Paleo Book Review: Sweet Potato Power

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I will be the first to admit that, while growing up, I thought they were one of the nastiest foods in existence (next to dumplings and this stuff mom called ‘steak and gravy’…).  This was back when,  in my world, the only way anyone ate the orange things  was mashed with brown sugar and butter and then topped with marshmallows…  It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized  maybe they weren’t so bad and didn’t exist exclusively under a sea of melted marshmallow. Who would have thought they even had peels?!?!  What am I talking about?  None other than the tuber-ific Sweet Potato!!

The popularity of the sweet spud has sky-rocketed among the paleo community.  It’s commonly associated with the term “safe starch” and is a powerhouse post workout meal when paired with some protein.  But how much do you actually know about natures vegetable candy and how can you optimally fit it into your paleo lifestyle?  Well, wonder no more.  “Sweet Potato Power”  by Ashley Tudor has arrived and can answer all of your questions!!  I know what you’re thinking – a whole entire book about a spud?  Really?  Well, hold up because you’re in for a lot more than just a schooling in sweet potatoes.

“Sweet Potato Power”  is actually a four part book that not only talks about all things sweet potato, but also explores the concept of ‘smart carbs’, hormones, inflammation and exercise – and that’s just the first two parts!!  Part Three: Your Body, Your Rules – helps determine where YOUR body is at and what YOU need to get healthy and optimize performance.  From figuring out carb response and dabbling in ketosis to determining if you’re inflamed and deciphering blood work – it’s all between the bright orange covers.

And now for the climactic ending – THE RECIPES!!!  Yes, a book entitled “Sweet Potato Power”  would not be complete without a slew of recipes all containing bacon.  I joke – although bacon does in fact make an appearance….  Breakfast, entrees, sides, and desserts there’s something ‘sweet’ potato for everyone.  If you’re an athlete you will love the sports gel and recovery drink options.  Sweet potatoes will be your new secret weapon.  And if you already use them, well it never hurts to add a little more ammunition to your supply.

So if you you’re looking to expand your paleo library and/or enhance your “Sweet Potato Power”  - then “This Spud’s For You”!

 

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  1. Paleo Suz
    April 27, 2012 at 1:38 am

    It’s funny isn’t it – I didn’t used to like sweet potatoes – now I love them! Quite a few of my tastes have drastically changed since I transformed my diet!

  2. Gaby
    April 27, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Awesome! I’ll order the book soon!

  3. Mark
    April 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Conversely, I always loved sweet potatoes when I was a kid (maybe cuz my mom left off all the sweet stuff and just added butter). I was really happy when I found I could tolerate it as a ‘safe starch’ on the paleo diet.

  4. Christopher
    April 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I love sweet potatoes, mmmmm….

    Yes Amy, bacon and sweet potatoes together are amazing. I love to cut up sweet potatoes in chunks and wrap them in this great local pastured bacon we get. I cook them in the oven, while spooning the bacon grease that ends up in the pan back on them a couple times during the cooking process.

    • Amy Kubal
      April 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      You need to make me some of them bacon spuds!!

  5. Frugal Portland
    April 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I still can’t stand sweet potatoes. For whatever reason, they just taste icky to me.

  6. Dine
    April 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetables. They go great with fish or any sauce.

  7. pjnoir
    April 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Smart carbs, smart bombs, smart phones – its a pattern. Only with strengthh training and a lot of butter or Olive oil. I have used SwPoS for a long time, great fried, broiled or roasted but only on those good heavy training days. It still raises my blood sugar.

  8. Sarah M.
    April 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I read Sweet Potato Power and LOVED IT! Having been a long time crossfiter and paleo eater I have struggled to have enough energy during long met cons. Sweet Potatoes have been a great tool for me, which is why I bought the book to begin with. But the book is about so much more then sweet potatoes. The self experimentation section was brilliant and really helped frame how I am going to tweak my diet/ lifestyle hear on out. I haven’t seen any other books as helpful a recourse. A must read for any paleo eater/ crossfiter (sweet potato lover or not).

  9. Martin
    April 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Amy, if one proposes, which may be absolutely right, that ‘smart carbs’ are a good fuel for our bodies, then they should address all the points addressed by Phinney and Volek. They have been doing research on the role of carbs and fats as fuel sources for decades now, and their recent book focuses specifically at atheltic performance. The outcome of their research seems clear, or does it?

    Having said that, I like sweet potato and I’ll probably buy the book but the title and the review, esp. the mention of the recipes for breakfast, lunch, etc. are suggesting that I should probably be eating them every day at every meal. Should I?

    • Amy Kubal
      April 28, 2012 at 4:34 am

      Martin,

      Eating them everyday for every meal is probably not going to be the way to go. It’s going to depend on your situation and goals. And as always variety is important too!

      • Martin
        April 28, 2012 at 7:50 am

        Thanks Amy, as said I’ll buy the book and read it. Sweet potato are already part of my diet and have no problem with eating them every now and then. I’m especially curious of whatever it says about ketosis (you mention that it does).

  10. Ted
    April 28, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Are sweet potatoes safe for those of us with autoimmune disease? I love them but since discovering success with Paleo regarding my autoimmune disease I have avoided them the same as potatoes.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 28, 2012 at 7:36 am

      SHOULD be ok. Ditch the peel, bake at 375-400 for up to an hour to really make’em hummy and easy to digest.

  11. Lauran
    April 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I will have to read this as I’m feeling very confused right now about the whole “safe starch” debate. I LOVE yams/sweet potatoes; however, I’m no cross-fitter by any stretch of the imagination AND my blood sugar usually rises above 140 after eating them. As of late, I feel guilty not including them in my diet (after reading Jaminet’s book) because I read they are not just optional, but optimal to good health. Not sure if this book will help clarify my questions or make me feel more guilty for shying away from them. Thanks, Amy, for the great review!

    • Amy Kubal
      April 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Lauran!

      Listen to what your body tells you – some tolerate starches better than others. Eat for your needs, goals and health and don’t feel guilty for not including something that makes you feel less than optimal.

      • Lauran
        April 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        Thank you, Amy! I think I will order the book and try to tweak a thing or two. I sure do miss those potatoes…

  12. Chuck
    April 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I love sweet potatoes! I just discovered Japanese sweet potatoes, but I love all types.

    Topped with almond butter and coconut butter mixed together mmm…

  13. Marcia
    April 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I just started on the Paleo diet, having first read The Paleo Diet (Cordain). I am very confused – I thought that starchy tubers were a no-no and not something HG’s ate, and shouldn’t be part of of my new Paleo diet. This is one of those things that makes finding and following the right diet so frustrating – within the same community, there are conflicting recommendations (and sweet potatoes are not the only one). What about almonds? Cordain recommends against them, other Paleo “experts” (and authors) recommend them. I would love to know why without having to buy the book, if anyone would be willing to share a brief summary on the science that makes these Paleo.

    • Christopher
      April 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Some hunter gatherers did/do eat a lot of starch. Starchy foods like sweet potatoes, (without the anti-nutrient problems that grains and legumes have) seem to be fine and healthy for people who handle starch well and don’t have metabolic issues.

  14. Matthew Caton
    May 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I actually wrote an article, titled “Insulin Spikes” on my website that gives good reasons why carb refeeds in the form of tubers should be considered a part of the ancestral diet.

    HG’s do/did consume starch in the form of tubers. Check out this study.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19350623

    Amy has probably seen this study, and knows that tubers are found throughout Africa, have been for millions of years. Guess who was eating them?

    Amy,

    Can’t wait to read the book, but I have a question for you.

    Why did you choose sweet potatoes, and not other tubers with less/no fructose? I know that sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index, but that is only because they have a decent amount of fructose in them. Being lower on the glycemic index because of fructose isn’t necessarily a good thing given all the problems associated with fructose: ten times the AGE’s as glucose, and it’s close relation to metabolic syndrome, obesity, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance.

    • Robb Wolf
      May 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      The book is not Amy’s, she reviewed it! Other tubers are certainly fair game and the fructose issue is certainly somethign to consider. BUT sweet potatoes are interesting in how much nutrition they offer, antioxidants, sustainability, etc.

  15. Paulie
    May 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I am relavily new to paleo, but I thought starchy tubers was a no-no?

    • Amy Kubal
      May 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      It depends on your goals, training and health concerns. There are many cases when some starchy tubers are acceptable and for hard training athletes they are a great tool!

  16. Suze
    June 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I tripped across this review, and had to get the book immediately. ;) I got into Paleo awhile back and have been a bit mystified over the whole sweet potatoes allowed on a Paleo diet thing. I knew sweet potatoes had more nutrition than white potatoes, which are BAD for you (and one of my favorite foods, of course). But I thought they were still too starchy to be OK. Now I am finally getting it. Nice for me, I LOVE sweet potatoes, so I hope my situation allows me to include them! Baked with cinnamon butter and I am good to go. :-D

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