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Reader's Question: Why Break a Fast with a Baked Potato?

by Barbara D. Allan
Author of Conquering Arthritis

Dear Barbara,

If potatoes (nightshades) should be avoided by people with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) why is a plain baked potato one of the first things you add to the reintroduction after the fast?

Photo by Joseph Vasquez on
Dear Reader,


Many, many different foods can cause arthritis. If you or I were to avoid everything that caused someone arthritis, there would be nothing left to eat. The trick is developing a personalized list of those foods that are a problem for you, and then avoiding them.

Only some people with RA need to avoid nightshades. People with type A blood tend to have more problems with the nightshades than do others, but it isn't a very tight correlation. (I have type A blood and have never had any problems with potatoes or tomatoes.)

If potatoes are a problem for you personally, I would recommend testing millet and kudzu powder as two alternatives. Here is why.

The reason for the potatoes in the broth and when breaking the fast is that they are alkalizing. Arthritis is a disease of acidity and the body throws off a lot of acid when fasting. Alkalizing foods help move the body into a healing pH range.

Most sources of carbohydrates have an acidifying effect. Potatoes and millet are two of the few good sources of carbs that are alkalizing. Kudzu powder is another, but it is expensive and can be hard to find.

The other reason for breaking the fast with a plain baked potato is that most of the other easily available starches tend to be even more problematic than potatoes. Adverse reactions to grains such as wheat and corn are even more common.

Hope that helps,


→Need Help Fasting?
→When is a good time to fast?

6 Comments On Reader's Question: Why Break a Fast with a Baked Potato?

Hi Anne, yes, when reintroducing any food after fasting, it is best to make it a plain as possible. This is because you want to know whether or not you are reacting to that food, not something else. A plain baked potato with nothing on it or a plain boiled potato boiled in just water are two examples of how to cook a potato with nothing else to interfere with your testing. The same principle applies no matter what you are using to break a fast. Make the new food being introduced just that food, with no other varieties of food or spices or flavorings that might inadvertently trigger your inflammation.

Date : 2nd Dec 2020   |  By : Barbara Allan
The comment above about frying the potatoes in oil made me think to recommend not using oil and just use broth or water to cook your potato and you might feel a lot better.

Date : 2nd Dec 2020   |  By : Anne M
Hi Gayle, Although there may be some general trends as to who with arthritis can or cannot tolerate which specific types of potatoes, what really matters for each person is what is true for them personally. Your questions are excellent ones, but since there is so much variation in the answers from one person to the next, I encourage you to listen to what your own body is telling you. If your personal experience eating potatoes says all potatoes are a problem for you, cut them all out. If there is a particular variety or varieties or age of potato that agree with you, then those are good ones for you.

Date : 27th Oct 2020   |  By : Barbara Allan
I have O- blood and have some problems with potatoes. I do have questions. I understated purple and yellow potatoes are better for people with arthritis? I prefer russets. Secondly, are new potatoes worse than older potatoes? I ate new fried organic potatoes tonight and they hit me a lot harder than normal. Home grown tomatoes and peppers do not bother me.

Date : 26th Oct 2020   |  By : Gayle
Dear Valerie, Thanks for your comment. I'm glad the info on potatoes and pH balance was helpful for you. Since potatoes happen to agree with you, they are an excellent food for you. As a note to my other readers, some of my clients do react against garlic and or turmeric, so make sure if you like these, that you individually test them to make sure they also agree with you.

Date : 3rd Jul 2015   |  By : Barbara Allan
Thank you for the info on potatoes as a ph balance. I love them too. I have read so many conflicting stories about them. I tend to think its the stuff you put on potatoes, like acidic sour cream, yogurt etc. that might be the reactionary stuff. I started putting garlic and turmeric on potatoes and it is good with a little butter.

Date : 3rd Jul 2015   |  By : Valerie merrill

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