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Hey, Paleo People, Put A Potato On The Plate, Says Science

Good news, paleo diet people. You can finally toss a potato on your plate alongside your steak. After all, it's what your paleo cousins would've done.

That's according to new research from evolutionary geneticists at University College London, which suggests that early humans cooked and ate starchy tubers.

The researchers suspect as much because we humans produce enzymes to help us digest cooked starchy foods. And as the only primate that cooks, we've evolved multiple copies of the gene that makes the enzyme in question. With more copies, we could coax additional calories from cooked starchy foods.

Researchers speculate that we used the extra energy to fashion bigger brains. This is not to say cooked meat wasn’t a factor. Just that we were also eating cooked carbs.

When did we evolve these extra copies of the gene? Well, DNA analysis of ancient European hunter-gatherers shows that they had the extra copies well before humans settled down to farm.

Naturally, this is not the final word on the subject. Expect more to follow. But for now, let’s toss some tubers on the flames and get back in touch with our primal, carb-loving caveman selves. Here's a potato-baker's dozen, by-and-large paleo-friendly potato recipes to get us started.

1) Real German Potato Salad

Real German Potato Salad

Photo by by lutzflcat

2) Grilled Baked Potatoes

Grilled Baked Potatoes

Photo by Molly

3) Sliced Potatoes with Bacon and Parsley

Sliced Potatoes with Bacon and Parsley

Photo by naples34102

4) Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

Photo by naples34102

5) Red Potato, Asparagus, and Artichoke Salad

Red Potato, Asparagus, and Artichoke Salad

Photo by naples34102

6) Greek-Style Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Greek-Style Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Photo by lutzflcat

7) Yucatan Potato Salad

Yucatan Potato Salad

Photo by lutzflcat

8) Roasted New Red Potatoes

Roasted New Red Potatoes

Photo by naples34102

9) Microwaved Potatoes Lyonnaise

Microwaved Potatoes Lyonnaise

Photo by lutzflcat

10) Pan-Roasted Marble Potatoes

Pan-Roasted Marble Potatoes

Photo by Spunky Buddy

11) Home-Fried Potatoes

Home-Fried Potatoes

Photo by abapplez

12) Roasted Potatoes with Greens

Roasted Potatoes with Greens

Photo by Dianne

13) Zucchini and Potato Bake

Zucchini and Potato Bake

Photo by FitHealthy Mom

RELATED: How Humans Evolved To Eat What We Do


Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.