Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Hormones

Today we’ll talk a little bit about hormones and how they relate to the potato hack and weight loss. When most people discuss hormones, estrogen and testosterone take center stage. But there’s a whole host of other hormones produced in the human body that effect nearly every single thing about us.

Here’s a great primer on hormones if you are interested, an excerpt:

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, and pancreas.

Many things effect hormones, in good or bad ways, from stress to eating. For instance, exercise has positive effects on certain hormones, but overtraining can lead to negative effects.

Some hormones you cannot do much about. Your genetics can determine where you store body fat or how you burn excess calories. When women undergo menopause, the hormonal fluctuations can completely change where fat is stored on the body, to many a 50 year old woman’s chagrin.

But other hormones can be controlled with every bite we take. Some hormones that come into play when we eat an all-potato diet are:

Insulin – The hormone of carbohydrate metabolism. When you eat a large potato meal, your insulin levels increase to move excess glucose from your blood to cells where they are used for different processes in the body. Insulin also stimulates the synthesis of fat. Since the potato hack is a near zero-fat diet, this fat comes from your body, not your food. Low carb and ketogenic diets are designed to prevent a spike in insulin at any cost, but the potato hack embraces the physiologic importance of insulin…as humans are meant to.

Leptin – Leptin is a hormone that communicates between your fat and your brain. It’s purpose is to help maintain your body at the precise weight it should be. Unfortunately, many people are “leptin resistant,” meaning that the signalling has become skewed and we store more fat than we need. A diet high in fiber and slowly digested carbs (like the potato hack) can lower the concentrations of leptin in your bloodstream (a good thing), and restore leptin sensitivity (a really good thing).

Ghrelin – Commonly referred to as the hunger hormone. Humans (and all animals) are designed by nature to eat “ad libitum.” This means we should be able to eat as much food as we like as often as we want. Most healthy animals will only eat what they need without anyone telling them to stop. This is mainly due to the hormone ghrelin. Humans have been tricked into eating the wrong foods and never stopping, effectively overriding our ghrelin commands. Potatoes are one of the rare foods that allow ghrelin to work as it’s supposed to. Potatoes are stimulatory of ghrelin due to their unique blend of carbs, fiber, and resistant starch. Researchers found that when kids are allowed to eat mashed potatoes ad libitum, they consume 30-40% fewer calories in a day…how cool is that? In other words, when you are doing the potato hack, you are like a mouse in a roomful of cheese…you’ll nibble your way around the room and only eat when you are hungry. But ghrelin is what makes us hungry, not what makes us feel full.

Cholecystokinin (CCK)The satiety hormone. If ghrelin makes us hungry, CCK makes us feel full. For decades now, researchers have known about the CCK effects of certain proteins found in potatoes. They’ve tried valiantly to devise a drug that mimics the effectiveness of potato protease inhibitors on satiety. Big Pharma knows that if it could create a pill that worked as well to curb hunger as eating a potato, they’d be trillionaires. But as it stands, we don’t need drugs for this one…we have the real thing: Potatoes.

Take-home message

The potato hack is a simple and effective way to restore hormonal signalling for weight loss and overall health. I’ve just scratched the surface here in a discussion of how hormones effect our weight and health. For instance, our gut flora…which is greatly influenced by the resistant starch and fiber in potatoes…also creates hormones when they are healthy and happy. This is why it’s important to eat potatoes and other fiber/RS rich foods on a daily basis.

Are you guys getting excited to do the potato hack?  I know I am.

Keep calm and eat taters!

Tim Steele

9 Comments on “Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Hormones”

  1. Curtisy August 6, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    Great summary, Tim!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie August 6, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    I wonder if eating only potatoes would have a positive impact on cancers?

    Like

    • Tim Steele August 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      I think that periodically eating only potatoes, 3-5 days, couple times a year, will boost your immune system and help prevent cancer. Once you get cancer all bets are off.

      Like

  3. fatboymuscleman August 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    I was waiting for the comparison of potatoes to Viagra.

    So disappointing!

    😉

    Like

  4. Stuart C August 8, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    If gut bugs control some hormones and sexual function I wonder if the recently reported drop in sperm counts in western males is linked to gut dysbiosis.

    Like

    • gina August 8, 2017 at 4:32 am #

      Not that I know anything about anything… But I think it does. Pottinger cat study showed sterile cats as the generations progressed. (Just my 2 cents worth.)

      gina

      Like

    • Tim Steele August 8, 2017 at 6:37 am #

      I would not be surprised one tiny bit!

      Like

  5. Fritzi August 16, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    Hallo Tim, thanks for the article. Do you still have to take thyroid hormones despite your healthy lifestyle?

    Like

    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 8:38 am #

      Hi Fritzi – Yes, I still take a low dose Synthroid every day.

      Like

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