Monday, January 28, 2013

The long awaited Sweet and Sour Soycurl Recipe....

Lost and then Found Sweet and Sour SoyCurl Recipe

If you would like to continue to follow my work......
My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
My kids LOVE Butler foods soycurls!  They are made from 100% Non-Gmo soy and the only ingredient in them is Whole Soy Beans!  
My kids also love anything in a sweet and sour sauce, however, most sweet and sour recipes contain A LOT of sugar!!!  In fact, they are WAY TOO sugary, many of the recipes would be too sweet for even a dessert for me.  I didn't want to create a dinner that had that much sugar and so I made this recipe with a very subtle sweet flavor.

This is a very quick, easy recipe but it certainly looks like you slaved away in the kitchen.  We served this we fried rice but you could serve it with brown rice or anything else you like on the side of your Asian dishes.

I have been very busy lately, I was hired to be an Administrator at a private school and I now work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays which doesn't sound like a lot but with all the planning of parent nights, activities, etc.... it is a ton of work.  I also serve in a pretty big way in my church and have a lot going on right now so my recipe creation has kind of taken a back seat along with all my other hobby's.

It has been very emotionally draining to work constantly, on some days I have not been home from 7:30am until 8pm at night!!!  It is a lot of stress to feel like your life has been hijacked and you somewhat lose yourself because everything that you enjoy in life goes out the window and you are just running non-stop.  I am hoping things will slow down a bit soon because I don't think I can keep up this pace for very long.  

This recipe was very popular on the Facebook page and then of course in all my busy-ness I LOST IT!!!  It took me weeks but finally when I was turning pages through one of my notebooks that I write recipes in....viola there it was!

I am happy to be able to post this recipe....finally!  I will also finish posting the rest of the recipes that people have requested on the blog but it may take me a few days.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gluten free Cornbread and Dinner Rolls.....Mmmmm

Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe

If you would like to continue to follow my work......
My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
When I was sitting at my desk trying to decide what to make for dinner this overwhelming craving for 'bread' came over me and I knew that I did not have time to make a yeasted bread......then I realized we could have soup and cornbread!  Perfect!

As a last minute idea this cornbread recipe had to be simple, yet, delicious! As you can see this gluten free cornbread has an excellent crumb to it, it baked up beautifully and tasted delicious with a hint of 'honey butter' that I made using earth balance.

I have been barely surviving through FREEZING temperatures for the last several fact, it has been at least 20 degrees below freezing for weeks now!  My body just does not handle the cold well at all and I end up shivering and freezing in the house with the heater on, space heaters, and the fireplace!  I am getting really tired of the cold.

I know people wonder why I live in such a cold climate and to be is because I don't have a choice.  Hubby has applied for BAZILLONS [okay maybe a little exaggeration]  of jobs outside of the state with no without a source of income anywhere else I am stuck.   If anyone knows of any good jobs in sales management, market analysis, or marketing director in any WARM non-desert state in the U.S. let me know!

So, back to the cornbread, when you are freezing your can off in frozen tundra wasteland :-)  yes, that is what I call the good ole state I live in....I realize there are colder places in the U.S. but this is colder than I can stand so...that's the nickname it gets :-)  When it's cold outside nothing says comfort food like hot soup and cornbread!

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

I have been seriously craving BREAD!!!  I think every gluten free individual goes through this.....frequently, well that is my opinion but how could you not?   Gluten free breads often leave much to be desired....the craving for that soft, stretchy texture of GLUTEN......oh what wouldn't we all give to sink our teeth into those delicious parker house dinner rolls......Mmmmmmmm

Okay, so as much as I'd like to tell you these are exactly like a gluten free version of a parker  house roll I must confess......I haven't replicated that texture yet.....but these are VERY soft and they do have a slight chewy texture to them.  They are not crumbly at all and they are NOT firm like most gluten free rolls either!

My non-gf hubby who is both a chocoholic and a bread afficianado liked these a lot!  That actually says something because he is VERY picky about his bread.  Most of the whole wheat breads I buy he doesn't like, he is extremely picky about his dinner rolls as well but he kept eating these and really enjoyed them so they definitely have his stamp of approval.

 I must confess, even though I am trying to lose the extra 10 pounds I gained over the holidays.....Ooops did I let that slip :-(

I ended up pigging out on these rolls and I did even put a hint of earth balance on them....they were nice and warm and the earth balance melted beautifully.....Mmmmmm nice hot rolls with melty 'butter' there is nothing better in the my world...except maybe chocolate, but its close.

These rolls REALLY hit the bread craving spot for me perfectly!

The best part about these rolls aside from the soft texture is they are EASY!

****You could make these Non-gluten free by using roughly 2 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour instead of the gluten free flours and remove the xanthan gum as well.  When you add the wheat flour make sure you only use enough for form a soft ball of dough and no more.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quick Vegan Meals.....

Beginning the Day with Hashbrowns
Photo by NickGrayWFU

If you would like to continue to follow my work......
My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
I will be posting a tutorial in the next couple of days on how to make Amazing, browned hash browns without oil!!

Why do you want to learn to make them without oil?

Because hash browns are only 60 calories per cup but if you cook them with oil......

They become 416 calories per cup!!!  But more about that tomorrow.

I served my hash browns with fruit, we had cut up banana, apple and orange with our hash browns.

Lunch:  Daniel Pulse style Salad

This salad was SO simple and yet it was delicious!  I completely enjoyed it!

There isn't really a complex recipe for it, you could add anything you like to the salad but I'll tell you what I did.

1 c. green leaf lettuce
1/2 tomato diced
1/2 c. edamame cooked
1/2 c. organic non-gmo corn
1/2 c. quinoa
1/2 c. broccoli
2 green onions

I tossed all the ingredients and then I topped it all with my homemade oil-free mayonnaise and a dash of salt.

****Let me know if you want the homemade oil-free mayonnaise recipe and I can post it.

Dinner Soy Curl Tostada

This was a very fun meal and it literally took like 15 minutes to prepare!  It was also SUPER delicious!  You can't beat FAST and YUMMY!

I received 4 tortilla baking pans that bake tortillas into beautiful shells so that is what I used, it was really fun and worked really well!  This way you can have non-fried tostada shells.

Cooking Hashbrowns without oil Tutorial

 Learn to cook Hash Browns without Oil

Crispy, browned hash browns can be achieved without added oil or fat.  They make an excellent breakfast when prepared correctly and without oil.  My kids LOVE hash browns in the morning served with a side of fruit.  Many people do not understand the nutritional content of potatoes and therefore don't reap the benefits of this amazing food.

I want to dispel a few myths about potatoes as well as teach you how to properly prepare them in a healthy way.

Why should you learn to cook hash browns without oil?

 1 c. Plain hashbrowns prepared without oil

Omega 3's.............12%
Omega 6's............4%
Vit. C..............23%

1 c. home-prepared hash browns with oil


I have had MANY comments about the Glycemic Index of potatoes....

First I must mention the oils DO NOT contain any carbohydrate, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals....they are essentially empty calories...some oils contain vitamin E or vitamin A but that is it!  How can we say that oils are GOOD CALORIES when they don't provide us with any essential nutrients but pack a HUGE calorie punch at 120 calories per TB?

My definition of a 'heatlhy food' is one that provides a WIDE range of nutrients including fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc... a Balanced whole food.  Not a fat that has been isolated from its whole food such a olive fat from an olive, or sunflower fat from a sunflower seed.

I had one commenter state that "potatoes are high glycemic...turn straight to sugar and then get stored as fat."

That sounds scary but can you actually explain physiologically how this happens?  NO because it makes absolutely NO sense at all!

WE NEED blood sugar, without blood sugar you DIE!!!  Ask a diabetic who has had a hypoglycemic episode how they felt.....ask a doctor what the risks of a hypoglycemic episode in a diabetic isn't pretty.
So the fact that the body breaks down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars to utilize for energy is not a bad thing, it is excactly what the body is supposed to do and we have insulin for a reason, to help get that fuel into the cells.  Insulin is not the enemy....yes when we have diabetes or insulin resistance that is a problem but insulin in itself is not bad!  We need it or our cells would STARVE and we would die!

Type I Diabetics MUST inject insulin for a prevent the cell from starving!

Why do Type I diabetics have to inject insulin.....because we NEED it!  They would DIE if they did not inject insulin because insulin is how the blood glucose 'energy' is able to enter the cell and without that the cell would starve plain and simple.  This whole fear of blood sugar and insulin has gotten WAY out of hand and has caused a lot of dangerous and false information about nutrition to circulate causing mass confusion.

Don't post a comment and tell me how a potato turns to sugar and then turns to fat, if you post a comment I want a physiological explanation with scientific references!

Before commenting about how potatoes are 'high glycemic' and make you fat please read this from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

As a precursor please understand that the physiological process by which carbohydrates are converted into fat is called De Novo Lipogenesis.  .

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
"De novo lipogenesis from carbohydrate is energetically expensive and evidence to date suggests it does not contribute significantly to increased fat balance in persons consuming a typical high-fat western diet."

Carbohydrate is not fat and cannot be stored as fat unless it goes through the process of conversion called de novo lipogenesis, during this process 30% of the calories from carbohydrates are burned in order to convert them into fat.  This is the reason the AJCN states in the article it is an energetically expensive process.

Our bodies were designed to utilize carbohydrates or long chains of simple sugars that the body can digest and utilize for energy. Enzymes in the digestive system breakdown the long carbohydrate chains and we can utilize the resultant sugars for energy. These sugars are utilized as blood glucose, which fuels the cells.

Misunderstandings about Glycemic Index

Please understand that the glycemic index was NOT designed for healthy people!!  It was designed for individuals who already have diabetes to know what foods would have the least impact on blood sugar levels.  

The misunderstanding that has resulted is that we have decided that EVERYONE should use the glycemic index and we should be afraid of foods with higher GI's.  This is absolutely not the case, a healthy body can perfectly handle the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates from carrots, potatoes, or any other whole food without any negative consequences.

Glycemic Index DOES NOT deal with the underlying cause of insulin resistance or diabetes, it merely manages symptoms.  It also has absolutely nothing to do with weight gain, a carrot, potato, brown rice are not the reason Americans are overweight.  If we look at the Japanese or other Asian cultures where white rice is a HUGE staple in their diet we do not see rampant obesity, nor do we see diabetes which on the traditional diet only occured in merely 5% of the population.

As an example, in the traditional Japanese diet the dietary staple was rice.  In a study, prior to 1980 Diabetes occurred in about 1-5% of the population.  After 1980, when American restaurants like McDonalds and other fast food chains began to emerge in Japan the dietary habits changed, the fat content of the Japanese diet skyrocketed and yet, the carbohydrate intake dropped.
by 1990 the diabetes rate in Japan jumped to 11-12% of the population.

What about diabetes?

In the New England Journal of Medicine, Yale University researchers tested young adults whose grandparents were diabetic.  Some of these young adults had insulin resistance, they had a higher level of intra-myocellular lipids within the muscle cells.  When intra-myocellular lipids accumulate within the cell this interferes with insulin's intracellular signaling process preventing insulin from allowing glucose into the cell causing high circulating blood glucose levels.

  Intra-myocellular lipids begin to build up in muscle cells due to a diet too high in fat.  These fats inhibit the insulin receptor on the cell from binding with insulin and allowing glucose into the cell.  These fats cause insulin resistance.  Several studies have shown that when a low fat diet comprised of only whole food fats is adopted these intra-myocellular lipids clear from the cells and the insulin receptors become sensitive to insulin again.

Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge studied 10 young men who were in their 20's, were healthy and of normal weight.  The put these men on a high fat diet comprising 50% of its calories from fat and after only 3 days on the diet these men had built up significantly more intramyocellular lipids.  These lipids build up very rapidly, but with the right diet, they can also decrease rapidly.

The potato is NOT the cause of weight gain, it is the way we prepare them!!!!

Notice that hash browns prepared without any oil only have 60 calories per cup and yet contain a great nutritional profile with 4.3 grams of protein but when we add a few Tablespoons of oil the calorie content sky rockets by many times!!!

This is why we have so many problems with weight gain and it is NOT the potato!!!  Potatoes are fairly low in calories, high in fiber and nutrients.  Unfortunately most people do not know how to prepare foods without large quantities of oils which have NO nutritional value but pack a HUGE calorie punch.

If you need more information about the pitfalls of the glycemic index.....

Q&A by David Richards, D.C., M.D.

Do you recommend that diabetics avoid white potatoes?

I certainly do not. I encourage my diabetic patients to eat freely of baked, steamed, microwaved, or boiled potatoes of any variety (prepared without added salt, oil, or sugar) as part of a healthy diet that also includes fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. 

The idea that white potatoes are problematic for diabetics stems partly from the concept of the glycemic index, and partly from the inaccurate way that potatoes have been categorized in some scientific studies.

The glycemic index measures the extent to which a food raises blood sugar levels after it is eaten.1 Because white potatoes have been characterized as having a high glycemic index, it is often assumed that they can worsen diabetes.  However, the glycemic index has not been found to be a useful concept when devising optimal diets for diabetics.2,3  One of the major problems with the glycemic index is its variability; not only do blood sugar responses to similar foods differ between individuals, they can vary significantly in the same person on different occasions.4  A recent review of the scientific literature conducted by the American Diabetes Association concluded that there is little difference in blood sugar control between “low-glycemic index” and “high-glycemic index” diets.5   For this reason, in their most updated guidelines, the American Diabetes Association has deleted a statement suggesting benefit from the glycemic index.6  

Studies that have associated white potatoes with worsening of blood sugar control included the consumption of fried potato products (i.e., French fries and potato chips) under the category of “potatoes.”7,8  It is, therefore, not surprising that potato intake led to worse health outcomes when studied in this way.  However, when processed potatoes are excluded, there is no evidence that white potato consumption is linked to diabetes or other negative effects on health.  On the contrary, when looking at the nutritional makeup of a potato, it becomes clear that it can be included in a health-promoting eating plan.  While I don’t want people to become obsessed with the nutrient composition of the foods that they are eating, it is important to know that potatoes rank high in a number of areas. 

For example, a medium-sized Russet potato:(9, 10, 11)
     ●  has only 168 calories
     ●  is an excellent source of vitamin C
     ●  has no sodium, fat, or cholesterol
     ●  is a good source of potassium and vitamin B6
     ●  has 8 percent of the daily requirement for fiber
     ●  has one of the highest overall antioxidant activity among vegetables (more than broccoli)
     ●  is a source of “resistant starch,” which improves insulin sensitivity

I can assure you that our epidemic of diabetes is not a result of Americans eating too many baked or boiled potatoes.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that in people already diagnosed with diabetes, white potato consumption (when consumed without added oil, salt, or sugar) worsens control of blood sugar levels. Diabetes (as well as obesity and metabolic syndrome) are due to eating a diet composed of foods that are calorically dense, low in fiber and other beneficial nutrients, and high in fat.  Potatoes have none of these attributes and should be regarded as an excellent food for both diabetics and nondiabetics. Labeling white potatoes as unhealthy because of the problems associated with French fries and potato chips is akin to claiming that apples are not wholesome because eating apple pie causes weight gain.

1. Monro JA, Shaw M. Glycemic impact, glycemic glucose equivalents, glycemic index, and glycemic load: definitions, distinctions, and implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;87(1):237S-243S.

2. Wolever TM, Gibbs AL, Mehling C et al. The Canadian Trial of Carbohydrates in Diabetes (CCD), a 1-y controlled trial of low-glycemic-index dietary carbohydrate in Type 2 diabetes: no effect on glycated hemoglobin but reduction in C-reactive protein. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 87(1), 114–125 (2008).

3. Ma Y, Olendzki BC, Merriam PA et al. A randomized clinical trial comparing low-glycemic index versus ADA dietary education among individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Nutrition 24(1), 45–56 (2008).

4. Vega-L√≥pez S, Ausman LM, Griffith JL, Lichtenstein AH. Interindividual variability and intra-individual reproducibility of glycemic index values for commercial white bread. Diabetes Care 30(6), 1412–1417 (2007).

5. Wheeler ML, Dunbar SA, Jaacks LM et al. Macronutrients, food groups, and eating patterns in the management of diabetes: a systematic review of the literature, 2010. Diabetes Care 35(2), 434–445 (2012).

6. American Diabetes Association. Evidence for changes in recommendations. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2012.

7. Halton TL, et al. Potato and French fry consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(2):284-290.

8. Mozaffarian D, et al. Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men.  N Engl J Med 2011; 364:2392-2404.

9. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25.

10. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, et al.  Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2004; 52:4026-4037.

11. Murphy MM, Douglass JS, Birkett A. Resistant starch intakes in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108:67-78.

David Richards, D.C., M.D., is a chiropractor and board certified internist currently practicing internal medicine in St Louis, MO. His philosophy is to provide the highest quality, evidence-based health care with as little medical intervention as possible.

Reprinted from the magazine, Health Science, Winter 2013

Potatoes & Diabetes:
Dietary Trends & Truths About Taters
Jeff Novick, MS, RD

Are potatoes dangerous?  Do potatoes cause diabetes?

You might think so if you followed the headlines, as in 2006, the media was full of reports making these claims, some of which are still being made today.   All of this attention was based on the results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.(1)

The study was a prospective study of 84,555 women in the Nurses’ Health Study.  At the start, the women, aged 34–59 years, had no history of chronic disease, and completed a validated food frequency questionnaire.  These women were then followed for 20 years with repeated assessments of their diet.  The studies conclusion, as stated in the abstract was, "Our findings suggest a modest positive association between the consumption of potatoes and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. This association was more pronounced when potatoes were substituted for whole grains.”

So, lets take a closer look at the study and see how accurate these claims are, and where the "truth about taters" really lies.   Specifically, we will look at 6 important key points.

1) Are all potatoes equal? Or “when is a potato not a potato?”

In the study, participants were asked how often, on average, in the previous year, they had consumed potatoes. The options they were given to choose from  were either

a) - 1 baked or 1 cup mashed potato
b) - 4 oz of French fried potatoes

These were the only 2 choices the subjects could pick from.  So, while these may represent how potatoes are often consumed here in American, they do not account for any differences in how the potatoes were prepared and served.  And, mashed potatoes were counted in with baked potatoes, which are two completely different forms of potatoes. So, lets take a closer look at these important issues.

In American, whether it is at home or in restaurants, most all mashed potatoes are made with milk and butter and/or margarine.  In addition, most all baked potatoes are served with butter, sour cream and/or cheese. 

The following analysis represents these important differences.  They are of a serving of mashed potatoes, a loaded baked potato and a plain baked potato as served in a popular national restaurant chain.  They are typical for how mashed potatoes and baked potatoes are often served and consumed in American.  In addition, I have included the analysis of a plain medium baked potato for comparison.

Mashed Potatoes (Restaurant)
367 calories
24 grams of fat
59% calories from fat
11.4 grams of sat fat
28% calories from sat fat
9 mgs of cholesterol

Loaded Baked Potato (Restaurant)
505 calories
22 grams of fat
39% calories from fat
10 grams of fat
18% calories from sat fat
30 mgs cholesterol

Regular Baked Potato (Restaurant)
329 calories
4.5 grams of fat
12% calories from fat
.4 grams of Sat fat
1% calories from sat fat
22 mgs cholesterol

Baked Potato (Home)
A typical medium potato
160 calories
.2 grams of fat
1% calories from fat
.1 grams of fat
.05% calories from sat fat
0 mgs cholesterol

So, compared to an at-home, plain baked potato;

The mashed potato gets 207 calories (56%), 23.8 grams of fat (99%), 11.3 grams of sat fat (99%), and 9 mgs of cholesterol (100%) from the other "non potato" ingredients,

The loaded potato get 345 calories (68%), 21.8 grams of fat (99%), 9.9 grams of sat fat (99%), and 30 mgs of cholesterol (100%) from the other "non potato" ingredients,

Even the regular baked potato from the restaurant gets 169 calories (51%), 4.3 grams of fat (96%), .3 grams of sat fat (75%), and 22 mgs of cholesterol (100%) from the other "non potato" ingredients (most likely oil and/or butter used on the outside and/or as a regular topping)

As we can see, the potato is contributing only a small percentage to what is most likely being counted as “potatoes” in this study.   This is very important to take this into consideration when applying the conclusion of the study to "potatoes" because the association applied to potatoes in this study may be more accurately applied to how potatoes are prepared and consumed and the toppings they are served with here in America, more so then just the potato itself. The study admitted that "cooking methods" were not assessed so it is safe to assume that these were typical Americans consuming potatoes the way there are typically served.

In addition, other studies on the Nurses database show the majority of their diets are not low fat, low saturated fat, low cholesterol or high fiber which confirms that they are not choosing or consuming the healthier versions.

So, when is a potato not a potato?  When nurses in American consume them.

2) The Potato: The Finger or the Moon?

In Buddhism there is a famous saying, "the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon."

In other words, language and words are merely symbols with which to express the truth. Words points at the truth, but the truth is not in words. Language and words are merely symbols with which to express the truth.    In science, we call these "markers."  A marker is something that may not be responsible for the observed effect, but points to what is responsible for the observed effect.  

So, in this study, was the potato the problem itself, or was the potato acting as a marker and pointing to something else that was associated with potato consumption.

Quoting the researchers.

"White potatoes and French fries are large components of a “Western pattern” diet. This dietary pattern is characterized by a high consumption of red meat, refined grains, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, desserts, high-sugar drinks, and eggs, as well as French fries and potatoes. A Western pattern diet previously predicted a risk of type 2 diabetes. Thus, we cannot completely separate the effects of potatoes and French fries from the effects of the overall Western dietary pattern.”

This "previous" study the authors refer to is a study of dietary patterns and risk for type 2 diabetes in men, which was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine back in 2002 (2). In that paper, which followed 42,504 male health professionals for a period of 12 years, the “Western dietary pattern” was associated with a modest increase in type 2 diabetes.

This “Western dietary pattern” discussed in this previous study was characterized by a “high consumption of red meat, processed meat, refined grains, French fries, high-fat dairy products, sweets and desserts, high-sugar drinks and eggs.” "However, the correlation of potatoes with the Western pattern of eating was low and the association with type 2 diabetes was nonexistent."   The only individual foods that had a significant positive association with type 2 diabetes were red meat and refined grains. 

We see similar patterns here in the current study under discussion; the subjects who ate more potatoes also ate more red meat, more refined grains and consumed more total calories, over 500 more calories per day. In addition, potato intake was also associated with a slightly higher intake of sat fat and trans fat and less physical activity.

Lastly, the significance of the association between potatoes and type 2 diabetes, which was modest to begin with, disappears completely in the subjects who were not obese.

So, was the potato the problem, or was the potato a marker for a dietary pattern and lifestyle that was responsible for the results.   In this study, the potato was the finger pointing to the moon and not the moon itself.

3) Trends and Truth in Taters

If a food really is a causative factor in a disease, then as we consume more of the food (as an individual or as a nation) we should see the disease rates go up accordingly.  In addition, when we remove or lessen the consumption of the food, we should see disease rates (as an individual or as a nation) go down.

However, this is not the case for potatoes and diabetes.

Total Potato Consumption
1970: 122 lbs/person/yr
1996: 145 lbs/person/yr
2008: 117 lbs/person/yr

Potato consumption rose from 1970 to its peak in 1996 at which time it began to fall and by 2008 was lower than its 1970 level, a drop of 18% since its peak.

Fresh Potatoes
1970: 61 lbs
1996: 50 lbs
2008: 36 lbs

As we can see, fresh potatoes (the ones most likely to be prepared and served in a healthy manner) have fallen steadily from 1970, dropping over 41%

Frozen Potatoes
1970: 28 lbs
1996: 60 lbs
2008: 52 lbs

Frozen potatoes, (the ones most likely to be prepared and served as French fries) doubled from 1970 to 1996 and then fell slightly but are still up significantly from 1970, up around 86%

Prevalence of Diabetes
1970: 2%
1996: 2.89%
2008: 6.29

During this same period, diabetes rose 45% from 1970 to 1996 and then rose another 117% from 1996 to 2008.  From 1970 to 2008, there is a 215% increase in diabetes

So, from 1996 to 2008, potato consumption fell 19% but diabetes rose over 200%.

When we look closer at the types of potato, the only clear relationship we see is an "inverse" relationship between fresh potatoes and diabetes and a trend towards correlation between frozen potatoes and total potatoes but only until 1996-1998 where we see an inverse relationship develop.  So consumption of all types of potatoes is now trending down yet prevalence of diabetes is rising faster than ever.

Most importantly, the prevalence of diabetes really began to increase in 1996-1998, which is the same time that potato consumption of all types, began to fall sharply.

Potato consumption is not related to the prevalence of diabetes and shows an inverse relationship with the consumption of fresh potatoes.

This link is to a picture of a graph that highlights this information.  

I use a factor of 10 on the prevalence of diabetes so it would scale better with potato consumption.  Therefore, instead of 2 in 1970 I uses 20 and instead of 6.29 I used 62.9.   Diabetes prevalence from CDC, Potato consumption figures from USDA ERS. 

4) Associations

Studies like the Nurses Study cannot prove cause and effect but only show associations.  These associations can be of various "strengths" depending on other variables.


"Although we assessed and adjusted for a variety of potential confounding variables, we cannot rule out the possibility of residual confounding, especially because the observed association between potatoes and the risk of type 2 diabetes was modest in the present study."

In this study, the association was "modest" at best.

5) Replication

In science, the results of any one study are always interesting but never prove anything unless they can replicated and/or reproduced.  Reproduction and replication are what increase the validity of any claim.

In a 4-year prospective study of 36,787 adults which was done one year later, researchers,  working independently from any food industry sponsors, investigated the association between a variety of dietary patterns and type 2 diabetes (3)  The study results, which were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at potatoes and diabetes and also looked at cooking method and only found an association with potatoes when they were cooked with oil.  They concluded that consuming a variety of cooked vegetables, including potatoes, cooked in ways other than frying, was associated with a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

From the study.

"Fish, chicken, and potatoes, when cooked in ways other than frying, loaded on factors that were not associated with increased risk of diabetes."

"The results indicated that a dietary pattern characterized by meats and fatty foods was associated with increased diabetes risk while a dietary pattern characterized by a variety of salad and cooked vegetables, including potatoes cooked in ways other than frying, was associated with a decreased risk."

Also, as I mentioned before in point 2, there was an earlier study of dietary patterns and risk for type 2 diabetes in men, which was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine back in 2002 (2). In that paper, which followed 42,504 male health professionals for a period of 12 years, the “Western dietary pattern” was associated with a modest increase in type 2 diabetes.   "However, the correlation of potatoes with the Western pattern of eating was low and the association with type 2 diabetes was nonexistent."

Therefore, other studies have not found the same results. In fact, one found no association at all and one, which accounted for cooking methods, only found an association for potatoes when they were cooked with oil/fat and otherwise, found a decreased risk..

6) The Moon

What really causes diabetes and do potatoes play a role. 

Being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity are two key factors in developing diabetes and have an over 90% correlation.   In addition, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides also play a role.

During the 20 years that the subjects in the Nurses study were followed, we saw a dramatic shift in the dietary and lifestyle pattern of Americans. Not only in potato consumption and the type of potato which changed dramatically, but in many other areas as well.  During that same time, other components of the “Western dietary pattern” sharply increased including; refined sugars/sweeteners, refined grains/carbohydrates, added oils/fats, hydrogenated fats/trans fat, cheese, calories etc.  In addition we saw a large increase in the calorie density of foods and the American diet and in the  percentage of Americans who are overweight and/or obese while at the same time, the percentage of Americans who were active fell dramatically.

This is what is responsible for the dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes.

Mashed potatoes, loaded baked potatoes and French fries, as prepared and consumed as part of a “Western Dietary Pattern” are extremely calorie dense, high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, and salt and increase your risk for disease.    Even the typical baked potato, as served in a restaurant today, can be much higher in calories, fat, and saturated fat than a plain baked potato made with nothing added. 

Therefore, avoid all these Western forms of potatoes.

However, there is no real credible evidence at all that potatoes, when consumed close to their natural state and cooked conservatively by baking, boiling, and/or steaming, etc,  without added fat, salt, sugar, oil as part of a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, intact whole grains and legumes, will cause diabetes or are associated with an increased risk.  

In Health,

(1) Potato and French fry consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women– Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:284 –90.

(2) “Dietary Patterns and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in U.S. Men. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:201-209.

(3) Dietary Patterns and Diabetes Incidence in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study Am J Epidemiol 2007;165:603–610

Example: Extra Virgin 1 Tb.  Olive Oil

                                                     Omega 3's..............9%    {less than the hash browns contain}
Omega 6's..................11%
Vit. A.....................0
Vit. C....................0
Vit. E...................13%
Vit. K...................9%

As you can see, oil has VERY little nutritional value but his VERY high in calories.   Consuming too much oil can dilute the nutritional value of the calories you consume so it is better to severely limit them.

Preheat your skillet over medium heat

Place your skillet on the stove and warm it on the stovetop for a minute or two.  Different stovetops may vary so it may take a little trial and error to see exactly what temperature you need to brown the potatoes without burning them.  I have a gas stove, this is the setting that I use on mine.

Put Frozen Hash browns in heated pan

Pour the frozen hash browns directly from the bag into your heated skillet.  I always smash the bag around to break up any large clumps and then pour them in and press them down nicely in the pan so they will brown uniformly.  If you use stainless steel pan like I am you may need to use a couple of quick sprays of non-stick spray to help prevent sticking, otherwise you shouldn't need any.

Place a lid on your Skillet

This is an important step, it keeps some moisture in the skillet and helps cook the hash browns all the way through without just having them burn on the bottom and be frozen on top.  Over medium heat I cooked my hash browns for about 14 minutes.  You may need to check on yours to determine when they are done because stovetops can vary widely.

Remove lid and flip Hash Browns

I always use a metal spatula when flipping hash browns, this allows you to really scrape the bottom and get the browned hash browns up off the pan.  You can be very careful as you flip them to make sure they flip perfectly so you have very uniform hash browns.  I'm really not that particular and so I just flip them quickly and press them back down to brown on the other side.  Let the other side brown for about 5 minutes or so, you can add salt and pepper on top as you wait or add afterwards however you like to serve them.

Serve your Hash browns

You should have beautifully browned hash browns!  Mine aren't exactly uniform because as I said, I'm not entirely particular but you certainly could carefully flip them to get very uniformly browned hash browns it is completely up to you.

Serve with ketchup, salsa or however you like to eat them and enjoy!