Can I Eat Potatoes If I Am a Diabetic

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/04/2023

Potatoes are everywhere, aren’t they?

French fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes.

And they’re soooo delicious.

I know how tempting they are. You might even want to find a way to eat them if you have Type 2 diabetes. But is that a good idea? What do they do to your blood sugar levels?

Let’s take a look.

In this article:

  1. Potatoes And Your Blood Sugar

  2. The Ideal Amount Of Carbohydrates To Eat If You’re A Diabetic

  3. Healthy, Low-Carb Potato Alternatives

  4. Ready To Ditch Potatoes?


Potatoes And Your Blood Sugar

On the glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly a food will convert to sugar after you eat it, baked white potatoes score anywhere from 84 to 111.

Boiled potatoes rank at 82, and instant potatoes score at 97.

Since anything 70 or above is considered high (meaning it converts very quickly to sugar in your body), you can see that potatoes will raise your blood sugar far higher than is healthy for you when you have Type 2 diabetes.

Though you may have heard that sweet potatoes are an acceptable potato replacement, they too contain far too many carbs, starch, and are too high on the glycemic index, to be acceptable for blood sugar control. So, sweet potatoes are off limits as well.

To break it down further:

Foods that have carbohydrates with a low glycemic index value (55 or less) digest, absorb, and metabolize more slowly than those with a high glycemic index score. This results in a lower and slower rise in your blood sugar levels and, therefore, your Fat Storing Hormone levels.

If you're diabetic, or even have prediabetes, it’s essential for your health that you minimize your blood sugar levels, which will in turn reduce your Fat Storing Hormone levels. This means potatoes of all kinds are off limits for you.

drawing of a box of french fries inside a red circle with a slash through it

This Is The Ideal Amount Of Carbohydrates To Eat If You’re A Diabetic

If I were a diabetic, I would want to keep my carbohydrates under 20 grams per day. This will keep your blood glucose and Fat Storing Hormone levels low enough to potentially reverse your type 2 diabetes. Of course, this means a healthy low carbohydrate ketogenic diet is the best choice for you.

Contrast that with what the American Diabetic Association recommends: 135 to 230 grams of carbohydrates each and every day! Eating this level of carbs will skyrocket your blood glucose levels, cause weight gain, and create diabetes, not help to correct it like a low carbohydrate diet would.

Research shows that low carbohydrate diets will improve your blood sugars, and improve your A1C level. A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugars over a three-month period. This is excellent news if you’re a type 2 diabetic; you may be able to reduce or even eliminate medications you’re taking for diabetes. But please, make sure you work with your doctor.

Since potatoes are off limits, let’s dive into some healthy alternatives for a diabetes diet.


Healthy, Low-Carb Potato Alternatives

Cauliflower is a low calorie and low carb keto staple that's a good source of fiber and B vitamins. It makes an excellent mashed potato replacement when you have Type 2 diabetes. Try my steak and mashed cauliflower recipe - its so good I bet you won’t even miss the potatoes.

Celeriac (celery root) is delicious and has low net carbs. A popular way to prepare celery root is to make oven-roasted fries. But search the web, and you’re sure to find many delicious keto-adherent recipes. You can find celeriac in the fresh produce section of grocery stores.

fresh celery root

Daikon radishes are also low in net carbs, and can substitute for potatoes in a variety of ways. They’re easy to find in the produce section of most grocery stores. Simply search online for keto daikon radish recipes, and you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

At first glance, rutabagas seem like a starchy vegetable, which are normally too high carb for keto. But they’re actually a member of the same non-starchy vegetable family as cabbage. They probably originated long ago as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. In fact, people sometimes mistake them for turnips, but they’re a little sweeter tasting. Search on keto rutabaga recipes to find many dishes to try.

Turnips are another highly keto-friendly vegetable, and can be used in place of potatoes. Roast or fry them, or even make scalloped turnips instead of scalloped potatoes. Search on keto turnip recipes - there are lots, so you’re sure to find one you like.


Ready To Ditch Potatoes?

I know how tempting potatoes can be.

Baked and loaded with sour cream and butter, or served up alongside your breakfast bacon and eggs.

But just because you grew up eating them, doesn’t mean you have to continue. Especially when you’re diabetic. You simply can’t afford the high blood sugar and Fat Storing Hormone caused by eating potatoes. Not if you want to get healthy.

The good news is that you’ve now learned about a variety of low carbohydrate alternatives that won’t spike your glucose and Fat Storing Hormone levels. You can easily keep yourself to 20 grams of carbohydrates or fewer each day while still enjoying delicious food.

All it takes is a little creativity and adaptation on your part. And isn’t that part of the fun of life?

So pick one of these potato alternatives, whip up a recipe that appeals to you, and get ready to delight your taste buds.

You’ll soon be able to leave potatoes behind in the dust.

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Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

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