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10 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

        Health | Food Safety

8
Potatoes
A compound found in potatoes called solanine can cause stomach pains and even paralysis. © Randy Faris/Corbis
A compound found in potatoes called solanine can cause stomach pains and even paralysis. © Randy Faris/Corbis

Have you ever wondered why raw foodies don't eat potatoes? It's not because of an aversion to carbs; it's for safety reasons. Raw potatoes are potentially toxic because of a compound called solanine [source: MedlinePlus].

Not every potato contains enough solanine to kill you, but the risk is high enough that it's not really worth taking. In general, green potatoes – even ones just a little green near the skin – or ones that are starting to sprout eyes have a higher solanine content. Symptoms of potato poisoning include stomach pain, headache, and paralysis. Potatoes with a very high concentration of solanine will have some green discoloration when you cut into them, and you shouldn't eat a green potato, even cooked. [source: MedlinePlus]

Even if the raw potato you're eating doesn't have a lot of solanine, you're still better off cooking it. Uncooked potato is rich with resistant starch. While some resistant starch can be good for your gut, the amount in raw potato is enough to give most people unpleasant side effects like severe gas and bloating [source: Blonz].

Cooking potatoes properly isn't hard. Roast, mash, boil or even grill them, and you won't have to worry about any of these things.


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