Monday, February 29, 2016

Mr. Potatohacker: Thank You!

This morning my inbox was full of links to a stock market blog where the blog host discussed the harms of an all-potato diet. "Mr. Potatohead: Fork You."  The person writing this post was commenting on Richard Nikoley's recent adventures in potato hacking in which he has lost a phenomenal amount of weight by eating mostly boiled potatoes: The Potato Diet Practicalities: Dropping Big Weight Fast With High Energy and Without Hunger.

Some quotes from the Mr. Potatohead article:

Folks, on the math that's insanity..

Potatoes are extremely high in potassium; one contains about 25% of your daily requirement., so if you're eating a dozen a day you're getting a hell of a lot more than you need.  If your kidneys are normal you'll whiz the excess out -- and with it, plenty of water -- maybe enough to severely dehydrate you.  Potassium is a necessary salt in our diet and is essential for normal nerve conduction, but unless you're a doctor (or maybe a cardiologist) you probably don't realize that it's the potassium balance that's important, not the gross amount.  You get this wrong and you can have a heart attack "out of the blue."

see 'ya in the morgue.
The person writing this then goes on to extol the virtues of a diet low in starches and carbohydrates. He actually gives some good diet advice, such as "eat no processed vegetable oil" and he seems to be a fan of exercise, so there is a bit of common ground.

Basically, outside of a lot of yelling by use of bolded and italicized words, his main points of contention with the potato hack are:

  • The weight loss seen violates Calories-in/Calories-out (CICO) theories of weight loss; and
  • The potassium found in potatoes is harmful and can kill when potatoes are eaten to excess.

The first point (CICO) would lead us to the conclusion that all of the people who have seen fast weight loss while potato hacking are lying.  Admittedly, the 1/2 to 1 pound a day that people commonly lose while on the potato hack seems to be too good to be true, but it happens. Is everyone lying?

The second point, we'll look at a bit more closely. I'm sure no one wants to end up in the morgue.

Potassium in Potatoes

I take all critiques of the potato hack very seriously. This is the first time I've seen anyone say that the potato hack could be dangerous due to excess potassium. Is he right?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of potassium set by the USDA is 4500mg per day. Three full pounds of potatoes has approximately 6000mg of potassium. This represents an intake that is 1/3 higher than the RDA for potassium. Should we be worried?

It's easy to google the dangers of too much potassium. The condition is called, "hyperkalemia." This condition is seen in people with poor kidney function. It is not caused by eating potassium rich foods, though people with hyperkalemia are told to avoid potassium rich foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, and bananas.  It can be caused by ingesting too much salt substitute made out of potassium, but the most likely cause of hyperkalemia is from a reaction to certain medicines (ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs) or as a result of several diseases (ie. Addison's Disease). 

A 2010 study by the USDA showed that over half of all Americans are getting only 56% of the RDA for potassium. The mass-hysteria surrounding the call to lower salt intake in the US diet is actually an attempt to balance the sodium:potassium levels in our diet, this balance being more crucial than the actual amount. If most people ate the RDA for potassium, there would be no reason to limit sodium (salt), in fact, if everyone ate the RDA of potassium, we'd probably be told to eat MORE salty food.

The warnings of "see ya in the morgue" are probably much better suited to the folks out there who are eating the standard American diet and getting only half the potassium they require. An extra 33% is what you need.

Potassium:Sodium Ratios while Potato Hacking

The "Mr. Potatohead" article also focuses on the ratio of potassium to sodium, implying it will be automatically skewed when eating an all-potato diet. From an article by the National Institutes of Health: Sodium/Potassium Ratio Linked to Cardiovascular Disease Risk.:

Recent national nutrition surveys show that, on average, Americans consume about 3300 mg of sodium per day (almost 1-1/2 tsp per day of salt) and 2600 mg potassium per day. These are far from the recommended goals of 2300 mg or less for sodium and 4700 mg or more for potassium. In fact, a recent report found that only 13% of the population is meeting the sodium goal and well below 5% is meeting the potassium goal.

A huge problem in the US is too much salt and not enough potassium. To combat this trend, dietary experts have been stressing we need to eat less salt, when the real solution is to eat more potassium. Eating less salt may improve the ratio, but it does not increase the potassium.

So what is the ratio of sodium:potassium while potato hacking? It's hard to say. Calorie and nutrient calculators are all over the place! Some calculators show that eating 3-4 pounds of potatoes puts you in a "high sodium" category and others in "high potassium." I believe this is because some calculators derive their figures based on how people normally eat the food, ie. skin off, heavily salted. Others show the nutrition figures based solely on the food itself, a sampling:

RDA (required)
2300mg or LESS
4700mg or MORE
145mg (6%)
9979mg (212%)
4609 (200%)
5752mg (122%)
175mg (8%)
9600mg (204%)
1068mg (46%)
3960mg (78%)
        Potassium and Sodium in 4 pounds of white potatoes

The outlier for sodium is FitDay and the outlier for potassium is the USDA. The general consensus is that potatoes are low in sodium and high in potassium, exactly as it should be for "proper balance."

If it was widely recognized that potatoes contained a dangerous level of potassium, I'd be the first to lose interest in the potato hack. As it stands, there is NO vegetable in ANY amount that has a dangerously high level of potassium. If you have kidney problems and a medical condition that results in high potassium (hyperkalemia), or think you might, then go see a doctor.


Potassium and sodium are two vital nutrients that play a big role in the success of the potato hack. I believe that when potato hacking, for the first time in most people's lives, their nutritional requirements are being fully met in a perfectly balanced way. Eating only potatoes for long periods of months or years could feasibly lead to some type of imbalance. Lots of smart people say otherwise, but to be on the safe side, let's keep the potato hack to 3-5 day increments and eat a well-balanced diet the rest of the time.  


  1. See you in the morgue!

    1. Yep! We'll all get there eventually.

    2. Okay, I haven't read this post yet, but am going hysterically to the comment section to report that my blood work shows a rise in Potassium levels from 4.6 to 5.6 - considered now high. And my blood pressure has gone up in the same period.


  2. Thanks Tim! I sure do appreciate your take on things and your willingness to help those of us who have been badly beaten up by SAD eating for too long. In a world of everyone trying to get rich from our poor health, it is refreshing to find someone who actually cares enough to share his wisdom! I appreciate it!


    1. The potato hack is too simple and too effective to be popular. No money in it. In fact, takes money away from everyone else. The diet industry could not sustain itself if the diets actually worked.

    2. I guess that's why this simpleton likes it! I've been doing 3 day hack for about 6 weeks now and eating plant based with a little meat the other 4 days a week. I lose on the hack but gain most if not all of it some weeks back on the other 4 days... kind of discouraging but basically I have gotten off about 5 total pounds so it isn't a total stall in the weight loss and I figure my body is still benefiting. I am still more on the constipated side - even when I take a magnesium supplement. I have been doing a raw goat milk kefir/fiber shake daily (even on potato hack days) with a clove of garlic and still struggling. The older and sicker we are, the longer it takes... But, I am still getting the T-shirt!!!! It's all good!

      Thanks again,

    3. Consuming dairy during the hack automatically makes it not the hack. Does it matter? In theory, yes. Maybe not.

  3. That's Karl Denninger. He's a bit of a kook in that arena and a die-hard LC pimp. He boots people off his forum that disagree. He and Richard Nikoley did an epic mini-round on Twitter this weekend.

    1. Well thank goodness I don't partake in Twitter! I have enough things to keep me occupied. How did Richard do? Did he point out that LC diets are notoriously skewed with high sodium and low potassium?

    2. Probably not the right place to put this, but I just come across a very interesting report about an unusual sugar which helps make our gut healthy.

      Not potatoes, but very important for our co-inhabiters.

      Jo tB

    3. Jo - Interesting! What do you bet there is a ton of sulfoquinovose in potatoes?

  4. Well, now that Tim has graciously taken the time to debunk the guy on the science, I guess that leaves me free to limit my response to just "the standard treatment."

    Thanks Tim.

  5. I'm cross posting this comment I left at Richard's site:

    I've followed Karl for a long time because he's good on finance, politics and climate. When he started getting on the LCHF bandwagon a couple years ago though, I cringed. You see, my mother was a patient of Dr. Eades in Little Rock in 1995. I owned Protein Power 20 years ago and knew all about ketones etc....been down that road. Have you ever been around one of those people that finds something new...something you've known about for a long time...and they think they've come out of the matrix....and they will now unmask the giant conspiracy? Yea, because when Karl gets on something, everybody else better be all in, or they're a phony. Like a lot of conservatives and Christians sadly, they eat their own. Further, he likes to stick to 'facts' and 'science'...which is admirable...except when you actually start looking into the studies...numerous ward studies done over the last 100 years...carbohydrate is not of the devil. He states that he lost 60 pounds in 8 months...congrats you found a diet that allowed you to stick to it, and run an 800 calorie a day deficit. You had low calorie density, putting butter on green vegetables. So what. While reading his post regarding Richard's experiment, I actually was embarrassed for him. Bottom line, when you're outside your field of expertise, be a little more humble with your opinions.

  6. Why not eat the potatoes with sea salt, upping the sodium and lowering the potassium-sodium ratio?

    1. I always tell people to use salt if they like while doing the potato hack. The body seems to drive us to get salt, so if you crave it, give in. Squirrels and deer lick salt off the roads in the winter despite the threat of being squished.

    2. re:"upping the sodium and lowering the potassium-sodium ratio? "

      I'm not sure you ever need to worry about that. The problem is always stated as too much sodium, not enough potassium. You should never have to intentionally eat salt to account for more potassium. Feel free to correct me if this is wrong.

      I think the general problem is we simply don't get enough potassium and then salt has to be lowered. If you eat plenty of potassium, it should balance itself out.

      But ask yourself: Where is all this sodium coming from? It's not from all those fruits and veggies. It's from the fast food, snacks, sodas, and tons of other places you would not suspect.

      Eat mostly plants, some meat, and pass on anything that comes in a shelf-stable package.

    3. Tim, I'm doing the potato hack for 3 days. I'm definitely using sea salt, to my own taste. My thinking was that the sodium would balance out the extra potassium. But I understand it really should not make a difference if you do this for 3-5 days, and are metabolically healthy.

  7. As a nurse for 15 years in emergency rooms and intensive care units, I have seen probably tens of thousands of blood tests with people coming into the ER for thousands of different conditions. NEVER have I seen a single person without kidney failure, severe dehydration, or rhabdomyolsis (a deadly muscle wasting condition) come in with high potassium levels.

    Even the girl from '20 bananas a day' website showed her blood work and she had a normal potassium level. This is because anyone with normal kidney function is just not going to have high potassium levels. It's water soluble and the kidneys will simply eliminate excess potassium.

    The guy who is saying, 'See you in the morgue' with the amount of potassium in potatoes simply has no clue about human physiology. Thee real worry is getting too little potassium, a common problem among westerners. We ROUTINELY tested pregnant women and they were almost universally low in potassium.

    I'm sure that there is someone out there who'll do an 'n=1' experiment for all of us. Do the potato diet for 5 days and do a routine blood test with a potassium level and show us all how 'dangerous' it is.

    1. Thank you very much for this, I am always worried that I get something wrong and pass on terrible advice. I felt pretty good that 133% of the RDA for potassium for a week was not much of a hazard. I was a bit surprised to see the estimates of potassium and sodium all over the place depending on which calculator you used.

      And to think, people rely on these calculators for their every bite, even wearing a FitBit that no doubt gives wrong information.

    2. Aldactone is a commonly prescribed potassium-sparing diuretic for High BP and blocking androgens for acne. There is a warning to not take potassium supplements for risk of hyperkalemia and to avoid a "potassium rich" diet. I take 50mg daily for acne, however I have been unable to find a daily potassium recommendation for those taking aldactone. My physician seems to not worry about it, only checking my potassium levels once a year. I would think the warning to avoid a potassium rich diet while taking aldactone would mean to not go over the 3500 RDA and if you can be satisfied with 2 pounds of potatoes a day that gets you to that limit. I would be interested to hear from anyone taking aldactone and flirting with the potato hack for a few limited days a week.

    3. Leah - Thank you for your comment, I hope someone can help you.

      Something that dawned on me today while researching potassium, the USDA recommendation (which has increased from 3500 to 4700mg recently!) is considered to be the "adequate intake" and not an "upper limit." For sodium, the RDA of 2300mg is the "upper limit."

      There is no upper limit for potassium, and the USDA placed a note in the "adverse effects" column that says no adverse effects have been reported from over-consumption of potassium rich foods, but care should be taken with supplements.

      So, quite possibly, you do not need to worry about eating potassium rich foods with Aldactone. But, once you are on the pharmaceutical rollercoaster, it's hard know what to do.

      USDA recommendations for sodium and potassium, some interesting notes:


    4. Thanks for the link! In their words "Individuals taking drugs for cardiovascular disease such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs (Angiontensin Receptor Blockers), or potassium sparing diuretics should be careful to not consume supplements containing potassium and may need to consume less than the AI for potassium" 2 pounds of potatoes a day would be less than the recently increased 4700 mg/day by about 30%.

  8. I have a rare condition making my kidneys mostly insensitive to aldosterone. I also lost much of my sensitivity to insulin. After years of striving on a LCHF paleo diet I followed Richard's advice on RS and reintroduced tatters and rice. Hyperglycemia slowly returned, then I started getting metabolic acidosis after meals (and loomed very close to death by cerebral edema). I'm back on LC now and healthy again.

    So, yeah, I guess Mr Potatohead's advice is sound... for the 1 in 200,000 people like me with that condition.

    1. You are my worst nightmare! I give what should be sound advice to someone and it kills them due to some rare condition they have.

      I take it you knew of your condition prior to trying out rice and potatoes, and monitored your progress. I advocate for LC paleo for those who truly need it, such as yourself, and those with T2D that are unable to control it w/o meds. Steve Cooksey at The Diabetes Warrior does a great job with LC Paleo, for people that truly need it.

    2. Yeah I knew about the condition beforehand, and I'm pretty sure a patient of yours would know something is amiss even without a proper diagnosis (ask for episodes of crashing blood pressure / extreme weakness after brutal effort or exposure to cold, or paralysis upon waking up, I thought that was 'normal' for years and had to be told it wasn't), you shouldn't worry too much. I did not quite anticipate those complications because that stuff is horribly complicated. Ordinarily the condition causes mild acidemia, and I have baking soda and salt with me at all times to manage the chronic hyponatremia without amplifying it. Initially I thought I just needed a bigger pH buffer because it's cold season and I get a runny nose for months, which affects the water balance.

      I do miss the potatoes :( Ah well. After renormalizing insulin sensitivity I can still enjoy them from time to time.

      I'll check out the Diabetes Warrior, thank you.

  9. The 2.3g of sodium per day doesn't looke like a natural level of sodium humans are adapted to eat. It is too high, resulting in a progressive hypertension.

    The research on isolated hunter-gatherers shows sodium intakes as low as resulting in blood pressures as low as 100/60 over an entire adult lifetime.

    From High Blood Pressure May Be a Choice


    "The Intersalt Cooperative Research Group (1988) found that the rate of sodium excretion ranges from less than 0.2 mmol of sodium/day in the Yanomamo Indians of Brazil to 242 mmol/day in Tianjin in China (Intersalt Cooperative Research Group 1988). Estimated intakes in Australia are about 150 mmol/day (Beard et al 1997, Notowidjojo & Truswell 1993). An almost identical figure has been found in New Zealand (Thomson & Colls 1998).

    "There many healthy populations with estimated intakes of less than 40 mmol/day (Intersalt Cooperative Research Group et al 1988). Survival at extremely low levels such as that of the Yanomamo reflects the ability to conserve sodium by reducing urine and sweat losses. With maximal adaptation, the smallest amount of sodium needed to replace losses is estimated to be no more than 0.18 g/day (8 mmol/day). However, a diet providing this level of sodium intake is unlikely to meet other dietary requirements in countries such as Australia and New Zealand."
    (I suspect "other dietary requirements" might be iodine, which is added to salt artificially.)

    For comparison: chimp's natural sodium intake is estimated to be around 0.5g/day, resulting in 127/96 blood pressure with 120 beats of a heart per minute.

    1. My theory is that the sodium RDA is high to appease Big Food. I've read lots, too, that suggest we can live with very low sodium intake, the amounts found in natural foods. We seem to crave that salty much of that is learned behavior and how much is physiological?

      It's very hard to trust the food industry and the USDA or CSIRO to set these limits for us. Just eat real food and don't worry about the ratios and amounts.

      Thanks for the links...clicking now.

    2. I asked about the sodium/potassium ratio on Richard's post as well. Part of what prompted it was reading this 1985 paper by Boyd Eaton on Paleolithic Nutrition: which suggest a ratio of 16 to 1. If that is the case, getting plenty of potassium via a diet heavy in potatoes seems like an excellent step toward a more appropriate ratio.

  10. The list of risks associated with a potassium deficiency serious:

    20-29% higher all-cause mortality risk
    36% increased CVD risk
    28-50% higher stroke risk
    higher protein loss and lower bone density

    1. In other words, if you are eating the Standard American Diet or a low fiber, plant poor diet, "See ya in the morgue!"

    2. It looks like it is the low-carb camp that may have problems with the potassium level in the blood. The mechanism of efficiency of low-carb diets for weight loss is based on high fat mobilization due to the higher level of fat mobilization from fat cells. It is not only about low insulun, but also higher level of cortisol. Cortisol mobilizes fat out of fat cells. It is high in the morning, during stress, if carbs and proteins haven not been eaten recently. So despite being a stress hormone it fills a function usefull for health. One probably needs some cortisol for weight loss.

      The side effect of cortisol is that it makes cells excrete potassium and uptake sodium instead of potassium.

      So eating potassium with high carb foods seems regulated - carbs decrease cortisol, which decreases potassium leaching from the cells. In it's place in the blood a potassium from the plant arrives.
      But there's no such regulation of a low-carb diet, when one eats fat with non-starchy vegetables containing potassium, like califlower, avocado, onions. One still has high cortisol then, it leaches potassium into the blood, but also additional potassium arrives from the non-starchy vegetables...

    3. Oh, good. We'll have some company in the morgue.

      Good observations, Tom.

  11. Good advice Tim. I agree with your temp use of the potato diet as a 3-5 day deal, then get back to balanced eating. I'm the guy at FTA that has lost 26 pounds in a month (now 28) with a more rounded, predominately starch based diet - beans, potatoes, oatmeal and air popped popcorn are my staples - with whole organic milk, free range eggs, veggies and some bananas thrown in. To me, it's the starch base foods that has worked for me.

  12. 1. Hyperkalemia from dietary intake:

    3.1 Excessive potassium intake

    Under circumstances of intact kidney function, renal K+ excretion is normal. Thus increased K+ uptake does not cause significant problems. Otherwise, when kidney function is impaired, consumption of foods rich in K+ can lead to life threatening hyperkalemia. This cause accounts for most cases of hyperkalemia in patients with end stage renal disease. Additional dietary sources of K+ include commercially available salt substitutes and K+ enriched foods which are reported to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure control and cardiovascular morbidity25-27.

    Individuals with normal K+ excretion require an extremely high amount (>160mEq) of orally administered potassium in order to develop dangerous hyperkalemia28. Besides common sources of K+, coconut juice and noni contain high amounts of K+,29,30. Certain types of pica disorders like geophagia31 or cautopyreiophagia32 can also lead to increased K+ intake. In case of neonates, serious hyperkalemia can be induced accidentally due to salt substitute ingestion33 or iatrogenically by intravenous administration of penicillin or blood transfusions34. In stored blood, K+ is gradually released by the red blood cells and after 3 weeks, its concentration can reach 30mEq/L in total blood or 90mEq/L in packed RBCs. It is therefore preferable to use fresh or almost fresh blood (<5 days) whenever massive transfusions are required35, 36.


    2. mEq of potassium in select foods. Notice the potato is listed as "half a potato."

    1.Molasses1.Potassium: 308 mg or 7.9 meq per tbs

    2.Medjool Date1.Potassium: 167 mg or 4.3 meq per date

    3.Baked potato with skin1.Potassium: 166 mg or 4.3 meq per potato half

    4.Dried peaches1.Potassium: 129 mg or 3.3 meq per peach half

    5.Raw Fig1.Potassium: 116 mg or 3.0 meq per medium fig

    6.Avocado1.Potassium: 72 mg or 1.8 meq per tablespoon

    7.Orange Juice1.Potassium: 62 mg or 1.6 meq per fluid ounce juice

    8.Banana Slice1.Potassium: 60 mg or 1.5 meq per inch of banana (one banana: 7-8 inches)

    9.Dried apricot1.Potassium: 41 mg or 1.1 meq per dried apricot half

    10.Cooked Black Beans1.Potassium 38 mg or 1.0 meq per fluid ounce

    11.Cantaloupe1.Potassium: 37 mg or 0.9 meq per melon ball


    3. In my own personal experience, as the nurse above points out, hyperkalemia (high potassium) has always had an underlying medical problem: kidney problems, medicine effects/interactions, out of control blood sugars, Addison's, and so on. In my experience, I have seen hyperkalemia from diet when tomatoes come in season in my dialysis patients. Usually patients know they have these issues; people this brittle probably should be under close medical scrutiny. I'd like to think they wouldn't be trying The Potato Hack willy-nilly. But I suppose I shouldn't think so naively.

    Conversely, several friends and family have allowed me to track their nutrient intakes. Each one was too low according to the recommended intakes.

    4. I like the article Jo listed. Thanks.

    5. The way I read The Potato Hack, it was pretty moderate. You suggested that people could try only potatoes for several days or try subbing potato only meals instead. I felt like you said that YOU did 14 days, but that that isn't what you'd recommend, in general. That you'd recommend more like 3 day trials, maybe 5 days. Then intermittent. Sometimes a reader only reads things how they want...did I read "correctly?"

    Well, my time's up!

    Terri Fites

    1. Terri - Helpful advice as always. I suffer the same naiveté, and have recently added a standard disclaimer to the book to talk to your doctor before trying the potato hack. There are certain groups of people who should not do the potato hack, as you note.

      Yes, you read correctly. My first experience with the potato hack lasted 14 days. I was so amazed by the rapid weight loss and wanted to see where it would end, it appeared it was not going to end, so I stopped after 14 days. That was almost 5 years ago, since then I have found it is just as effective and much easier to do 3-5 day stints separated by normal eating.

      The biggest problem a lot of overweight people have is their relationship with food. I think that intermittent potato hacks throughout their attempts at changing their diet helps them to overcome food phobias and to learn to eat only when hungry. Also, they get to see the scale drop even when it has not budged in months or years, psychologically, this has a huge impact on their will to continue dieting especially when they have all but given up hope they could lose excess weight.

    2. It is very overwhelming and discouraging for weight stalls in obesity. I may have someone I am working with try this. She has plateaued for some time now. You know I tried out of curiosity, and for the shorter time period I had no issues. (But I KNOW everybody is different!)

  13. Day number two on potato hack, and I'm down 6 pounds so far. Morgue here I come!!

    1. You'd better hope they have size "S" toe-tags.

    2. Jim, at the rate you're going, the morgue will need XXS toe tags!! :)

      Jo tB

    3. Congrats, Jim. We are on the same schedule, and basically the same pace. Day three today for me, and down 7 lbs!

  14. I'm a pretty staunch supporter of CICO, but for some reason the potato hack totally defies it in my own experience. Doing the hack is the only time my TDEE doesn't match my weight loss. I'm currently finishing my second day of the hack (I do them periodically to keep my weight inside my maintenance range), and after one day in, my weigh had dropped 1.5lbs this morning. I can tell finishing up my second day that I'll see another drop tomorrow morning, after my second day (my wedding ring slipped off tonight). I can't figure out how it all works, but I know from personal experience that it does. It is what it is :)

  15. It seems that the potato hack has a strong user/form base between here, FTA, and MDA. Many posters are the same. That's all well and good because shared information is good. Thank you, Al Gore's internet. (And the DOF Arpanet that preceded it.)

    My question is this: I am borderline T2 diabetic. Like many Americans. My FBG is under good control with potato starch and Metformin 500mg x2 daily. Readings are in the 80's and 90's, once in awhile a burp over 100.

    About two months ago, before the Metformin, I did a one day hack. My blood sugar shot up over 200 after eating about 13oz of potatoes. And it took hours to come down.

    Tim, or anyone else, do you have thoughts about this? I envision my pancreas beta cells overly challenged and dying on me. OTOH, Metformin increases insulin sensitivity, so maybe I can try this again? Regardless, I won't have a chance to try this for two weeks as I'll be traveling.


    1. Jeez, shoulda used Preview. That should have read "forum", not "form" and DOF should be DOD.

    2. A BG bump to 180 which quickly returns to normal in an hour or so is not too bad, but over 200 and takes several hours to return is no good.

      My advice: forget the potato hack.

      If you need Metformin, you need Metformin. Your goal should be normal BG readings. Many find good control with a high fiber, low net carb diet.

      Hard to say what your long-term outlook is. Maybe try a trial run later on.

    3. Thanks for your time, Tim. Your advice is pretty much what I'm thinking, too. Maybe down the road. I wanted to run it past you because you and Richard are the experts and maybe you had input that I'd not read.

      I think I'll give it a one meal test after my trip. Maybe the Metformin will have done what it is supposed to do about increasing insulin sensitivity by then.

  16. I am similar to Paul above, Tim is true from what I'm reading that doing lean protein for lunch, and then potatoes for dinner has for some people resulted in better results (and less side effects for some of us). Also I read on MDA that you tried this with beans, and you believed it worked just as well, except you got tired of beans only. I love beans and they don't seem to affect my blood sugars to a great extent. Can I have your thoughts on this? Much appreciated, how much time you give to people regarding this, thanks so much.....Rose

    1. Sorry, "is it true?" I should have written... Rose

    2. Yes, a light protein lunch seemed to be acceptable to at least a couple of those that tried.

      Beans, lentils, or pulses should also be fine for a 3-5 day hack, but I have not studied it extensively. I doubt it is as complete as the potato hack, but give it a try.

    3. Thanks for fast reply.. also boiled potato is at the top of the satiety scale and the second one is...drum roll..Ling fish, so Ling for lunch and potatoes for dinner might be a great combination :)

    4. Lol, I read that as "ling and potatoes" for dinner. Yes, this sounds like a great plan.