The Older Brother gives a shout-out to tuber-lution

Isn’t evolution great?

I don’t mean the monkey-to-mankind stuff.  I got tired of that debate years ago.  I’m talking about the kind of evolution you can observe.  Specifically, how folks in the low-carb,  paleo, LCHF, etc., etc. camps have evolved back to potatoes!

Yes, the lowly tuber is back in the rotation, and I’m happy about it.  Honestly, I was okay with not eating them, and still like the recipes with cauliflower, but The Wife had really missed them, and as we all know, “when momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

After getting clued in to Richard Nikoley’s (of the Free the Animal blog) new thinking on resistant starch, I had two thoughts:

1) That’s really interesting, and seems to fit with the paleo/evolutionary model; and

2) How am I going to tell The Wife?

I’m kidding. Some. She really had been a good sport, and went above and beyond the call of duty experimenting with cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas et. al.  But she missed them more than I did.   I wasn’t sure how she was going to take it when I told her the whole “no potatoes” thing for the last couple of years had all been a big misunderstanding.

I just knew I didn’t want to be in the room alone with her at the time. Fortunately, The Oldest Son happened by and asked how she’d taken the news that potatoes were actually okay. Right in front of her, before I’d said anything.  She took it really well.

So they’re back, and we’ve been enjoying them in moderation.  Like this:

Those are Wasabi/Horseradish mashed potatoes under that grilled, sesame-seed crusted tuna, with the bacon-wrapped asparagus as a sidekick.

Tuesday was one of our pastured chickens that The Oldest Son & I had processed, with sides of peas and “Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage.” The sides looked like so:

[Foodie alert: Not a very good picture — the sweet potatoes had a much better presentation besides being delicious. Have to say, we didn’t get much out of the sage. That’s the second recipe we’ve tried with fried sage. From now on, we’re putting it in raw or just skipping it.]

Forgot to take a pic while they were plated with the chicken, which was used in the “Chicken with 80 Cloves of Garlic” recipe from the Eades’ book, “The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle” …

That was one tasty bird, and the new thinking on tubers (I know sweet potatoes were already kind of tolerated) really added something. We’ve also taken, as Tom has also mentioned, to baking some potatoes and just keeping them in the fridge.

All of the potatoes recipes are made ahead of time, then refrigerated. We’re interested in the resistant starch process, but the fact is that they taste just as good — and I think maybe better — when reheated, and there’s a real convenience factor being able to prepare some courses ahead of time, so you’re not juggling them at the same time as a rocket-hot charcoal chimney…

… that tuna only goes 30 seconds a side, so it’s nice to be able to focus on the main dish.

Okay, back to the evolution thing. My real point is — how long did it take, given a heretical “new” idea introduced to the sundry LCHF, paleo, etc. communities, for what was really something of a paradigm shift to occur. I know, not everyone is necessarily on board with the tuber stuff yet, and “your mileage may vary” depending on whose N=1 experiment we’re talking about. But seriously, there’s been a pretty abrupt shift in the general model of nutrition and how these venerable starches fit in.

The inconvenient facts Richard raised were, albeit with some perseverance required, gradually looked at and evaluated. When it became reasonably apparent that the current thinking couldn’t account for these facts, the model adjusted. It wasn’t declared a “Tuber Paradox.” Most people didn’t double down and commence name-calling. The model changed.

It evolved. It’s robust. It adapts. It bends. It improves.

Contrast that with the official government line on, well, just about anything. Saturated fat. Statins. Cholesterol. Hearthealthywholegrains. The gut biome (official government line on the gut biome: “the what?”). Farm programs. Subsidies. War. Energy. Bailouts. Raw milk.

Nothing changes. Once a “model” is adopted by a bureaucracy, all of the money and power coalesces around the model, not the pursuit of the knowledge the model was trying to conceptualize.

Government models don’t adapt. They implode. They collapse.

This is the difference between the market, the “wisdom of crowds,” on one side, and on the other various systems of force, which are genetically infected with what F.A. Hayek termed “the fatal conceit.” Eventually, the options are — evolution, or extinction?

I’m going with the fries.

See, I did have something on my mind other than teasing you all with some food pics. If that’s all I wanted to do, I would’ve put in a picture of Sunday’s desert.

Oops.

Ok, the honey-lavender ice cream wasn’t low-carb or paleo, but it was all real — honey, cream, egg yolks, lavender. Yeah, the praline basket was a total cheat.

Cheers,

The Older Brother


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54 thoughts on “The Older Brother gives a shout-out to tuber-lution

  1. Rae Ford

    Potatoes have always stayed in my low carb diet, albeit in extreme moderation. I like to eat them at dinner because for some reason they always make me sleepy, a feat which no other food or even sleeping pills have accomplished.

    Reply
    1. Björn Hammarskjöld

      Sounds like “Paltkoma” a Swedish word for having a coma-like period after having had “Palt” which is an old traditional dish i Sweden made from a dough with raw potatoflakes, barley and rye flour. Make round balls of the dough and fill the inside with salted pork.
      Cook them in salted water at least half an hour, or they float serve with limgonberry sauce (lingonsylt in Swedish)
      https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palt

      Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      Nope. We do go fairly fancy a couple of times a week, and mostly do dinner at home.

      Cheers

      Reply
  2. Rae Ford

    Potatoes have always stayed in my low carb diet, albeit in extreme moderation. I like to eat them at dinner because for some reason they always make me sleepy, a feat which no other food or even sleeping pills have accomplished.

    Reply
    1. Björn Hammarskjöld

      Sounds like “Paltkoma” a Swedish word for having a coma-like period after having had “Palt” which is an old traditional dish i Sweden made from a dough with raw potatoflakes, barley and rye flour. Make round balls of the dough and fill the inside with salted pork.
      Cook them in salted water at least half an hour, or they float serve with limgonberry sauce (lingonsylt in Swedish)
      https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palt

      Reply
  3. Tammy

    I view the whole LCHF/Paleo/Primal food movement as a sort of collection back towards real food consumption. You’ve got everyone from Atkins to Weston Price to Loren Cordain and everyone in between. To me, the details are almost irrelevant when it comes to how sick the general population has gotten in the last 30-40 years. If 80% of it got implemented across the board look at how better off everyone would be.

    As far as potatoes – I’ve never liked them so it really was nothing to have to give them up. My cheat has always been french fries which I love – the skinnier the better – shoestring fries. But there is always the problem with the oil used for cooking. Now however there are two restaurants that we frequent that have “duck fat fries” and two restaurants that cook their fries in olive oil. I indulge guilt free whenever we are at those places.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      Had duck fat fries in a Chicago pub a few months ago. Actually, I think the name of the place might’ve been “Duck Fat.” Yummy.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  4. Sizzlechest

    What’s the connection between fully-cooked mashed potatoes and resistant starch? I was under the impression raw potatoes or cooked then cooled potatoes were the only ways to consume them while retaining resistant starch? It’s fine if you’re carbohydrate tolerant to splurge with mashed potatoes, but others aren’t as lucky.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      The cooling after cooking creates the resistant starch. Reheating doesn’t turn it back into regular starch. Apparently, a bit more resistant starch can be formed on reheating. There’s a few appropriate answers in Tom’s post http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2014/04/21/revisiting-resistant-starch-part-three/.

      Also, Paul Jaminet did a whole Q&A post from Fatheads on his Perfect Health Diet blog at http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2014/05/qa-fat-head-readers/.

      This seems to definitely be a subject with a great deal of individual variability, so as often advocated here, go with what works for you.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  5. Richard Nikoley

    Hey, ha. Thanks for the shouts TOB.

    You know, though I had reintroduced potatoes some back in about 2010, that was under a specific Leangains program I was doing under the tutelage of Martin Berkhan that involved carbing up three times per week post workout and unless you’re going to drink sugar water, taters are the way to go.

    I was probably excused my PALEO indiscretions because it was a specific program for a limited time.

    It was really Tatertot Tim Steele who spearheaded this into “our mainstream” a couple of years back and he came to me to promote and popularize, my forte more than digging into the literature. Plus it had a practical angle that was helping people get over that weight loss stall. We called it the potato hack. Turns out if you eat almost nothing but potatoes, most people can’t eat enough ad libitum to maintain body weight.

    Turns out lots of people were losing more weight than calories added up to, so the whole energy balance seems to work in both directions when numbers don’t seem to add up. We hypothesized that it was a resistant starch, unaware that cooked taters don’t have very much, but even in error, it set Tim off on another tanget of inquiry and I was more than happy promoting, and being Vinny and Guido when necessary.

    So, just wanted to pay it forward with a hearty shoutout to Tatertot.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      Cheers all around — didn’t mean to leave Tatertot out.

      I had actually seen Jaminet’s PHD in my doctor’s office last year, but looked through, saw stuff about eating potatoes and healthy starches, and dismissed it out of hand. So folks like you, who seem to thrive on being a pain in the a$$ (yeah, I know it’s a compliment) play an important function in the evolutionary process.

      Thanks for chiming in.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  6. Boundless

    > … how folks in the low-carb, paleo, LCHF,
    > etc., etc. camps have evolved back to potatoes!

    It’s less evolution than research and archeology.

    What’s the ideal* human diet?
    We don’t yet know, and probably won’t for some time.
    And it won’t be the same for everyone.

    What we do know is that the USDA MyPlateOfMetabolicSyndrome, widely cloned by officious idiots and national ailment promotion and maintenance associations, is a non-ideal diet for everyone, no exceptions. Doing almost anything else is apt to be an improvement.

    So where does that leave us? Well, until we figure it all out, how about we eat like humans ate for most of their existence, perhaps excluding the neolithic period with its neolithic diseases. OK, how is that? So we read old books, study the few remaining isolated tribes, and examine paleolithic vending machines as they get dug up.

    What the real paleo diet was, is pretty clearly not yet clear.

    And what are the metrics? Does real-time BG matter? How about HbA1c? Ordered your uBiome kit yet?

    ____
    * At some point, I’d like to see every diet advocacy lay out what the heck their outcome goals are:
    ? maximum years with any vital signs at all
    ? minimize need for universal healthcare rationing
    ? maximum vitality then drop dead fast
    ? live 40 years – get eaten by sabertooth tiger
    ? and now for something, completely different

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      Research and and open mind are what drive intellectual evolution. So, listening to your grandma while looking at new research moves us along toward better knowledge and outcomes; meanwhile, the “experts” and MyPlaters are the nutritional version of Creation Science.

      Cheers

      Reply
  7. Tammy

    I view the whole LCHF/Paleo/Primal food movement as a sort of collection back towards real food consumption. You’ve got everyone from Atkins to Weston Price to Loren Cordain and everyone in between. To me, the details are almost irrelevant when it comes to how sick the general population has gotten in the last 30-40 years. If 80% of it got implemented across the board look at how better off everyone would be.

    As far as potatoes – I’ve never liked them so it really was nothing to have to give them up. My cheat has always been french fries which I love – the skinnier the better – shoestring fries. But there is always the problem with the oil used for cooking. Now however there are two restaurants that we frequent that have “duck fat fries” and two restaurants that cook their fries in olive oil. I indulge guilt free whenever we are at those places.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Had duck fat fries in a Chicago pub a few months ago. Actually, I think the name of the place might’ve been “Duck Fat.” Yummy.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  8. Sizzlechest

    What’s the connection between fully-cooked mashed potatoes and resistant starch? I was under the impression raw potatoes or cooked then cooled potatoes were the only ways to consume them while retaining resistant starch? It’s fine if you’re carbohydrate tolerant to splurge with mashed potatoes, but others aren’t as lucky.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      The cooling after cooking creates the resistant starch. Reheating doesn’t turn it back into regular starch. Apparently, a bit more resistant starch can be formed on reheating. There’s a few appropriate answers in Tom’s post http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2014/04/21/revisiting-resistant-starch-part-three/.

      Also, Paul Jaminet did a whole Q&A post from Fatheads on his Perfect Health Diet blog at http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2014/05/qa-fat-head-readers/.

      This seems to definitely be a subject with a great deal of individual variability, so as often advocated here, go with what works for you.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
      1. Jill

        Does this mean if you buy freshly-cooked French fries at a restaurant you should or should not eat them?
        Or should they be taken home, cooled and reheated?

        Please clarify! The situation regarding home-baked potatoes I understand but the French fries puzzle me for some reason.

        Thank you.

        BTW, Older Brother, nice job subbing for your Younger Brother. 🙂

        Reply
        1. The Older Brother Post author

          Thanks! I don’t think you’re getting the benefit if they haven’t cooled. That seems to be part of the mechanism that converts the starch. I think one of the experts in the previous RS posts said that reheated fries probably would have it. I’m thinking the restaurant fries might belong in the “occasional cheat” category.

          Cheers

          Reply
        2. Bret

          @Jill:

          It’s a tough benefit/downside calculation when mixing potential RS with certain industrially processed PUFA oil.

          If you have access to a restaurant that uses real fat (like tallow) for its fries instead of the processed frankenstein abortion oils, then that would be ideal, if not likely. Otherwise, I’d think you’re way better off doing your own potatoes and green bananas/plantains.

          Reply
  9. Richard Nikoley

    Hey, ha. Thanks for the shouts TOB.

    You know, though I had reintroduced potatoes some back in about 2010, that was under a specific Leangains program I was doing under the tutelage of Martin Berkhan that involved carbing up three times per week post workout and unless you’re going to drink sugar water, taters are the way to go.

    I was probably excused my PALEO indiscretions because it was a specific program for a limited time.

    It was really Tatertot Tim Steele who spearheaded this into “our mainstream” a couple of years back and he came to me to promote and popularize, my forte more than digging into the literature. Plus it had a practical angle that was helping people get over that weight loss stall. We called it the potato hack. Turns out if you eat almost nothing but potatoes, most people can’t eat enough ad libitum to maintain body weight.

    Turns out lots of people were losing more weight than calories added up to, so the whole energy balance seems to work in both directions when numbers don’t seem to add up. We hypothesized that it was a resistant starch, unaware that cooked taters don’t have very much, but even in error, it set Tim off on another tanget of inquiry and I was more than happy promoting, and being Vinny and Guido when necessary.

    So, just wanted to pay it forward with a hearty shoutout to Tatertot.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Cheers all around — didn’t mean to leave Tatertot out.

      I had actually seen Jaminet’s PHD in my doctor’s office last year, but looked through, saw stuff about eating potatoes and healthy starches, and dismissed it out of hand. So folks like you, who seem to thrive on being a pain in the a$$ (yeah, I know it’s a compliment) play an important function in the evolutionary process.

      Thanks for chiming in.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  10. Boundless

    > … how folks in the low-carb, paleo, LCHF,
    > etc., etc. camps have evolved back to potatoes!

    It’s less evolution than research and archeology.

    What’s the ideal* human diet?
    We don’t yet know, and probably won’t for some time.
    And it won’t be the same for everyone.

    What we do know is that the USDA MyPlateOfMetabolicSyndrome, widely cloned by officious idiots and national ailment promotion and maintenance associations, is a non-ideal diet for everyone, no exceptions. Doing almost anything else is apt to be an improvement.

    So where does that leave us? Well, until we figure it all out, how about we eat like humans ate for most of their existence, perhaps excluding the neolithic period with its neolithic diseases. OK, how is that? So we read old books, study the few remaining isolated tribes, and examine paleolithic vending machines as they get dug up.

    What the real paleo diet was, is pretty clearly not yet clear.

    And what are the metrics? Does real-time BG matter? How about HbA1c? Ordered your uBiome kit yet?

    ____
    * At some point, I’d like to see every diet advocacy lay out what the heck their outcome goals are:
    ? maximum years with any vital signs at all
    ? minimize need for universal healthcare rationing
    ? maximum vitality then drop dead fast
    ? live 40 years – get eaten by sabertooth tiger
    ? and now for something, completely different

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Research and and open mind are what drive intellectual evolution. So, listening to your grandma while looking at new research moves us along toward better knowledge and outcomes; meanwhile, the “experts” and MyPlaters are the nutritional version of Creation Science.

      Cheers

      Reply
  11. Kristin

    After three years of constant study and N=1 experimentation, not to even mention trying to justify my diet to worried friends I seem to have done some evolution myself and it is more than just dietary shifts.

    I have finally quit angsting so much about getting my diet just perfect. Some days I figure if my plate looks like something my grand mother would have served me I’m fine. Some days I feel like I should stick to meat, veg and fat, so I do. Some days I have a bit of potato. The only constant is high in good fat and nothing that comes in a package. I seem to drift between LCHF, WAP and Perfect Health depending on what feels right. So I’ve duly removed the various labels from my forehead. And probably a chip from my shoulder. And I soak and cook a few beans for my minestrone soup.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Sounds like what we should be striving for — keep it within parameters of healthy eating without making it a grind. Comfortable within one’s own skin. Maybe with the occasional “reality checks” via things like lipid panels, inflammation markers, etc., to detect any drift.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  12. Don in Arkansas

    I get tired sometimes of the Paleo Police talking about how our ancestors didn’t eat potatoes. How the heck do they know? And I’m thinking that if they could have gotten to them, they would have darned well eaten them. I eat them very rarely, but when I do it is totally without guilt and with lots of Kerrygold butter.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Seems like tubers would’ve been a part of the diet. More important to avoid dogma.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
    2. Elenor

      Having just, two days ago, spent an-arm-and-a-leg stocking up on KerryGold at Krogers (cause Publix was out) — I went to Costco today and dammnit! THEY finally have their big boxes of KG back in!! MUCH bigger packages for a good-bit less $!

      Oh well. I bought eight packages at Costco, and will ‘handle’ them at the same time I ‘handle’ the eight smaller Kroger ones: I cut them in half (so they fit into my butter dishes), wrap them individually in aluminum foil (Costco sells single-sheet alum. foil — cut the sheets in half and they perfectly fit the butter-bars), and freeze. And next time I go to Costco, I’ll buy another 6-8 packages, and keep doing that until Costco stops carrying them again. (And yes, I ask and plead with Costco to just keep KG in stock, unsuccessfully so far. {sigh})

      Reply
      1. The Older Brother Post author

        Don’t have a Costco here, and I don’t think Sam’s carries it here, so we’re still using the Big Food version of butter. May check it out at the Hy-Vee that just opened a couple of blocks from our house.

        The Older Brother

        Reply
        1. Chuck

          Here in Western Illinois, Walmart carries the salted KG for around $4, and Hy-Vee carries the unsalted KG for around $6. Hy-Vee also has KG Garlic & Herb butter. It’s pricey, but worth it. They also have an isle dedicated to gluten free, organic, vegan, sugar substitutes, and almost every Bob’s Red Mill product. Be prepared for sticker shock at Hy-Vee. I have also noticed Walmart is expanding their gluten free choices. They are now carrying several organic coconut flours and many different types of coconut oil and some flax seed meal that wasn’t their a couple of weeks ago. I would think you would have an easier time finding these things in a bigger place like Springfield, if that’s where you are shopping.

          Reply
  13. Stephen

    When people used to fight wars, they’d say “G-d is on our side”. Now, in the ancestral health debates, they claim “Evolution is on our side”.

    I say there can’t be that much difference between a sweet potato and a russet potato.

    I pretty much have the same feeling about the differences between a steak and a loaf of bread. For me, variety and vegetables are way more important.

    I think we evolved to thrive on a wide variety of foods. (But I have a Libertarian, scientific, and sometimes skeptical viewpoint.)

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother Post author

      Not sure I’d agree on the steak = loaf of bread equation, especially from an evolutionary standpoint. But if what you’er doing is working, that’s great.

      Cheers

      Reply
  14. Bret

    I have felt so much better after adding some starch back into my diet than on a virtually zero-starch diet. Was dealing with sluggishness and brain fog before, but not now.

    Also have gotten down to the lowest weight and body fat percentage of my entire adult life. It’s hard to believe I was over 40 lbs heavier when I was a freshman in college (a brand new freshman, no less, not the end-of-year version with the “freshman fifteen”) than I am now at age 30.

    So in my mind, there is definitely something to this safe starch thing. I’ve been eating potatoes and sweet potatoes pretty regularly (I’m with Tom on white rice — it’s a refined product, so no thanks, at least not very often). And, even though not favorable by the Jaminets’ ideology, I have been eating a variety of beans quite a bit as well — full of all sorts of fibers and starches. Things going well. Glad to hear TOB & fam are on the train as well.

    Reply
    1. Bret

      I should give credit where it’s due — I dove into the beans after reading about Richard’s experience with them. So far, so good.

      Reply
  15. Nads

    When I got sluggish and depressed on a low carb diet (came on gradually over a few months), I started adding back potatoes. It really helped my sleeping, I can tell you. And those resistant starch dreams! Not a night goes by I don’t have them now, though not as extensiveas the start. I also eat legumes too now, and occasionally sushi rolls. Must admit, I never ever got into the cauliflower fauxtatoes or rice!

    Reply
    1. pam

      i hate “cauliflower rice” or “mashed cauliflower”
      (i don’t hate caulifer, just the “cauliflower rice” &
      does not taste right to me. it’s just silly.

      cheers

      Reply
  16. Nads

    When I got sluggish and depressed on a low carb diet (came on gradually over a few months), I started adding back potatoes. It really helped my sleeping, I can tell you. And those resistant starch dreams! Not a night goes by I don’t have them now, though not as extensiveas the start. I also eat legumes too now, and occasionally sushi rolls. Must admit, I never ever got into the cauliflower fauxtatoes or rice!

    Reply
    1. pam

      i hate “cauliflower rice” or “mashed cauliflower”
      (i don’t hate caulifer, just the “cauliflower rice” &
      does not taste right to me. it’s just silly.

      cheers

      Reply
    2. Bret

      Nads, could you describe an example of the RS dreams?

      I have heard about these, but never experienced one (that I know of). I am curious about others’ dreams, and how they differ from their ordinary dreams.

      Reply
  17. Sam Sinderson

    The only problem with reheating cooked potatoes is that not all of the sugars made by cooling are converted back to fiber when cooled, only around 10 to 20 %. (Ref: Dr. William Davis on the Cureality forum.) I know from experience that reheating a cooled potato and eating such will raise my post prandial glucose much more than I like. I can only get by eating potatoes if they are raw. So if you are a diabetic, even Type 2, watch out for reheated cooked and cooled potatoes.

    Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      This is definitely an area where the N=1 concept must be kept firmly in mind.

      The Older Brother

      Reply
  18. Sam Sinderson

    The only problem with reheating cooked potatoes is that not all of the sugars made by cooling are converted back to fiber when cooled, only around 10 to 20 %. (Ref: Dr. William Davis on the Cureality forum.) I know from experience that reheating a cooled potato and eating such will raise my post prandial glucose much more than I like. I can only get by eating potatoes if they are raw. So if you are a diabetic, even Type 2, watch out for reheated cooked and cooled potatoes.

    Reply

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