• You're all caught up!

Milk & Potato Diet

author image Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.
Milk & Potato Diet
A bowl of potato and milk soup. Photo Credit Radist/iStock/Getty Images

Both potatoes and milk have been touted as useful foods to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

However, a milk and potato diet is more hypothetical than real. It is based on speculation about the years before the 1845 Great Famine in Ireland, when people were so destitute that potatoes became their primary source of food. Even though extreme poverty in the years before the Great Famine reduced food sources primarily to potatoes, with a bit of fish salt and oatmeal on the side, the Irish people survived.


As the Eat Drink Better website explains, "potatoes have been given a bad name in nutrition--most likely because of the way we prepare them." Potatoes are a starch, not a vegetable, so they don't count towards the five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables we should be eating daily. But unless potatoes are turned into french fries or topped with gobs of butter, sour cream, and bacon bits, they are a very nutritious starch. One medium sized potato contains only 160 calories, 4g of fiber, and plenty of vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium and iron.

Potatoes for Weight Loss

Although potatoes are a high glycemic food, which is normally counterproductive for people on diets, potatoes seems to be an exception to the rule. They may even be helpful in weight loss, in part for their nutritional benefits and in part because they are high in glutamate. Eating foods that are high in glutamate make you feel full more quickly, thus satiating your appetite.

The Milk Diet

The Milk Diet is a fad diet that recommends adding servings of milk to supplement every meal you eat. As Weight-Loss-Professional.com states, "Professionals know that fad diets just don't work." The site adds, "weight loss professionals would consider as suspect any diet program which radically reduces or increases just one component of a balanced diet."

Milk and Weight Loss

While The Milk Diet is a fad diet, milk can be part of a balanced weight loss program. Weight-Loss-Professional.com cites the American Dietetic Association's statement that a calcium rich eating plan, which includes three servings of milk daily, seems to provide nutritional support for healthy weight loss. Milk may promote the loss of body fat while helping maintain muscle. Dropping dairy foods entirely from a diet can be bad for your bones and may actually make it harder to lose weight.

Milk and Potato Diet

Speculation about a milk and potato diet has, at least in part, been stirred by syndicated columnist Cecil Adams on his fact-base The Straight Dope website. In 2008, Adams addressed the rumor that you could live for an extended period of time by just consuming milk and potatoes. Cecil noted the Irish experience, then studied the nutritional values of whole milk and potatoes. He concluded that eating eight pounds of potatoes and drinking one gallon of milk daily would provide all of the essential nutrients for an average size young man, with one exception. The exception is molybdenum. Without molybdenum, you will eventually lapse into a coma. So why didn't the Irish, with a diet consisting primarily of potatoes, succumb in droves? Because they also ate oatmeal, which was not only abundant, but a rich source of molybdenum as well.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media