Are Potatoes Fattening? - THE FIT MUM FORMULA

Are Potatoes Fattening?

potatoes fattening

Never have I seen so many arguments arise around a single food. Since Dr Xand referred to them as ‘fattening potatoes’ and a bowl of strawberries was placed next to a comparable handful of sugarlumps, everyone is scared to bite an apple for fear it leads to diabetes, and God forbid, FAT gain. So, are potatoes fattening?


Now I love Dr Xand and his twin brother’s work, and find their TV shows thoroughly entertaining and factually accurate, but this ruffled my banana pancake loving feathers a little, so took to Twitter to state my concerns….


potatoes fattening

And as I suspected, he DOES know what he’s talking about and agreed that some things weren’t quite clear enough.

So I’ll do that on behalf of him now:

1) Sugar is a type of carb. There are various types of carbs and the main difference is how quickly they break down and are absorbed. Sweets are very fast, beans & quinoa, fresh fruit and veg are slow, slightly processed carbs like mashed potato, chips, bread, are in the middle. All carbs are sugar once they’ve been broken down.

2) Too much of the ‘fast’ carbs lead to blood sugar swings and along with excess weight, can lead to diabetes.

3) Too many carbs of ANY type could lead to weight gain in numerous ways.

– they could directly be extra calories you didn’t need

– some types of carb aren’t very filling, so a diet that is too biased towards these will leave you hungry, so you’ll eat more calories (= weight gain)

– too many carbs of any type can lead to blood sugar swings that make you crave more sugar & carbs, which if you do eat will = more calories

4) Everything in point 3) is more likely to occur with fast digesting carbs (white bread, donuts), than slow (baked beans, apples).

5) Interestingly, there’s also carbs in all sorts of foods; dairy having various amounts depending on the type, and it tends to be a ‘slow’ carb since the protein and fat in dairy helps slow digestion.


Ok ok.

Only extra calories that you don’t need cause weight gain. If you need 1500 calories / day to maintain your weight, and you eat 1000 calories of chips every day as your only food, you’ll lose weight. Or cheese. Or Mars bars, it doesn’t matter; eat fewer calories, lose weight.

BUT eating a diet that is too high, percentage wise, in carbs, especially refined processed ones, or fast digesting ones, can lead to hunger and sugar cravings, so you may find yourself diving into the chocolate stash and THEN you’ll consume more calories.

On the other hand meals rich in protein, some fat, slow digesting carbs and lots of low calorie vegetables, will keep you full and blood sugar steady, making a calorie deficit easier to stick to (plus you’ll be healthier and feel better).

Potatoes DON’T make you fat, but neither is it a good idea for most people to eat tonnes of quickly digested carbs, unless you’re an endurance athlete but let’s not go there today…….

You can read a bit more about the show and watch it here and here.


Any questions? Come and ask me in my free Facebook group here.

Leave a Comment: