Doctors tell us that we should eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day for a healthy, balanced diet. But it turns out that you could only need one vegetable to give you all the nutrients you need.
After realising that he was addicted to food, Australian man Andrew Taylor decided that he wanted to “treat his food addiction the same way you would treat any other addiction: through abstinence – or as close to it as you can get”, according to his official website.
So Taylor– who had a degree in Applied Science (Human Movement, and had previously worked as a high school physical education and health teacher – started to research his options and discovered that potatoes were his best option.
He spent all of 2016 eating nothing but potatoes in an effort to bring his weight down from 151.7kg (334lb) to a healthier range.
Despite eating up to four kilograms of potatoes every day, over the space of one year, Taylor lost 55kg (120lb), and published his first book: The D.I.Y Spud Fit Challenge: a how-to guide to tackling food addiction with the humble spud.
According to Taylor, his cholesterol was lowered, his anxiety and depression abated, and regular check-ups with his doctor revealed that everything was in order even though he was only eating one type of food.
This is because potatoes, in addition to being high in carbohydrates, “have enough protein and fat [and] are really good for fibre, vitamin C and iron”, Taylor says in a new.com.au article.
According to Popular Science, Taylor’s plan could technically work for a while, at least.
“Andrew Taylor isn’t the only person in history who has relied almost exclusively on potatoes for sustenance. In the beginning of the 1800s, about a third of the Irish population got most of their calories from spuds,” Ellen Airhart writes.
Airhart does warn, however, that white potatoes alone could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Adding sweet potatoes to the mix “increases the likelihood that the potato consumer will get their recommended daily dose” of vitamins A and E, and decreases the likelihood of contracting scurvy.
This diet isn’t recommended for everyone; there are a lot of factors to take into account, and anyone considering such a change should discuss it with their health professional before embarking on such a journey. Still, Joan Salge Blake, a clinical nutrition professor at Boston University is in favour of the general health benefits of the potato.
“for the money and your blood pressure, you can’t beat a traditional baked spud,” Salge says.
You can view a video of Taylor’s potato challenge below.