A Science for Everyone, Plants

Low Carb Potatoes

As the garden becomes better established, I’m researching low carbohydrate potatoes.  I like potatoes, but part of surviving cancer included type II diabetes.  It isn’t a big deal – but potatoes and apples are high in carbohydrates, carbohydrates convert to sugar, and I have the ability to find the low carb varieties.  If I can’t buy them in the stores, I can grow them in the garden.

Spud Smart and Potato Grower both have articles on the new varieties of potatoes that are low carb. The Spud Smart article starts with

Potandon Produce unveiled its first low-carbohydrate potato Oct. 19 during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention in New Orleans. The Idaho Falls-based company boasts its CarbSmart potato has 55 percent fewer carbohydrates than rice or pasta.”

Boise isn’t that far away, Idaho produces a lot of potatoes, and I have hopes of being able to find their CarbSmart potato in the grocery store.

Potato Grower describes a world where many different low carb potatoes are available – though it’s a long drive to get Lotato in the Netherlands or New Zealand.  Still, the Sunlite variety is listed as available in supermarkets ranging from Florida to Minnesota – and the drive is getting shorter. 

Montana State University has developed a variety named “Huckleberry Gold.”  For a change, it is easier to find data online from the seed potato sellers than from the university.  The common description is “MSU researchers have found that Huckleberry Gold has a low glycemic index. This variety does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar like most starchy foods. Great potato for diabetics!

It appears to need a slightly longer growing season than Trego offers – more suited to Eureka or Rexford.  Still, there are ways to work around this – a dark cold frame to warm the soil early and protect from late frost will help me.  I can mix a bit of sand into my silty clay to come up with a small plot closer to a loam and better suited for potatoes.  I am looking forward to raising potatoes that do not spike my blood sugar.

Huckleberry Gold produces round to oval small to medium sized tubers with purple skin and yellow flesh. Resistant to common scab and verticillium wilt.”

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds

“Researchers in the Sands’ Research Lab at MSU’s Plant Science Department have found low glycemic index potatoes that do not cause the rapid spike in blood sugar that comes with eating starchy foods. Sugar spikes can be dangerous for diabetics who lack the insulin to handle it and have been linked to cancer, heart disease and other conditions.”

Ag Update

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