I gained about 10 pounds from about 170 to 180 lbs in about 2 weeks eating closer to PHD amounts of carbs. And it was almost completely parboiled rice. This is in addition to supplementing with tapioca starch RS. I think the PHD amount of carbs and fats is just too many calories for me (or too much carbs). I’ve got about 4-5 pounds of fat around my mid section that was not there before. What little ab’s I had that were showing are gone now, sadly. So I’m gonna not exclude the carbs completely (ie, VLC) but go with say a handful of rice and lentils per day and see how it goes.

  140. tatertot on October 22, 2013 at 18:07

    @Brad – The PHD level of carbs is kind of high. I can’t really eat all the starch, meat, veg, and supplemental foods like eggs and stuff, either. For me, it came down to just eating a starch with almost every meal, not really aiming for a specific target.

    I pretty much, every day, eat at 11 and 6. With rarely a snack in between. Lately, my lunch has been a cup of yogurt and 4TBS of potato starch, then dinner of a huge portion of meat, potatoes, rice, and/or beans, veggies of some sort, a piece of fruit or berries, cheese, and some 100% dark chocolate for dessert. I’m probably on 1500-1800 cal/day, but all last summer I was on 2500-3500 and lifting heavy. I’m kind of in winter-mode now, eating less and leaning out.

    In my experience, you can’t really gain muscle and get lean–has to be one of the other. You can work out while on low calories, but you will not like it!

  141. marie on October 22, 2013 at 20:24

    The rationale justifying this new RDA is idiotic in the extreme.
    If you get 130gms of carbs per day, even if they are all starch (so all converts to glucose) and no fructose, your brain will get very little of that glucose because muscles and other tissues will use it as well.
    It’s a good thing the brain can function very efficiently (some research says More efficiently) on ketones and use very little glucose. A further good thing that the liver can make that little glucose and those ketones.

    It’s embarrassing to watch, they really seem to be grasping at straws to manufacture an RDA for carbs where there’s never been one (and for good reason, there is no minimum daily requirement, or we’d have died out after the first snow-fall or first dry season).
    Contrast that with the very deadly diseases you get without certain vitamins and minerals, or with the wasting and neuronal death you get without the essential amino acids.
    There’s even essential fats, for structural reasons and used in certain functions.
    Carbs have no structural or functional use, which is why they keep telling us about how much ‘preferred’ they are for Energy use.

    The PHD may well be at around a sweet spot for ‘good carbs’, but for the other health reasons it states, not for this indescribably political nonsense.

  142. St. George's Dragon on October 22, 2013 at 21:08

    Actually I think 130 grams of carbs with 20-25% of calories from protein is a very sensible guideline if there ever was one. Too few carbs are emerging as sources of hormonal and immune dysregulation. I’ve seen this way too often to conclude that it’s merely coincidental. From PHD’s explanations of physiological insulin resistance to mucus deficiency which plague low-carbers. It’s not just the eyes but the digestive tract, which could result in constipation, dryness and hemorrhoids. But PHD actually does not go far enough: that kind of mucus deficiency could decrease secretory IgA: that would actually be the first line of defense against chronic infections and intestinal permeability. And selective IgA deficiency is a clinically significant immunodeficiency, considered mostly to be ideopathic but can be induced by stress, that is, the type of metabolic stress induced by ketosis. Not surprising since sIgA actually is understood measure psychological stress as well — it has the same reaction when autoimmunity is concerned. Ever met someone who developed a significant illness after a loved one passed away? These are some of the concerns that a very stressful diet can induce in those who blindly follow the magic of weight loss and blood sugar control.

  143. marie on October 22, 2013 at 21:35

    Well yes Dragon,
    as I said, there’s good reasons to eat roughly the carb amounts in PHD (while for myself, I think 120-150gms is optimal) but “your brain needs that amount for energy” just isn’t one of them :)

  144. Brad on October 23, 2013 at 12:37

    Sisson has a starch/carb specific post today FYI….

  145. Natural on October 23, 2013 at 07:18

    Alright, I have decided to move up my potato hack schedule and started it yesterday (as against the originally planned date of 10/28).
    I did pretty good on day 1. Had about 3/4 lb for breakfast, 1 lb for lunch, 1 potato for snack in the evening and 1 lb for dinner. Felt pretty good all through out the day. No energy crash or nothing of that sort. Drank a few cups of decaf coffee but had to drink one regular cup of coffee when I felt a very mild brain fog around 3 pm. Other than that everything went just fine. No cravings or hunger fangs. I went to a cake tasting event at my son’s school and didn’t even care for any cake in spite of several kinds of delicious cake all around me. This event was around late evening- usually when I feel some cravings (it might have helped that I had a potato snack just before heading to this event…but whatever).

    Day 2 has started off pretty good. 3/4lb of cooked potato for breakfast at 8am. I will continue to eat just cooked potato as long as I can and once I get bored with then I’ll start trying out different recipes such as hash browns etc. But it feels like I can survive on just potatoes for at least until day 4. We’ll see how it goes.

    I have taken before pictures and I am mainly interested in losing the little fat pad around my tummy so I can see my six pack of abs unflexed. Going easy on my workouts for the next 10 days or so.

    More updates to come…

  146. Natural on October 23, 2013 at 07:22

    BTW, I am not or have not been on any kind of paleo eating or LC or such. I just eat normally and try to keep it healthy but my carbs are usually around the 200 g mark with protein coming in around 100 to 120 g and I weigh 169 lb at 5’9″ and 43 y/o male.

  147. Richard Nikoley on October 23, 2013 at 07:24

    Ha ha ha. “Hunger fangs.”

  148. Johan Lindén on October 23, 2013 at 10:32

    @Brad, I forgot to add refined sugar in the list. Thanks! Loma Lindas may eat and drink cow milk but that is also the culture I am sceptical to add to the list. I don’t know if it’s correct to add them as a proven culture since it is very new as far as I know. the other cultures mentioned have a longer history.

    @DuckDodgers, very interesting book links about the prison experiment! What do they mean when they write: “[…] making this experiment for one week will great increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through it.”?

    8 of 10 prisoners gained weight, but the quantity they ate was enormous amounts. 7 pounds? Who can eat that much?

    Regarding the RDA recommendations on carb intake: Anyone giving an advice recommending this or that percentage of carbs, fat or protein have NO CLUE WHAT SO EVER what they are talking about. I’m amazed that academics are so ignorant that they haven’t yet understood that all carbs, proteins and fats are not the same. 100 gram starch from potatoes is obviously not the same as drinking a glass of water with 100 g of fructose in it. And I’m also pretty sure that 130 grams of carbs per day for the brain to function is false. There is quite a lot of research claiming that ketones might be a superior energy for the brain. Ketones can be provided by eating MCT’s (e.g. coconut oil). [Oops, just saw that marie gave a similar answer]

    @Tatartot, you can cut and paste from google books. Just use the text tool, and mark the text you need. Then you’ll have to copy paste it from the first field of the fields that shows up.

  149. Johan Lindén on October 23, 2013 at 10:39

    Has anyone experienced a different breath while on potato diet? My girlfriend claims a have a “potato breath”. Maybe it’s because one is easily falling into ketonic state overnight while on this diet.

    Thoughts on that?

  150. St. George's Dragon on October 23, 2013 at 10:51

    Natural, those sound like some great macronutrient allocation. But macronutrient percentages don’t really seem to matter as long as you’re sticking to natural or wholefood carbs; however, they do seem to matter at one end of the extreme. Plus, I’m totally convinced now that what passes for “low-carb” at under 80 grams with no starches and fruits are basically VLC/ketogenic diets. Even though leafy greens have 10 total carb grams, even after you minus 7 grams of fiber, those carbs don’t really seem to count. PHD may be right that that’s all being consumed by gut bacteria, just like RS is being consumed by the gut bacteria in the large intestine. So when I was really doing a “low carb”, non-ketogenic 75 grams of carbs, I really was in ketosis. My tests with stix confirmed that and I wondered how that could have been.

    Unless you drink whey protein and or eat protein-heavy, lean game meats like rabbits, buffalo or seafoods like shrimps constantly, you are going into ketosis; you’ll never know it unless you’re trained to smell your breath or urine. That 500-600 total calories from protein and carb sources recommended by PHD seem right.

  151. Natural on October 23, 2013 at 10:57

    Bob’s Redmill Potato Starch is on sale at Vitacost.com for 2.71 per 24oz bag. Incidentally, the price for 4 bags on Amazon has jumped from $13 to $18- which is more than what you pay for at Wholefoods. What’s up with that?

  152. tatertot on October 23, 2013 at 11:02

    Never been accused of potato breath, but ketosis is a reality on a calorie-restricted potato diet.

    As to the 1849 comment: “making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through it.”

    I think this was their way of saying that people will get a new respect for hunger and fighting through hunger pangs (fangs?). So much of our eating is programmed by consumerism and habit rather than actual hunger. Once you have resigned yourself to eating nothing but potatoes, you quickly learn to deal with hunger and aren’t just eating potatoes for the sake of eating potatoes.

    A lot of people find that after a week or more of the potato hack, they continue to lose weight after returning to normal eating. I think this is because of the new relationship with food–eating when hungry and just until your are full rather than eating because it’s ‘time to eat’ and then stuffing yourself. In other words, greatly increased perseverance and self-denial.

    Something else that jumped out at me was the use of the term ‘dyspepsia’:

    “Let those who have dyspepsia—and that means a multitude of ills which the American people in their luxurious habits are fast bringing upon themselves—try for a time the potato diet. We have tried.”

    Wikipedia on Dyspepsia:
    “Dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is a condition of impaired digestion. It is a medical condition characterized by chronic or recurrent pain in the upper abdomen, upper abdominal fullness and feeling full earlier than expected when eating. It can be accompanied by bloating, belching, nausea, or heartburn. Dyspepsia is a common problem and is frequently caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gastritis. In a small minority it may be the first symptom of peptic ulcer disease (an ulcer of the stomach or duodenum) and occasionally cancer. Hence, unexplained newly onset dyspepsia in people over 55 or the presence of other alarming symptoms may require further investigations.”

    This modern definition of dyspepsia sounds an awful lot like SIBO, which is supposedly worsened from foods like potatoes. It seems to me that maybe dyspepsia is more from a lack of potatoes or RS in general than too much!

  153. Johan Lindén on October 23, 2013 at 11:15

    ” I think this is because of the new relationship with food–eating when hungry and just until your are full rather than eating because it’s ‘time to eat’ and then stuffing yourself.”

    Funny, that’s exactly what I have felt since I started the potato diet. For the first time in years I eat moderate amount of food (on off-days) and seem to be full at normal portions. even when food is very tasty.

    Admittedly, I have had occasional bonanza nights when I was binge eating chips and ice-cream. But sssh, don’t tell anyone!

  154. Potato Diet, Fall 2013 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page on October 23, 2013 at 13:10

    […] to eat potatoes and survived well. A couple of articles from the 1840's recently surfaced at Free The Animal and I'd like to repost them here: NEW-YORK, APRIL, 1849. POTATO DIET. Few are aware of the […]

  155. DuckDodgers on October 23, 2013 at 13:46

    @tatertot, just for kicks I searched for indigestible starch in Google Books, with a search limited to the 19th Century and the screen practically exploded. I know in a previous thread you had found evidence that it had been “discovered” in the 1920s, but the truth is that the indigestible qualities of potato starch were known well before that. Most of the 19th Century books that refer to the indigestible nature of (raw) potato starch refer to that fact as if it’s common knowledge.

    Interestingly, a woman known as Miss Edna D. Day wrote her 1908 dissertation for her doctorate at the University of Chicago. The title of that dissertation was, “DIGESTIBILITY OF STARCH OF DIFFERENT SORTS AFFECTED BY COOKING (Univ. of Chicago, 1908)”


    I don’t want you to waste your time reading it, but rather just wanted to show that the digestibility of starches and how cooking affects their digestibility was very much on the radar during the 19th century and early 1900s.

  156. Brad on October 23, 2013 at 14:08

    About that Sisson article. Not sure where he’s getting 300 calories per kilogram for wild tubers. I wish he would have said where cassava/tapioca root is here. Cassava root is like 6000 calories per kilo!… twice that of potatoes.

  157. tatertot on October 23, 2013 at 14:32

    @DuckDodgers – Don’t you love reading those old papers? Typos and smudge marks. You can hear the old manual typewriters clicking away in the secretary pool.

    @Brad – I didn’t really get what the Sisson post was saying…apparently neither did anyone judging from the comments. I think he was trying to say we evolved alongside tubers, but not at a rate of 400 grams worth of tuber-carbs per day. The trouble with a diet that has 150g of carbs, none coming from a starchy food like potatoes, rice, or beans, is that they almost all come from sugary or processed gluten-free carb sources, ie. ‘Primal Treats’. I would much rather get 100-200g of carbs from starchy foods and almost none from gluten free treats.

  158. marie on October 23, 2013 at 18:01

    I’ve been having a blast reading the papers you referenced since yesterday. That’s some very interesting and rather unique material, you really have a knack for finding relevant info going back in time, I can’t imagine your keyword searches.
    Meanwhile the historical setting is just fascinating and provides some quirky humor too – for example, some people (ahem) have been having fun imagining just what was the labour for an inmate in the 1840’s that’s described as ‘teasing hair’ ?

    I’m taking bets on this!
    Mine is that it involves sheep’s wool in some way….or did the wig-makers send those elaborate wigs to be coiffed at the penitentiary?! If only the blue-haired ladies knew where their wig had been… :)
    Your thoughts?

  159. DuckDodgers on October 23, 2013 at 18:35

    @marie, LOL. I’m pretty sure they worked on upholstery. Horse hair was often “teased” for mattresses or cushions, etc.

    It would look something like this…


  160. tatertot on October 24, 2013 at 09:03

    I thought I was good at ‘google-ing’, but I did learn something from all this. I never realized you could get so much free info on the book searches. So, ‘Thanks’, DuckDodgers!

    As to nuts and HGs, I think in certain areas, they relied heavily on nuts. Anywhere that hardwood forests are, there is a huge bounty of nuts every fall, and you will find evidence from the tools left behind that they utilized them heavily. Even acorns, which are considered inedible, were used–they cracked them and soaked them for long times first.

    Here’s a good little paper on the reliance of acorns by HGs of Northern California:

  161. marie on October 23, 2013 at 19:38

    Johan Lindén ,
    yes, marie did give similar answer, but I like your take way better. NO CLUE WHATSOEVER sums it nicely.
    Well, for some of them.

    For others, it’s intentional propaganda, unfortunately.
    They actually Know better, they’ve been Taught from the same text books but refuse, just refuse, to let go of biasing buzz words like ‘preferred fuel’.
    Not to mention refusing to let go of the ease of just lumping all ‘macros’ into three categories – these categories mean nothing now that we know how differently the body treats the specific molecules within each category, as you pointed out.

    Here’s an example. The following is not controversial material, it’s actually in most biochem and intro to physiology text books (so supposedly it’s been established by multiple experiments and withstood falsifications attempts over years – but the only point for me is that its accepted by the Same people spouting nonsense about preferred fuel). No half-educated scientist and certainly no doctor, I don’t care if he’s a foot doctor, has an excuse of not knowing it, they test some of this stuff on the MCAT just to enter med school for f@$#’s sake :
    – ketosis improves the efficiency of mitochondria and reduces cellular ‘garbage’ (more ATP and fewer byproducts)
    – ketosis relieves oxidative stress at the molecular, organic and systemic level (that’s the stress under glucose metabolism, with it’s reactive oxidative species and glycation end products/byproducts)
    (aside : if it weren’t for glucose metabolism, there’s very little need for ‘antioxidants’)
    – ketosis relieves non-alcoholic fatty liver progression (it stops it dead and may even allow some repair, since the liver is capable of limited regeneration), so ketosis gives our liver a break from one of the worse effects of glucose metabolism on the liver.
    No liver pathologies are associated with ketone production.
    The biochem pathways for everything above are known in detail.
    There’s a lot more, I’m just picking a few here.
    More recently of course (last 10 years) there’s been info on the inhibitory effect of certain ketones on glycogen synthase kinase (so on amyloid plaque growth) in the brain (loosely grouped under the model of ‘diabetes of the brain’, or T3).
    The point is that despite learning all of this, these dishonest people (there’s no other characterization at this point) still say “glucose is your body’s preferred fuel”.

    Oh, it’s preferred alright, it must be grabbed quickly if it’s around or else it poisons us – glucose at elevated levels in the blood stream is of course toxic, that’s how diabetes kills.

    Point in practice: ketosis is so well known as anti-inflammatory that it is used to counter the inflammatory, oxidative and toxic stress of chemotherapy, giving higher effectiveness and better tolerance by patients.
    This last bit isn’t controversial either (though this ‘adjuvant to chemotherapy’ is not to be confused with trials/experimental therapies that try to use ketosis to ‘slow’ certain tumors’ growth or ‘starve’ them).

    With the disinformation being propagated, people then confuse the limitations of a ketogenic diet with some manufactured notion of ketosis itself as being damaging.
    Ketosis itself isn’t damaging for Most people, if done right, but sure, if you eat only ketogenic foods, it’s hard if not impossible to get a healthy, balanced biome (and some don’t do the leafy greens much either, so they get constipation). For some tyes of athletes, it may decrease performance – thought that’s come under review a lot lately.

    That Some quantity of starchy foods is part of our evolution is evident from our current physiology/enzymes, our gut biome and the common sense observation that glycogen stores in our muscles enable more effective fight-or-flight response. Meanwhile, neither fatty foods were that abundant all the time to allow consistent ketone production for the energy-hog which is our brain, nor sweet/starchy foods were abundant all the time to give glucose.
    So the brain, lo and behold, can function on either/both ketones and glucose.
    Meanwhile, there’s no evidence that’s it better on glucose and quite some evidence that it’s worse. Hence only a minimal glucose need which can be amply supplied by the liver at any time.
    Brilliant is that designer ;)

    Despite my appreciation of the anti-inflammatory benefits of ketosis, I don’t do a ketogenic diet and I’d never suggest it for most people – for one thing, it takes care and planning to do it properly and it’s not much fun for most. You’d have to be highly motivated – aka, have a medical need to do it, and of course some do.
    For everyone else, we need to recognize there’s a trade-off to eating digestible carbs, that glucose metabolism is really quite damaging and that’s proportional to the quantity of carbs consumed (hence the disaster that’s SAD) – so keeping it moderate and choosing the useful ones (!) seems like a good idea, , hence an ‘optimum’ quantity And composition!

    Anyway, I’ve clearly had my rant.
    Next time I hear “glucose is the preferred fuel”, I can just walk away now.
    It’s raining in upstate/western New York, we haven’t seen sun in days and I’m already jonesing for mediterranean climes…. :)

  162. marie on October 23, 2013 at 19:52

    DuckDodgers, lol!
    Now HOW in the world would you know that, so as to do a search on “hair teasing upholstery”? You have the sight? (Irish, that is…)
    Thanks, that does satisfy my overactive curiosity :)

  163. DuckDodgers on October 23, 2013 at 20:16

    Interesting, Marie. I’m curious as to what you (and other people) think about the RDAs of Magnesium and Potassium. It is often claimed that soil depletion is responsible for low Magnesium content of our modern foods, but what about Potassium? Wouldn’t it always have been pretty difficult for Paleolithic ancestors to obtain good amounts of Potassium (and Magnesium) without starchy tubers? I feel like that should be another clue for at least moderate tuber consumption, in addition to the clues you mentioned.

  164. DuckDodgers on October 23, 2013 at 20:54

    @marie, I figured it out by searching for “hair teasing” “prison”. Apparently it was real job that people used to do. Sort of like “wood shop” in modern prisons. I guess they didn’t want the potato eater group to be doing hard labor.

  165. marie on October 23, 2013 at 21:15

    Well I can tell you I supplement Magnesium diligently. Soils are depleted and our water sources are no longer springs, streams and wells so Magnesium has dropped in our food and water supply.
    I don’t supplement Potassium nearly as much because I eat potatoes (except if I sometimes get a leg cramp, its a reliable tell-tale signal for me).
    Yes, that’s another clue for tubers and especially potatoes, or bananas and dates if you’re from the tropics.
    However for our ancestors I’d say it’s a matter of which sources were more abundant and/or easy to access
    They could also rely on dates, raisins and clams as good sources for potassium, apart from potatoes and sweet potatoes. But they didn’t have dates and raisins until probably after agriculture and those fruits don’t grow in many places anyway.
    Yet potatoes are pretty widespread, relatively hardy and we didn’t compete with too many other animals for them.
    And they have that RS…though we get into chicken and egg here : didn’t we evolve a gut biome that thrives on RS Because we ate potatoes/tubers for their mineral, protein and energy content and that happens to come wrapped with RS and fiber?

    For magnesium, they also had nuts and seeds (they are a richer source, actually), and mackerel in coastal areas, and beans and lentils, and dark leafy greens. Again, what’s easiest/most abundant before storage facilities, food prep/sprouting etc. I’m guessing the tubers.
    Me, I think dark chocolate is a fine and dandy source of magnesium today ;)

  166. marie on October 23, 2013 at 21:29

    DuckDodgers, you’re being modest, sir. When you search for “hair teasing” and “prisons”, you get some pretty wacky hits (most fairly hilarious, some downright pornographic). Took some digging to get to horse hair and upholstery. Thank you ;)

  167. DuckDodgers on October 24, 2013 at 07:55

    @marie, fascinating stuff. Though, I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced that our ancestors ate lots of nuts. For instance, almonds are often touted as one of the better nuts, but people seem to forget that wild almonds are poisonous. It wasn’t until almonds were domesticated that people figured out a way to reduce their toxicity and make them edible.

    As for the teasing search, I forgot to mention that I limited my Google Books search to books from the 19th century. Once I did that, I saw more specific references to “teasing” in the upholstery business, and prisons, etc.

  168. DuckDodgers on October 24, 2013 at 09:59

    I thought I was good at ‘google-ing’, but I did learn something from all this. I never realized you could get so much free info on the book searches. So, ‘Thanks’, DuckDodgers!

    Another cool trick is the Google Books NGram viewer.


    The tool allows you to look for trends in various lexicons over time. But, you have to be careful with that tool since the trends can easily deceive you into believing certain things.

    On the other hand, its interesting to see how the timing of pasteurization laws correlated with people starting to use the phrases “milk intolerance” and “milk allergy” — those phrases were rarely used before that time.


    Again, it doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but historical correlations can sometimes provide us with clues. Another good one is “heart attack” or “arteriosclerosis” — the phrases didn’t really exist during the 19th century, but that doesn’t mean that heart attacks didn’t happen. Heart attacks were just called different things. However, there is some good evidence that suggests that people had far less apoplectic heart events and less arteriosclerosis during the early 19th century than they do today. So, again, it just provides us with clues.

    I’ve heard Paul Jaminet suggest that liver disease may be caused by combining high PUFA and alcohol. Interestingly, we see an explosion in the phrase “liver disease” after prohibition ended.


    Doesn’t prove anything, but very interesting clues there from a simple Google search!

  169. tatertot on October 24, 2013 at 11:14
  170. Richard Nikoley on October 24, 2013 at 11:25

    I still remember that spike in ‘freetheanimal’ back around 1912. Man, the stories I could tell.

  171. DuckDodgers on October 24, 2013 at 13:10

    I forgot all about the NGram Viewer! I just did ‘resistant starch, free the animal’. What do you make of the spike on both terms back in 1910…

    Well, the “resistant starch” uptick is only an increase in 0.00000600% (from zero). If you compare that uptick to a slightly more common phrase, the increase is non-existent. The freetheanimal uptick is even smaller — immeasurable actually.

    It suggests that the words appeared in the same sentence one or two times in a book somewhere.

    Keep in mind that the phrase “resistant starch” is a phrase that was popularized in the 1980s by some researchers. As you can see from some simple Google searches, researchers were well aware that different starches at different temperatures were resistant to digestion centuries ago (again, it was common knowledge) but they didn’t call it “resistant starch” back then. They just called it “starch” and they found the raw “indigestible” qualities to be rather curious — but, unfortunately, that’s as far as they seem to have investigated it.

    Based on what I’ve seen in Google Books, I’d say many researchers were probably trying to figure out what was the cheapest foods and mashes to feed to animals and humans — whether they be on farms or in prisons, etc. You can see the wheels turning and how the research eventually led people to corn-based factory farms.

    In a way, it sheds a little bit of light on why nutrition science may have so much confusion on so many different levels. After all, even in the 19th century, the researchers were often hired or designated by people who were trying to reduce the up-front costs off of some endeavor or, in some cases, minimize the effects of poverty.

    In any case, I have yet to find anyone in the 19th century who wrote about experiments with eating raw potato starch. But, I’d be willing to bet that someone did it. :)

  172. marie on October 24, 2013 at 14:41

    DuckDodgers, thank you very much for the search tools insights!
    And yes, I see what you mean about the objective being something like ‘more food, more cheaply’ – looking at the historical research really brings forward the fact that until just recently, getting enough food was the main challenge for most of humanity.

  173. Joshua on October 24, 2013 at 16:09

    Saying that glucose is the body’s preferred fuel is like saying $1 bills are the preferred wealth unit because they get spent first.

  174. Richard Nikoley on October 24, 2013 at 16:24


    Don’t have time to respond to all but I read all and I find this one particularly insightful, integrating a lot of relevant context of the time.

    Oct 24, 2013 at 13:10

    Nothing has changed. Much research and food, even “nutrition” science is about how to make more money with less input. I’ve argued in the past that food for humans are not like shoes for humans.

  175. Natural on October 28, 2013 at 08:46

    OK. Here I am again with an update on our potato hack.

    I started out on last Tue (Oct 22). My wife joined me on Wed. I was quite easy on days 1 & 2 and somewhat easy on day3. But days 3 & 4 were quite tough. I had huge cravings and had to dig up my mental reserves to fight off my hunger fangs.
    First two days, we only ate boiled potatoes but by day 3 we had to look for alternatives. Day 3 we did the has brown thing and on day 4 & 5 it was baked potatoes with a little bit of coconut oil/ghee and salt, pepper, cayenne spices.

    Here are our results:
    1. I lost 6 lbs and wife lost about 7 lbs.
    2. I am not certain all the weight loss was mostly from fat as it seemed like potatoes were very diuretic( at least, in our case. and I have not read anyone else mention this side effect before. Tatertot, have you heard this from anyone?) and I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee which is unusual for me and I was constantly feeling thirsty. I believe that the reintroduction of coffee to beat the low energy levels may have exacerbated the diuretic effect. So I am guessing we lost some water weight. As far as muscle loss, I will have an idea when I resume my workouts next week.

    3. My abs are definitely more visible now and there is certainly quite a bit of fat loss on my lower back. Belt went down a notch. So overall, good results around my belly. This is really the part I am trying to lose the fat pads from but I can guarantee that I don’t have 7 lbs in this area and I have not completely gotten rid off the fat layer from this area. So a lot of the weight must have come off from other locations and I certainly hope it is only minimal muscle loss.

    4. Energy levels were significantly lower. I was fine with my daily activities and work (no weight lifting and other workout stuff as I am de-loading this week). Did not notice any major hormonal changes as far as mood is concerned but I have certainly noticed a dip in libido.

    We resumed normal eating now and there is definite improvement in food taste. I won’t be repeating it for at least a couple of months because I don’t really have any weight to lose. But wife wants to repeat this after eating normally for a week or so because she has maybe another 10 lbs to lose. Is it ok to repeat the potato hack after eating normally for just 1 week? Or is it too soon and better to repeat it after a longer break?

  176. tatertot on October 28, 2013 at 09:23

    @Natural – Your wife will be fine using the potato hack on and off until she’s at her desired weight. I like doing a week, then letting things settle out for a couple weeks before resuming–you know, that whole set-point stuff that may or may not be real.

    I’m curious to hear back from you in a couple weeks, though. I think you will be surprised how much was real fat loss and not water weight or muscle wastage. I used to fast for 48 hours ever couple weeks…I’d lose like 7-8 pounds in that time and gain 100% of it back when I started eating normally again. I think it was all water and bowel content weight that was lost in that case. But with the potato hack, your bowels stay full and you normally don’t get dehydrated. What always amazes me after a week of potato hacking, I continue to lose weight for a few days when I resume a normal diet. Happens every time.

    I’m starting my week today. Yesterday I ate a pound of moose liver and some moose steak, half a pineapple, a banana, eggs, two dried plantains, some carrots, and some other ‘health food’ so I’d be super vitamin and mineral-filled for the week ahead. This time I’m hittin’ it 1849 style, ‘no salt, no butter, no condiment of any kind’. I have never done that before, curious to see how it feels.

  177. Richard Nikoley on October 28, 2013 at 11:26

    “I am not certain all the weight loss was mostly from fat as it seemed like potatoes were very diuretic”

    I take that to mean you peed.

    It’s diuresis, but not because of potatoes. It’s because of caloric deficit which is diuretic/ketogenic. See, this is the BIG LIE the low carbers want to sell you. Diuresis and ketogenic can indeed be induced by carb restriction, but they are more fundamentally induced by caloric deficit because you use glycogen stores, glycogen requires about 3g of water to bind 1g glycogen, so as that’s used (LC ketogenic or Mark 1 Mod A caloric restriction) you are going to use glycogen and waste water.

    You can be in ketosis on a 100% carb diet.

    It’s high time that LCers stopped trying to OWN this phenomenon.

  178. La Frite on October 28, 2013 at 12:59

    So, I started today as well. I eat potatoes 3-4 times / week so potatoes are not a new food for me :) On average I am medium carbs (200g / day I think, never counted really but not limiting at all). I boiled tons of potatoes today and bypassed the meat (was a little hard as I smelled it on the table, my wife and kids are not on the PD …). I am not a big fan of boiled potatoes (prefer roasting them) but I can cope with it no problem. I did use a little salt and pepper and I must have eaten maybe 3-4 potatoes all in all. I ate only one meal though because of my work days: Monday to Friday, I don’t eat lunch, and my BF is always black coffee only. So I will enter ketosis pretty fast I believe. I pplan to do this until next Monday, have a nice big normal meal, and resume until I get very bored (will probably not keep it up for long after the giant varied meal I will have in a week from now) . But at least 7 days for sure.

  179. La Frite on October 28, 2013 at 13:01

    Oh by the way, I usually have some fermented cod liver oil (not every day but maybe every other day, like 1 tsp or even Tbsp). I guess it does not matter …

  180. tatertot on October 28, 2013 at 13:16

    I don’t think the FCLO will make any difference. I do, however, like to use the potato hack as a sort of reset week, I stop my normal supplements and stop exercising.

    I think the only thing that confounds the potato hack is eating too many ‘extras’, like 3 bananas, a cookie, and a ribeye. The closer you stick to potatoes, the more success you will have. I think Richard and Marie’s take on the potato hack is OK in that it adds a small bit of fat and maybe a small bit of protein, but once you exceed ‘a small bit’ it probably won’t work.

  181. Natural on October 28, 2013 at 13:39

    thanks for chipping in; and yes I peed quite a lot. Sorry for my ignorant question but if I was indeed in diuresis caused by caloric deficit and I have depleted my glycogen stores + wasted a lot of water, does it mean that I will regain most of the weight after a couple of weight sessions as I refill my glycogen stores?

  182. Natural on October 28, 2013 at 13:42

    thanks for your reply.
    Have a question-
    while I suspect that 5 days is the magic number for potato hack, do you think doing this only for 3 days every couple of weeks will still improve body composition? Or is it too short a time for the magic to kick in?

  183. marie on October 28, 2013 at 14:39

    all/Tatertot : yes, “a little bit” is key. A Really little bit, as described below.

    As far as what I’ve tried :
    I’m inclined to the idea that a Safe limit (‘safe’ in the sense of maintaining Rapid weight loss) is 1T oil per 2 lbs of potatoes.
    Some people (ahem) can do 1T oil per 1 lb potato, but Not everyone and I can’t speak to how many, there’s not much experience on that, neither mine nor online since most stick to the ‘clean’ way and for good reason, that way is proven to work widely.
    The protein for me has been roughly 10-20 grams per 2 lbs of potatoes.
    Herbs and spices to taste – though I understand the warning that this can make some people more hungry.

    All in all, I think anyone trying it for the First time should definitely do it strictly just as Tatertot advises :) – then they can play with it next time, after they’ve got a sense of how they respond to it.

  184. tatertot on October 28, 2013 at 14:56

    @Natural – Over at Low Carb Friends forum, they have been doing a version of the potato hack since last year. they filled up one thread: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/juddd/790070-dd-hack.html and had to start another: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/juddd/814034-potato-hack-thread-2-a.html

    Basically, all they are doing is a version of a diet called JUDDD, or Johnson’s Up Day Down Day Diet. The original plan is to eat normally for 5 days and then severe calorie restriction for two days. These folks have turned it into 5 days of normal eating, 2 days of potatoes. Every time I try to catch up on the thread, all I see is people loving it. I also see a lot of people using a week or so of the hack to lose initial weight and the modified JUDDD to keep it off.

  185. Richard Nikoley on October 28, 2013 at 15:53


    Yep, pretty much. Ignore 5% +/-

  186. Natural on October 28, 2013 at 17:39

    @Richard, I am confused…are you saying I will regain all the weight that I lost except maybe for 5%? If that’s the case what is the point of this potato diet? Sorry if I misunderstood your answer.

  187. Richard Nikoley on October 28, 2013 at 18:04

    You always ignore 5%, either way. It’s the trend you’re looking for. That’s mainly about longer term diets, not sweating the small stuff.

    As for a 1-week tater hack, that’s Tim’s deal and he swears by it and I believe, claims that regain doesn’t happen if careful, suggesting it’s not water loss from glycogen depletion.

  188. Johan Lindén on October 28, 2013 at 20:11

    I’m also confused here. So we have Tatertot’s vs Richard’s opinion whether the potato hack is flushing off body fat.

  189. marie on October 28, 2013 at 21:00

    Natural and Richard,
    In case it helps to put “glycogen water weight” in context, here’s the relevant numbers (ie. taking into account actual masses) :
    – 2.7gm water per 1 gm glycogen –> let’s call this 3gm water per 1 gm glycogen to make math easy…which you can do, since it will err on the high side :)
    – 100-120gm glycogen in liver for most humans, after a meal (ie. again I’m taking the maximum, which is the postprandial state).
    Let’s take the top of that range, 120gm glycogen, again since we’re looking at ‘worst case’ (since the more glycogen, the water you’d have available to lose).
    So you’d have about 3x120gm= 360gm water (about 0.8 lbs) in your liver (you’re superman if that’s your average all day!)

    – Also, 1%-2% glycogen weight per muscle weight. Unless you were a competitive bodybuilder, I’d take a still respectable/fit 30kg (66lbs) of muscle on a 180lb man, and an avg. of 1.2 % glycogen (because unless in serious training, you just ain’t got much more – I have to take an average somewhere, I made you guys supermen above with maximum glycogen everywhere).

    Et voilà, this gives a number you’ve probably heard before of around 400gm of glycogen in muscles….giving water weight of 3×400 = 1.2 kg (about 2.64lbs) in muscles.

    Ergo (Latin too – can you tell it’s near midnight here?) your grand total is about 3.44 lbs of water that you’re even able to lose and that’s if you lost ALL your glycogen…
    …For the win, when/under what circumstances can you lose all your glycogen? – see, there Had to be a test at the end, eh? :)

    Meaning, you’re damn sure it ain’t glycogen depletion if you lost more than 3.5 lbs on your diet.

    Personally, I think Tim’s quite right, actually very little of the weight lost is water, if at all (because you’d have to be in severe caloric deficit to lose anywhere near the maximum 3.5 lbs of water figured above).

    Now, if you want to talk dehydration (incl. interstitial water and blood volume) from some other mechanism, there’s no good way to figure that properly at home – personally I know I’m not dehydrated when I’m drinking past thirst (and no dry skin and no dark urine in the morning).

    The proof of course is in the doing – one keeps a normal diet afterwards and see what happens. I know I don’t gain anything back when I’ve experimented with it.

    That’s all I’ve got on this… :)

  190. Johan Lindén on October 28, 2013 at 21:49

    Marie, thanks for the math, I’ll Evernote that! : )

    However, you are missing when big chunk of the equation. If you are on the potato diet, you likely eat LESS then normal. If you eat, let’s say, one less meal a day, that’s almost 2 pounds of food and drinks. Ergo you have 2 pounds less food in your body those day you are on that diet compared to your normal diet.

  191. marie on October 28, 2013 at 23:42

    Johan, ; )
    figured anyone might want to do the calculations for their own physique, when the necessary ratios/percentages have been collected in one place.

    As for food weight, there’s two ways that’s cool :
    __a lot of the weight of food is water, and that right there may be a reason why some people feel the need to drink more, they get more thirsty, when on many diets….IF they are eating significantly less weight of food. That’s not always the case, think soups and other high volume foods, and similarly see below about potatoes’ Relatively low calorie density too.
    If some dieter is skipping meals, the drinks involved in meals also would get compensated by drinking throughout the day, fairly unconsciously. Though usually, dieters in most diets are also actually advised to drink more, to make-up for food’s water but mainly to ‘help with fullness’ .
    The fullness by the way is not an issue with the potato diet, it’s pretty satiating and one of the reasons is because…..

    __….because, have you ever picked up a bag of potatoes?! Potatoes themselves are not very calorie dense, that is, they are some of the “heaviest per calorie” foods around if looking at lbs per calorie (compare calories in a 1 lb rib-eye, just as an example). When not on a weight-loss diet, it’s normal to be eating 2 -4 lbs of food per day (the 2 lbs ‘per meal’ idea includes drinks, as you say, for which one normally makes-up throughout the day).

    So yes, often potato dieters eat less Calories, but if you’re eating even as little as 1200 Calories of potatoes, you’re probably getting around the food weight that day as you get on a higher-calorie ‘normal’ diet.

    So no, there’s no Big chunk missing… : )

    For what it’s worth btw, potato dieters don’t usually skip any meals, they often even snack on potatoes in between meals.

    But Tim’s the guy to really speak to this diet’s special features, he got it rolling in the first place and has been collecting potato dieters feedback from many dozens. if not hundreds (!).

  192. Richard Nikoley on October 29, 2013 at 07:43


    Math looks right, just not sure glycogen is the only part of the whole equation. Ever see this?


  193. marie on October 29, 2013 at 07:58

    Richard, yes, that’s why in first comment I noted “Now, if you want to talk dehydration …..”
    I think you’d notice dehydration effects though, if you lost several pounds of water such as on this hack.

  194. marie on October 29, 2013 at 08:00

    Heh, “…..several pounds, such as on this hack, and most or a significant part of that was water pounds”. : )

  195. tatertot on October 29, 2013 at 08:35

    OK, guys…here’s the real-deal, thanks to a Russian brainiac named Max. Here’s the weightloss/water weight calculations for potatoes:

    Richard brings home 100 pounds of potatoes, which (being purely mathematical potatoes) consist of 99 percent water. He then leaves them outside overnight so that they consist of 98 percent water. What is their new weight? The surprising answer is 50 pounds.

    How’s that work? Like this:

    Initially the non-water weigh is 1 pound, which is 1% of 100 pounds. The one asks: 1 pound is 2% of how many pounds? In order that that percentage be twice as big, the total weight must be half as big.

    An explanation via algebra is as follows.

    The weight of water in the fresh potatoes is 0.99 * 100.

    If x is the weight of water lost from the potatoes when they dehydrate then 0.98(100 – x) is the weight of water in the dehdrated potatoes. Therefore

    0.99 * 100 – 0.98(100 – x) = x

    Expanding brackets and simplifying

    99 – (98 – 0.98x) = x

    99 – 98 + 0.98x = x

    1 + 0.98x = x

    Subtracting the smaller x term from each side

    1 + 0.98x – 0.98x = x – 0.98x

    1 = 0.02x

    And solving

    1 / 0.02 = 0.02x / 0.02

    Which gives the lost water as

    50 = x

    And the dehydrated weight of the potatoes as

    100 – x = 100 – 50 = 50

  196. Ellen on October 30, 2013 at 07:23


    Any further thoughts on your headache and the potato starch?

    I ask because I recently started increasing my resistant starch, but from food only. And had a slight headache this morning. That reminded me that when I tried the potato starch a few months back I had good results for the first few days in terms of sleep and improved tmi but by the end of the week these deteriorated
    And I had some bad headaches. I had forgotten about the headaches till now. Headaches are extremely rare for me.

    I do think there is a connection for me between a certain level of resistant starch and headaches. And I am wondering if it could be possible that increased Feeding of good bacteria will cause a die off of bad bacteria and this could be the cause do the headache?

    Does this make any sense to anyone?

  197. tatertot on October 30, 2013 at 07:44

    I have never seen anything that remotely implies eating RS or RS foods will cause a die-off like some of the other cleansing protocols will. It’s more just a gradual shift in microbes that takes about 4 weeks to complete.

    Headaches may be related somehow, I’ve never experienced it, but something may be going on for you. Dehydration maybe? I can’t think of many more scenarios that would fit.

  198. Ellen on October 30, 2013 at 09:07

    So do you think the dehydration would be a totally separate issue? Or Could it be due to much poopage? Sorry but I have to be seriously TMI….. When I was doing the potato starch after about 5 day s I would have numerous poops that were Bristol scale 5. No diarrhea. I know diarrhea causes dehydration but is it possible that all that supposedly excellent production does too?

    And then this morning after a day of concerted eating of foods high in RS. I had the headache and during the course of the morning had 4 bristol scale 5 episodes. And then felt good. Headache gone.

    So perhaps all that good activity in my elderly colon somehow reverberates in my brain until it all clears out. Perhaps it is just the activity itself?

    I know there has been much written about the gut brain connection, avd I know I am feeing it with these adventures, but I would love to figure out the details.

    In any case I am now using this response as a guide to how much RS foods I should consume on a day to day basis. This morning was only a very mild headache, but when I was taking the starch and just kept on after a day like today the headache got really bad.

  199. Tatertot on October 30, 2013 at 09:26

    Ellen – you could very well just be seeing the results of poorly diversified gut flora. It’s not really my area of expertise, but there are several good probiotic supplements. You may want to look into ones that have a wide range of bacteria. The standard ones, and even yogurt/sauerkraut type foods all are pretty narrow in range of bacteria. Have you looked at Dr. BG’s site? lots of good info on just this topic: url-removed/

  200. Natural on October 30, 2013 at 09:57

    I took a break from potato starch and restarted it two days ago. I am doing it slightly differently this time. I am taking one big dose of 3T mixed with 1t of psylium husk powder on empty stomach an hour before dinner. One more thing I did was to stop taking this protein supplement that I started taking a few days before my first experiment with PS. This protein was new brand for me and contained artificial sweeteners.
    Now I do not have any headaches so far therefore I’d like to attribute the headaches to protein supplement (may or may not be the combination w/ PS).

    TMI alert: The best TMI for me happens when I eat green bananas (even better when +soaked, cooked, frozen and re-cooked lentils). TMI on PS alone is kind of disappointing…it is more dense and a little stickier. Not sure what is causing this. Do I need up my water intake? I already drink about 3L water. I also notice my joints ache a little bit. I HOPE it is not due to the PS. I cannot possibly be sensitive to nightshades because I was doing just fine on my potato hack.

  201. Ellen on October 30, 2013 at 10:21

    Hmmm, that is an excellent idea. I will take a good probiotic and see how that changes things. Probably the Prescript Assist that Chris Kresser likes. Or it could be one of the supplements I take regularly. I will experiment with NOT taking those. Thanks guys!

  202. Brad on October 31, 2013 at 17:28

    Tater, just remember never go FP! ;-)

  203. Natural on October 31, 2013 at 13:21

    So, out of curiosity I went to the LCF forum and checked out the JUDDD thread.
    What are your thoughts on using the potato hack on down days with this method? Say for example, eat normal for 4 – 5 days a week and do the potato hack for the rest of the week. Rinse & repeat. I think this might be an easier way to do the PH for most people. Lot of them on the LCF seem to be having great success with this approach. What are your thoughts?

  204. tatertot on October 31, 2013 at 13:35

    @Natural, re: JUDDD w/potatoes…I LOVE IT! It may not get rid of that last 10 pounds in time for your class reunion if you only start one week out, but as a long-term maintenance plan I think it is da bomb.

    I have been telling people who want to try the potato hack to do it for 2 days and see what they think lately. So many people want to jump in with both feet for a 14 day run and on day 3 they peter out because they didn’t realize it was going to be so monotonous, they didn’t buy enough potatoes or they didn’t have any pre-made for emergencies. Then they cheat a bunch and half-ass it a few more days before declaring it a total failure. Two days gives you a taste of what’s to come if you want a longer run at it, but 5/2 seems like a perfect fit.

  205. Brad on October 31, 2013 at 13:53

    If you eat low carb during the 5 week days then go full-potato on the weekends, this is similar to the “Anabolic Diet” which is sorta a cyclical keto diet. The difference is you are not just going high carb on the weekend, you are going ONLY carbs on the weekend. It’s interesting to think about the big swing in macro’s here and what effects this could have on your system. I’m thinking it might work well. By the time the weekend came you might be craving carbs in a big way and then by Monday, the opposite, craving fats. The late great Vince Gironda (Iron Guru) also recommended a cyclical approach to eating carbs for body builders, though not to the extreme of eating only carbs. And he recommended just a single meal (carb re-feed) but he was targeting getting ripped.

    I’m very interested in results if anyone does this. I might try it myself. I’ve done CKD before. This is just a bit more extreme.

  206. Natural on October 31, 2013 at 14:06

    I think you are right about the monotony of PH if longer than 5 days. It was starting to get real hard for us after the 3rd day on PH but we willed ourselves through 5 days. I think wife will do the JUDDD thing next couple of weeks. It should be much easier.

    BTW, wife gained about 2 lbs back since she stopped PH on Monday. The 2lbs came back on Tuesday and she is holding steady since then. We both indulged in salty, fatty and carby Mexican food on Monday so that is probably partly to blame for the immediate bounce. But the net is -4 lbs…not bad at all.
    I haven’t checked my weight but fat pad around my belly puffed up on Tuesday (result of Mexican food??) but it is now thinner than before the hack.

  207. Brad on October 31, 2013 at 14:09

    Tater, has anyone gotten fairly ripped (low BF) using the PH?

  208. tatertot on October 31, 2013 at 14:25

    Brad – I got really lean last winter, never officially measured but probably 10-12%. That had me looking pretty sunken actually, so I did a pretty good bulk and worked out hard this summer, put on quite a bit of muscle and 12 pounds overall. 2, 5 day runs of potatoes has gotten 6 or 7 of the 12 off already. My plan is to do 5 days at the beginning of each month all winter, or something similar and laying off the weights until winter’s over. Kind of an extended bulk and cut. I’m probably back around 12-14% now, just guessing, though.

    Lot of guys at MDA got pretty lean also last year, so yes, it can be done pretty easily. I think it works just as good or better for the ‘last 10’ , and that’s usually the hardest.

  209. Brad on October 31, 2013 at 16:05

    Tater, how low was your daily carbs more or less when you were “sunken”?

  210. tatertot on October 31, 2013 at 16:26

    Brad – I was at the tail end of a 2 year VLC paleo diet, stuck on the last 10 for over 6 months. I was eating probably 50g or less at that time. After trying the potato diet and realizing carbs weren’t my enemy, I went more PHD style carbs and have spent the last 10 months at 150-250g carbs/day. The potato hack seems equally effective coming from VLC or a moderate carbs intake–and I assume would work on SAD high carbs as well.

    My biggest mistake last year was working out hard and cutting calories/carbs. After what I went through, I can see it needs to be one or the other…eat enough to fuel heavy workouts or eat less to lean out. Rookie mistake.

  211. marie on October 31, 2013 at 16:34

    Brad, since you’re interested, I just did something similar : four days potatoes, then weekend break, restarted potatoes on Tuesday.
    _Lost 2 lbs/4days,
    _stayed same over the weekend – no regain, if one is just careful to drink enough during any diet then there’s never a question of hydration, I don’t know where people get their theoretical notions, ahem :)
    _lost 1.4 lbs last two days (a bit more than my average, which is 0.5lbs).

    I’m doing it partly as an experiment (the mechanism is special here) and partly to get ahead of the ‘winter 5’ (which has been creeping up to the ‘winter 10’ in the last couple of years !) – so will keep it through tomorrow, take a break again on the weekend, then end it sometime next week.

  212. Ellen on November 2, 2013 at 16:23

    Okay this is really preliminary, but it does seem that for me there is a definite
    Goldilocks amount of resistant starch intake. Am just eating one serving of a high RS food daily, so maybe 10 g RS maximum. No headache, good TMI and FBG in the 90s the last three days, going from 97 to 93 and today 90.

    I am so excited to see this.!!!!!! ( I have been working on this for 5 years). Blood sugar did not go below 100 on higher intake of RS. and I got the headache and increased bowel activity.

    This is just me of course and just short term, but it may suggest that the focus should be on simply getting enough to produce the desired result and not on consuming a standard amount. Each of us may have our own optimal amount. Too much may be just as bad as too little.

  213. St. George's Dragon on November 2, 2013 at 17:47

    Ellen, what RS food are you eating? And how much of it for you to estimate 10g in RS?

  214. Ellen on November 2, 2013 at 19:58

    I don ‘t measure. So this is a very rough estimate. Fried rice about
    a cup one day. Just plain cold rice the next, about a cup. Cold mashed potatoes , about a cup, another day.
    This morning about half a cup of refried beans.

  215. Brad on November 3, 2013 at 19:59

    @Tater, Tropic Thunder Potato 2008 …

  216. St. George's Dragon on November 3, 2013 at 07:38

    Great, those fasting BG numbers are heading in the right direction! That seems to be the amount that would have been possible through diet. Now, I’ve seen comments here that if we take potato starch, we should take 4 tablespoons all at once, once you’re up to that dosage. Supposedly, you want to push it all the way to the deep recesses of your large intestine, near the colon.

    I was wondering, wouldn’t it be easier to do an enema with potato starch? Has anyone tried it? I mean this will take it directly to places where the mouth-esophagus route may not take you?

  217. tatertot on November 3, 2013 at 12:46

    @Brad – Is that from Full Metal Jacket Potato?

    @Ellen – I hope this keeps working for you. I think you are absolutely right about a ‘sweet spot’ for each of us. I’ve been reading about genetic variances in am enzyme called Fut-2 that has a lot to do with carbohydrate metabolism and gut flora. Those without much Fut-2 may need more RS, those with plenty may be better with just RS rich food.

    @St. Geo’s Dragon – We’ve been joking around here since the first RS post about an RS suppository, it’s used to cure intestinal problems in people who have had their rectums surgically diverted. The piece that remains unused will nearly always atrophy and cause problems. An RS suppository made with Hi-Maize corn starch fixes it right up. Pretty amazing, really. http://gut.bmj.com/content/61/Suppl_2/A93.1

    RS enema is not for me, but I don’t see it as being out of the question, especially like when preceded by a fecal transplant or in someone with strange gut disorders.

  218. St. George's Dragon on November 3, 2013 at 15:41

    Tatertot, I’m not sure if it needs to be preceded by a fecal transplant. In fact, doing an RS enema should precede fecal transplanting, don’t you think? It is going in from another direction. And if you’re after the gut flora, I don’t see any better way than to do it bidirectionally. After all, how would you know it will reach all the way down there even with one shot of 4 tablespoons? Do you foresee any dangers? Fecal transplanting is actually done the same way — dissolving a sample of healthy stool in a mixer and putting it in an enema bag.

    Alright, so who’s gonna be the frontrunner on this and report back? No takers? I’m not saying I’ll do it. But blazing another trail from donwunder could be more effective than the same ole mouth-to-gut route.

  219. tatertot on November 3, 2013 at 19:03

    St. G’s D – Not me, I seriously think that just eating it will flood the colon sufficiently. Plus, any readily digestible starch will be digested in small intestine like it’s supposed to be. I am pretty finicky about what I put….oh, never mind, TMI.

  220. marie on November 3, 2013 at 19:11

    tatertot, Ahahaha! :D

  221. Ellen on November 4, 2013 at 05:01

    So Tater have you come across any explanation of why those with plenty of Fut-2 might be worse with more RS? If indeed I do have a sufficiency of that enzyme, I can at least theorize how it would create too much activity in my colon and that could cause headache, but why too much would not lower by blood sugar and just enough does is completely baffling to me.

  222. tatertot on November 4, 2013 at 09:50

    Ellen – nothing that says they would be worse off, just that if you are a person who has a good expression of the Fut-2 gene, then your gut microbes may not need as much ‘babying’ as people without the Fut-2 gene.

    Luckily, about 80% of the population has the Fut-2 gene, and are known as ‘secretors’, meaning they secrete a substance, fucose, in their intestines, and this correlates with healthier microbe populations.

    The 20% of non-secretors may be the ones who need a lot of extra RS in their diet. But everybody, secretor or non, wins with RS.

    I probably shouldn’t have even brought this up, as I’m no expert in this field, but it does illustrate the point that we are all different and may have different needs.

    If you want to read about Fut-2, here is something that will make your eyes spin.


    ‘too long/didn’t read’ summary: “In this study we present evidence that the FUT2 gene, which defines the secretor status … is one of the host genotypic features determining the composition of intestinal microbiota, particularly bifidobacterial population. We showed that bifidobacterial diversity and composition is strongly associated with the secretor status of the host. These results increase our understanding of the factors explaining inter-individual variations in intestinal microbiota composition and help us to evaluate the role of intestinal microbiota in health and disease.”

    I find this stuff fascinating, another trait not shared by everyone…

  223. Ellen on November 4, 2013 at 11:03

    It doesn’t take much to make my eyes spin, so I am glad you are so eager to share the fruits of your labors.

  224. Ellen on November 8, 2013 at 05:46

    An update on my headaches:

    Have been taking Prescript Assist for several days and am headache free on the higher intake of RS foods. I will probably switch around from bottle to bottle using the brands that DR.BG lists.

    Am now thinking that my lack of fartage may also have been an indicator that I needed more diversity
    In my gut flora.

  225. My Personal N=1 Resistant Starch Experiment on December 12, 2013 at 14:32

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  226. Potato Hack Diet Winter 2014 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page on January 7, 2014 at 03:51

    […] to eat potatoes and survived well. A couple of articles from the 1840's recently surfaced at Free The Animal and I'd like to repost them here: And another: So, here's the gist of the potato diet: As a […]

    • BrazilBrad on January 7, 2014 at 08:37

      Fifth day of the potato-hack. Doesn’t look like it’s working for me. 175 to 173 and my belly fat looks worse. However, other than not having much of a six-pack I was fairly lean to begin with – maybe 13% BF. I was hoping the hack would get me closer to 10% but it might be making me worse. I’m at around 5 med sized potatoes per day so about 1000 cals. 5’10” and 51 years in age. Ate a low-ish paleo-ish PHD-ish diet before p-hacking.

  227. Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2014 at 09:20


    I think 15% for men and 20-25% BF for women is NORMAL! Beyond that, people just need to go to a BB forum and do whatever they do. One thing I do know: dehydration combined with caloric restriction with most calories coming from dry, low fat chicken breast and egg white works.

    If you’re not the typical 18-25 yo with hubris over how magical Paleo is for washboard, it’ll probably still work for you.

    Or, you can conclude you’re a bit fucking dumb on this issue, call it a day, enjoy life and make sure you have a woman who cares more about actions than something to wash clothes on. :)

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