Is eating raw potato harmful and will make me sick?

Findings – CONFIRMED

Explanation: Raw potato flesh is harmful as it has toxins and should not be eaten uncooked. The chemical solanine, which gives the deadly reputation to nightshade, is present in potatoes as a defense against insects. It tinges the potato green. Never use a potato with a green color, as even a nibble can result in ill effects like nausea and headaches. Eating even more of those toxins can lead to a coma and death. Even cooking does not completely destroy the negative effects of a green potato.

Bacteria such as Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella are found in water and soil. Potatoes may absorb any of these bacteria while growing, as well as during harvest or packaging. Cooking the potato destroys the bacteria. Eating the potato raw can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and an upset stomach.

Cooking breaks down the cellular walls of the potato so the digestive system can access the starch inside. Raw potatoes deposit a large number of carbohydrates in the body, which leads to an insulin spike and a layering of fat around the liver.

Potatoes can be juiced and the liquid mixed with other juices to enhance healing in the GI tract, such as settling upset stomachs with its alkalinity. Eating raw potatoes, however, is very dangerous.


  1. J. Sergio Marchini, N. Faisant, M. Champ, S. Ranganathan, et. al. Effects of an acute raw resistant potato starch supplement on postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, lipemia in healthy adults July 1998 Nutrition Research Vol. 18, Issue 7, Pages 1135- 1145
  2. Patricia Ollinger-Snyder, M. Eileen Matthews Food safety: Review and Implications for Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians February 1996 Journal of the American Dietetic Association Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pages 163-171
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