Man eats only potatoes for two months
Friday 22 October 2010
In a bizarre PR campaign, director of the US-based Washington State Potato Commission Chris Voigt has pledged to eat nothing but potatoes (with no toppings) for two months. A one-man war against no carb diets, he says his purpose is to prove the potato is so healthy you could live off it alone, for two months at least.
Voigt hopes his pro-spud stunt will educate the public about many healthy aspects of the maligned potato: an inexpensive source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and, with the skin left on, dietary fiber. Since October 1 he has committed to eating 20 potatoes a day in varying forms, including potato chips and fries, and has been blogging about his experience on his website.
"I want to show the world that the potato is so healthy, that you could live off them alone for an extended period of time, without any negative impact to your health," he wrote on his website. "And who knows, maybe it will make me healthier by lowering my blood pressure and cholesterol?"
Problem is potatoes rate very high on the glycemic index, meaning its carbohydrates are quickly absorbed into the blood stream. Foods with a higher glycemic index are associated with weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes. But not all potatoes are alike: a baked Russet potato has a glycemic index of 76 compared to 64 for white rice. A boiled red potato has a glycemic index of 55.
"Potatoes can be an excellent part of a healthy diet, but are not a healthy single source diet," said Barry Swanson, regents professor and interim director of the School of Food Science at Washington State University and University of Idaho, in an interview with health news website LiveScience on October 20. "The glucose release in the body is pretty large for most potato products since the starch is readily digestible."
To follow Voigt's blog:
To see him discuss his strategy on YouTube:
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