This page is all about a potato-based diet propounded by a gentleman named Chris Voigt. He strongly believed and still believes in a diet involving nothing else but 20 potatoes a day, for 60 days straight.
Chris Voigt, who was also the Washington State Potatoes Commission’s Executive Director when he started this diet, had vowed to eat nothing but 20 plain potatoes every day for 60 days straight in his attempt of reminding the general populace about the amazing nutrients contained in this day-to-day vegetable.
And he managed to do exactly that!
His diet received plenty of publicity in all forms of media throughout the world, making him a household name in all health-conscious homes world-over. Furthermore, he managed to bring a lot of focus on potatoes as a healthy food item, quite contradictory to their reputation.
In fact, one of the important reasons why he chose to go on an all potato diet was to debunk the popular myths surrounding potatoes being unhealthy. He desperately wanted to bring to light the fact that potatoes are actually healthy! For example, they’re an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
So, Chris started his diet on October 1, 2010, and didn’t use any milk, butter or cheese toppings for mashing his potatoes. The only way he had them were fried, boiled, mashed, steamed, chipped or baked. His diet continued for 60 straight days and ended on November 29, 2010.
Many nutritionists agreed that potatoes did have a bad reputation. Despite the fact that a large number of people thought potatoes to be consisting of nothing more than starch carbohydrates, they were a surprisingly good source of minerals and vitamins. However, experts remained skeptical that eating just potatoes every day could provide someone with all important nutrients necessary for maintaining good health.
A lot of research had already been carried out on potatoes. Nutritionists and medical experts were also of the opinion that one actually had to be nuts to think that he/she could live off only potatoes and nothing else. People who actively advocated low-carb diet had also always been very harsh on potatoes than science permitted them to be.
If looked at closely, one may find that certain potato varieties, if prepared correctly have the potential of being as healthy as the whole grains.
The potatoes charm actually lies in their mediocrity. The vegetable is considered a decent famine food throughout the world, owing to the modest amount of nutrients contained in it, as against other healthy alternatives such as oranges that deliver nothing but some fiber and vitamins C. In fact, at one point of time, United Nations had gone as far as promoting potato as a comprehensive means of eliminating hunger all over the world.
Many people view potatoes having a major problem, that is – high glycemic index. This figure is a measure of the quickness with which carbohydrates get absorbed into a person’s blood stream. Foods that have a high glycemic index (processed foods and the kinds) are constantly associated with diabetes, insulin resistance and weight gain. In case of potatoes, the matters can get worse if they are prepared in an unhealthy way, such as by mashing them and serving them with gravy or butter, or in the fried and salted form.
Scientists have found that although potatoes may initially satisfy a person’s energy needs, but they’re kept as the primary food source, they can leave him/her tired and hungry in a matter of few hours. Like all forms of starch carbohydrates, potatoes are also most healthy when eaten along with other vegetables.
Chris Voigt’s approach
Chris Voigt was extremely keen on showing the world that potatoes are so healthy that anyone can actually live off them for a considerable amount of time without facing any negative health consequences.
Chris Voigt didn’t go on 20 potatoes and a diet blindly. He first carried out thorough consultations with his dietician and doctor to be sure that he could actually live on potatoes for 60 days straight. After all, you need hale and hearty kidneys for processing the excessive potassium provided by 20 potatoes every day. In addition, you should have also stored ample amounts of necessary nutrients that are lacking in potatoes, for instance vitamin A, for avoiding any harmful side effects.
As it has already been mentioned that Chris was never attempting weight loss. Nevertheless, he did lose weight! But more importantly he experienced significant reductions in his glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, LDL, LDL / HDL ratio and cholesterol / HDL ratio. All these numbers suggested that Chris had significantly reduced his risk of suffering from diabetes and/or heart diseases. These improvements were actually found to be much greater in comparison to what people generally experience from consuming drugs and/or following intensive lifestyle programs. What’s even more incredible is that he managed to do this in 60 days!
Although experts who closely followed Chris’s program don’t recommend everyone to go on 20 potatoes a day diet for 60 straight days, they do agree to the fact that despite all the bad publicity that potatoes often get, they are actually a pretty healthy and nutritious food item.