You are not the only one who loves potatoes. According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), potatoes are ranked No. The most popular vegetable in America is potatoes, closely followed by tomatoes. The versatility of potatoes in the kitchen is part of their appeal. From mashed potatoes and crispy fries to a variety of other dishes, you can enjoy them in many different ways.

The potatoes also contain a number of important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fibre. You may be wondering if you could add raw potatoes to the plate since many vegetables are served raw. What you should know about eating potatoes raw.

Is It Safe To Eat Raw Potatoes?

It is okay to eat a small amount of raw potatoes, but their starchy taste and bitterness will likely make you avoid them. You can try eating raw potatoes, but if you do, be careful not to eat too much. The resistant starch, as well as other compounds such as lectins, solanine, and indigestible resistant carbohydrates, may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

What Happens When You Eat Raw Potatoes?

According to a review published in 2022 in the Journal of Functional Foods, raw potatoes contain a high amount of resistant starch. This starch is “resistant” in digestion, but it can provide many health benefits. These include improved blood sugar management and weight control, as well as gut health. The bacteria that break down and ferment resistant starch from raw potatoes produce gases and short-chain fat acids, like butyrate. Butyrate is a fuel for the cells that line your colon. The fermentation of resistant starch can cause gassiness and bloating, especially when you consume large amounts at once.

Lectins, a naturally occurring amino acid, can be found in many plant and animal foods. Legumes, grains and nightshade veggies (such as potato) are foods with the highest concentrations of lectins. Lectins, also known as “antinutrients”, can inhibit the absorption essential nutrients such as calcium and iron. If you eat too many lectins at once, such as raw grains or potatoes, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cooking, sprouting, and fermenting lectins is easy. According to a review published in Nutrients in 2020, the health benefits of eating foods rich in lectins like potatoes and whole grains outweigh potential antinutrient effects. People with digestive problems or autoimmune diseases should consult their doctors to determine if lectins are something they should avoid.

The bitter compounds in potatoes are called glycoalkaloids. These compounds can be toxic in large quantities. Solanine and Chaconine are two glycoalkaloids found in potatoes. The glycoalkaloid levels of potatoes in grocery stores are closely monitored. When potatoes are stored improperly and exposed to the sun, their glycoalkaloids concentration can be toxic.

It is possible to get acute solanine poisoning, especially among children, if you consume too much of the compound, whether it comes from raw or green potatoes. According to the National Capital Poison Center, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They can also include fever, flushing and confusion. It is rare, but excessive consumption of solanine can cause death. Cooking potatoes does not reduce their solanine content, but peeling potatoes that are green or sprouted will help.

3 Tips To Ensure Your Potatoes Are Cooked

  • Pierce test:  Pierce cooked potatoes. When you pierce the potato with a fork or knife, there should be little resistance and your utensil will come out dry.
  • Thermometer: When the temperature inside the thickest part has reached 210 degrees Fahrenheit it is cooked.
  • Appearance: When you bake potatoes in the oven the skin will become crispy and dry.

How To Enjoy Potatoes In The Best Way

You can do a lot with potatoes. Crispy Bubble Potatoes are a TikTok trend worth trying. Try these Air-Fryer Everything Bagel curly fries with Scallion-Yogurt Dip if you’re craving fries. Boiling potatoes before roasting them is a great way to take roasted potato recipes to the next step.


Is It Okay To Eat Potatoes Raw?

In small quantities, raw potatoes are safe to consume. Cooking improves the starchy texture of raw potatoes, which is unpleasantly bitter. The resistant starch is also broken down and the lectins are destroyed by cooking. This allows potatoes to be eaten without any negative effects on the digestive system, such as excess gas or bloating.

Is It Healthier To Eat Raw Potatoes Than To Cook Them?

A 2018 review in the American Journal of Potato Research found that raw potatoes contain almost twice as much vitamin C than cooked potatoes. This is because cooking destroys some of the vitamin. Raw potatoes are also higher in resistant starches. Cooking increases potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 content in potatoeswhile destroying lectins, an antinutrient that reduces the absorption essential nutrients.

What Is The Toxic Level Of Raw Potatoes?

Solanine is the toxin that makes you sick in potatoes. However, the amount of this naturally occurring compound depends on the type of potato, the growing conditions, and the storage. The amount of solanine a person can consume before experiencing side effects is also dependent on their body weight.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, a toxic dose is defined as 1 milligram of solanine or more per kilogram of bodyweight. For context, one potato contains approximately 0.18 mg/kg solanine. The risk of exposure is very low.

What Vegetables Are Suitable For Eating Raw?

You can improve the taste of your vegetables by cooking them (like potatoes), and reduce the risk that you will contract foodborne illnesses if you consume them raw. You can eat any vegetable raw, including those you’ve always loved after cooking them, like parsnips and beets. You may experience some discomfort if you suddenly increase your raw vegetable intake. Your stomach will have to work harder to digest the vegetables.

Bottom Line

You can eat small portions of raw potatoes every now and then if you feel adventurous. They are a great source of resistant starch, which is good for your gut. The bitter taste, starchy texture and potential stomach upset or diarrhea could make you avoid eating raw potatoes. The nutrients and health benefits of cooked potatoes are the same as those found in raw potatoes, but without any unpleasant side effects.