I have been reading the book Sweet Potato Power: Discover Your Personal Equation for Optimal Health
and far from focusing on sweet potatoes, it has turned to to be a pretty good summary of a lot of what we have been discussing here. If you have been at this for quite a while, a lot of the material will not be new, and for that reason I have been skimming much of it and not checking it carefully (because I have other things to read too!), but some of the later material (after the introductory chapters) is looking quite useful.
In particular, there is a section based on Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve
that talks about different carb intake levels and what they imply. Here is the basic table (see the web page above or the book for more information):
Danger zone: >300
Weight gain zone: 150–300 grams (U.S. recommended daily allowance)
Optimal carb intake for effortless weight maintenance: 100–150 grams
Weight loss sweet spot: 50–100 grams
I can only validate the 0-50 gram range so far (I did not lose weight at 70g), but it looks reasonable to me. Now there are reasons that people here in the forum might want to stay in ketosis (lipolysis). Clearly, ketosis is recommended for people with certain neurological conditions, but apart from this pathology-oriented point of view it may very well be that brains work better in general on a ketogenic diet. That seems to be what Nora Gedgaudas has been saying, supported by her work in neurofeedback. But if you need to lose weight or your gut can't tolerate a ketogenic diet then you might want to see what else works for people in general, and then the 50-150 gram ranges might become more attractive.
I seem to be finding that I need to increase carbs a bit in order to lose weight. My situation is awkward, because I am overweight AND a ketogenic diet is also indicated due to medical issues. When I go very low carb my brain works better but my GI tract goes wacky and I eventually start gaining weight back. So I am experimenting with around 40 g/day right now, using sweet potatoes to raise it to that level. But everybody is different; you have to work it out for you.
Next the book (Sweet Potato Power
) offers this diagnostic table, along with examples of how it is used (too much to quote here).
|Symptoms of||Too Many Carbs|
|Overweight||Lethargic / Afternoon energy slumps||Poor recovery and soreness post workouts|
|Acne||Depressed / Mood swings / Mental Fog||Sore Joints|
|Bloated||Limited attention span|
|Anxiety / Hyper|
|Lack of focus|
|Sugar cravings / Midnight hunger |
pains / Food obsession
|Poor sleep patterns / Fatigue even after|
getting a full night of sleep
|Symptoms of||Too Few Carbs|
|Lean or fat||Sluggish||No motivation to train|
|Depressed / Flat personality||Muscle fatigue / Slow reaction time, i.e. no snap|
|Indicators of||Right Amount of Carbs|
|Lean||High energy||Muscle energy|
|Clear skin||Consistent energy levels / Attentiveness and|
|Motivation to move and work|
The book then goes on to describe various experiments you can do on yourself to gather more data, many of them involving a glucometer (or if you really want to get into it, an implanted glucose monitor!).
That's as far as I have read so far. There seem to be quite a few recipes near the end of the book.