Actual Paleo Humans Ate … Potatoes?!

Today in The Paleo Diet Is Wrong: Apparently paleolithic humans actually did eat starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams, and furthermore, that the carbohydrates gleaned from those starchy vegetables was essential to human brain growth. Potato chip away, motherfuckers!

Dr. Karen Hardy from the Autonomous University of Barcelona studied the use of controlled fire for cooking and the simultaneous increased variation of salivary amylase genes that are used to digest starchy carbohydrates, and concluded that it’s unlikely that humans in the paleolithic era weren’t cooking and eating starchy vegetables. The brain uses 25 percent of the body’s energy and 60 percent of its blood glucose to grow, and because starchy vegetables are a good source of caloric energy and blood glucose, it’s likely that humans evolved on potatoes.

If you’re curious, you can read paleo pusher Dr. Loren Cordain’s explanation of why potatoes aren’t paleo-friendly, including their high glycemic index rating and high concentrations of saponins, which Cordain claims “may adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel diseases.” He also calls them “anti-nutrients” and “toxins,” which makes me side-eye a little. According to Cornell’s Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences,

“Humans generally do not suffer severe poisoning from saponins. Our cholesterin inactivates them so that only our mucus membranes are affected. Because of this, saponins have been used in sneezing powders, emetics, and cough syrups to facilitate expectoration. Most saponins are also diuretic. In humans, this effect disappears within a week following the neutralizing action of cholesterin.”

Guys, let’s just eat food, huh?

[Huffington Post]

[The Paleo Diet]

[Cornell]

[Image via Shutterstock]

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