• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Potatoes - good or bad?


Super Moderator
My aunt (related by marriage) has Crohn's and recently she and I were talking on facebook about Crohn's-related stuff. She told me that she went to the health food store to get some soup ingredients, and the guy working there told her potatoes were awful for Crohn's and that she should do something like parsnips instead. When she got home, she googled and found this article, which seems to say that potatoes are indeed awful for us:


But when I google, that's the only article I can find on the subject. So I'm not sure if it's true if I can only find one article on the subject. Does anybody know or have an opinion on this? I love potatoes and sweet potatoes and eat them often. I do take the skin off and the article says the poisons are concentrated in/near the skin. Am I poisoning myself or am I okay with eating peeled potatoes? Anybody know?
Most papers, journals, websites and god knows what else I've read with regards to crohns mentions potatoes as one of the best foods you can eat,especially mash?!

I, myself eat tonnes of mash and find it helps to bulk things up, plus 'fills' me up.

Potatoes are bad for you?! Whatever next?!

This is starting to make me feel hungry ;)
whaaaaaaaaat?! potatoes are the only thing I was eating for a time period. They are filling and soft and smooth and glide right through the intestines when they're mashed up. If she's right then everything I know about eating with Crohn's is a lie!


Naples, Florida
Good find Cat! Here's a study on it.


Concentrations of glycoalkaloids normally available while eating potatoes can adversely affect the mammalian intestine and can aggravate IBD.
I've cut down on potatoes as I noticed an association between increased symptoms and consuming them. Since the aggravating factors are in the skin and just underneath, I'm going to start peeling them and see if that allows me to eat them as I sure do love me some potatoes :)
Yeah, I've heard that too. I love them mashed, boiled, baked, scalloped, etc. I do always skin them though.

It's so hard finding things to eat that don't cause me physical pain that I cannot imagine living life without potatoes!
These are the sources quoted in the article:

Iablokov V, et al. Naturally Occurring Glycoalkaloids in Potatoes Aggravate Intestinal Inflammation in Two Mouse Models of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Mar 3.

B, et al. Potato glycoalkaloids adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2002 Sep;8(5):340-6.

At least one of them is on mouse models, which can be a predictor but not always necessarily. Not sure about the second one.
I eat tons of sweet potatoes, never had an issues, yet. I read acouple articles on white potatoes promoting inflammation so I usually avoid them unless theres no other potatoes around and even then never felt any issues. I always remove the skin tho.
I always peel the potatoes, in Greece there are only a few recipes that require cooking potatoes with the skin. I also dont eat sweet potatoes, they are very very hard to find here and RIDICULUSLY expensive. That said potatoes has always been my safe food. It was the first cooked thing I could eat sfter my surgery (Along with boiled rice) and it was and is the only food that allows me to spend some time after eating before I run to the bathroom.


I love you God.
Ok now I'm hungry! Tomorrow I want sweet potatos.. yum what goes good wwith sweet potato? Ive never made them..:) Well I think they are the GO TO when I was flairing up they were my lifesavor..
JUST DONT EAT THE SKIN<------ ouch:voodoo:
Ok for this last month Ive been keeping a diary of what i eat and basically trying to indentitfy and offending foods. So i realised that liquids dont hurt but cause D or very frequent BM, certain soups and everything else cause mild to severe discomfort /pain. All solid food except pasta or and some fruit cause pain.
Conclusion is that my inside feel either very inflamed and all food is struggling to get through or what ever breaks down the food aint working or maybe a combination of both.
Hungry all the time and now gettin severe prolonged abdominal pain after BM.
Sweet potatoes , roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes I love them all aaaaargh ! OH and chips too ! PLEASE !
Ohhhh, yummmmm, I forgot to mention chips! Sour Cream and Onion. Oh wait, PVail, you mean what we call French fries? Ah, those I can live without!


Super Moderator
Michele, I love potato chips AND french fries! :p Sweet potato fries are one of the yummiest things I've come across in recent memory. They're way better than regular fries. Yum!

The consensus seems to be that it's probably okay to eat potatoes as long as the skin is removed, which is what I've been doing. Thanks everyone for your input!


Naples, Florida
While I'd agree that's the consensus, I think where many problems come in is how they're prepared and what we put on them. For example, if you're someone watching your Omega fatty acid ratios, then potatoes aren't too bad. But as soon as you fry them in vegetable oil, that goes out the window.

Taking it one step further, potatoes are one of the dirty dozen when it comes to pesticide residue. Pealing them of course helps with that, but I still feel that eating organic potatoes is important as who wants to play with that fire?
It isn't about gut health directly, but recall Dr. Guyenet wrote a number of articles about the different varieties of potatoes and their impact on health, the good and the bad.

"Potatoes and Human Health, Part I"



"Potatoes and Human Health, Part II"



"Potatoes and Human Health, Part III"

While I'd agree that's the consensus, I think where many problems come in is how they're prepared and what we put on them. For example, if you're someone watching your Omega fatty acid ratios, then potatoes aren't too bad. But as soon as you fry them in vegetable oil, that goes out the window.
Well yea, but this is true of everything we eat. Most (all?) things become bad for you when you fry them in vegetable oil. :)


Naples, Florida
Well yea, but this is true of everything we eat. Most (all?) things become bad for you when you fry them in vegetable oil. :)
I guess my thing is, does anyone here have healthy recipes for potatoes? All mine involve copious amounts of butter, sour cream, cheese, and/or oils. :(
Nothing wrong with using oils in foods. Its more of a quantity thing that starts to make it unhealthy. All those things mentioned David are in many ways still healthy foods, however need to be moderated and respected.

I guess my thing is, does anyone here have healthy recipes for potatoes? All mine involve copious amounts of butter, sour cream, cheese, and/or oils. :(
When I make mashed potatoes, I don't add anything. Just boil and eat. Yum.


I have gone through many phases with potatoes…

For a brief period of time I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and was avoiding them as they are on the banned food list.

After learning a bit more about different cultures of the world that relied heavily on potatoes as part of their diet, I went through a phase of eating them daily. I did not notice any negative health effects from eating so many potatoes, but this was also at a time when I was fully in remission.

I don't eat potatoes as much as I used to now, but I am not as scared of them as I once was on the SCD.

I found that potatoes for me went well with everything. I enjoyed them with any meat that I cooked as they soak up the juices and flavor of whatever they were served with and I did not need to put anything added to them.
I can quite happily eat plain, non-mashed boiled potatoes with a little lo-salt (only if having "naked" and not using in a meat dish, gravy is more than enough!) and for mash I just use Flora Light which is my normal margarine :)

Been following this "nightshade" thing, I have to say I was very, very :eek: at the thought of no longer eating green peppers, which I consume like apples (after taking out the pithy parts and seeds of course) and limit myself to one at a time!

But as for not eating potatoes :awe: :eek:utahere:
And finally I think the answer has to be


:ycool: :rof:

(sorry am on a smilie kick!)
I guess my thing is, does anyone here have healthy recipes for potatoes? All mine involve copious amounts of butter, sour cream, cheese, and/or oils. :(
Hmm. You could always do something like home-fries.

Cube Potatoes (or slice) and boil for about 5 minutes. Strain, and put in an oven safe pan (I line mine with olive oil, copiously!). Add salt to taste (and/or other spices), bake at 375-450 until done (not sure on temp). Very simple, tastes good to me, and makes a good side particularly for an early morning food.

Another thing for a "healthier" baked potato is to sub out the sour cream and butter, and put in olive oil and greek yogurt. Greek yogurt, being strained should have no lactose, lactic acid or whey (or at least very little), and olive oil tends to be more loved than butter. Add salt, and diced green onions to taste. Not sure how this would work with skin-less potatoes. Probably not very well.

Recipes using then can also work, but I think my recipes tend to have other stuff some people with chrons are scared of.

Also, you can generally avoid the Glycoalkaloid by carefully selecting your potatoes. Most commercial potatoes are relatively low, but avoid ones that have been sitting in the sunlight for very long, always try to store them in the shade, and toss (or peel off) any part of the potato skin that is green as this tends to be an indicator of higher gycoalkaloids, I think.
Potatoes are on the "safe" list in our "safe and unsafe foods" thread. It also says instant potatoes are good, thoughts on those? I feel like I wouldn't be able to eat just a plain potato, but add a little butter and now we're talking.

However for my life we have always put butter and milk in our mashed potatoes to make them nice and creamy. But that would defeat the purpose of the healthiness.
I always thought Potatoes should be avoided (as nightshades), but I eat them sometimes anyway, cause they ARE a comfort food.
David try baking them, then scooping out the potato and eating it with JUST sea salt. sounds yukky, but it is delish and it avoids the skin and oil.
i make mashed potatos by just boiling with salt, and then mashing them with some of the leftover water and/or ANY other liquid (a little dropping from a meat dish, or from the baked chicken, or chicken soup, or anything). main taste is salt and pepper or spices, and the creamy texture can be achieved by adding liquid instead of fats.
When I was in the hospital mashed potatoe was part of my diet. I still eat them mashed and boiled/broiled is best. The more fat you add the harder they will be to digest.
Personally i use it to make the gravy with. Drinking it on it's own may not be very beneficial since basically it's full of starch and salt but using it for gravy helps thicken it up and means you don't need to add salt.
I positively hate the taste of (powdered) mashed potato you can buy from American superstores. I peel mine and boil them the traditional way and mash them with a little butter or milk. You cannot drink them that way as they are rather solid and there is absolutely no salt in them unless you add a pinch or two.


Naples, Florida
From the perspective of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which I am now on, potatoes are a big no no. Their theory is that complex sugars and starches are extremely difficult if not impossible for those with compromised digestive systems to digest. As such, the undigested sugars and starch ferment and become food for certain bacteria whose populations get out of control which leads to a whole host of problems and creates a "vicious cycle". Eating a potato likely wouldn't cause immediate pain, but it would help perpetuate the cycle.

*edit* I now realize Mike already mentioned this. Oops!
Dx:Crohn's Colitis


Prednisone taper dose (temporarily)

Lialda 4, daily
Canada supp 1, bedtime

Recently having a flare after 1yr remission.
Severe nausea, vomiting, erythema nodosum & DI.

Q: What's the best sub for potatoe or rice or parsnips for crohns sufferers?

Thxs :)
Potato has long been a trigger of mine.
Even small amounts of potato starch in food will trigger me.

Sweet potatoes are not directly related to white potatoes.