Can You Survive On Potatoes And Butter

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Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Umar

Potatoes and butter have long been staples in many diets across the globe.

But can one truly survive on just these two ingredients?

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore personal experiences, research, and statistics to answer this intriguing question.

Personal Experiences

While there are no direct personal stories available from our sources, it’s not uncommon to hear about people relying on potatoes as a primary food source during times of scarcity or for health reasons.

Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, providing energy, and contain essential vitamins and minerals.

When combined with butter, a source of fat and additional nutrients, it seems plausible that one could survive on this simple diet.

Nutritional Value of Potatoes and Butter

Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

They also contain small amounts of protein.

Butter, on the other hand, is a rich source of fat, particularly saturated fat, and provides some vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin D.Together, potatoes and butter can provide a decent balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and some essential micronutrients.

However, this combination may not provide all the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

Potential Health Concerns

While potatoes and butter can provide some essential nutrients, relying solely on these two foods could lead to nutritional deficiencies.

For example, this diet would lack sufficient amounts of certain vitamins, such as vitamin B12, and minerals, like iron and calcium.

Additionally, the high saturated fat content in butter could contribute to increased cholesterol levels and potential cardiovascular issues.

Research and Statistics

There is limited research available on surviving solely on potatoes and butter.

However, some studies have explored the health benefits of potatoes and their potential role in weight loss and overall health.

For instance, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that participants who consumed potatoes as part of a calorie-restricted diet experienced weight loss and improved blood pressure levels [source needed].While these findings suggest that potatoes can be part of a healthy diet, it’s important to note that the study participants consumed a variety of other foods in addition to potatoes.

Therefore, it’s unclear whether the same benefits would be observed in individuals consuming only potatoes and butter.


In summary, while it may be possible to survive on a diet of potatoes and butter for a short period, it’s unlikely to provide all the necessary nutrients for optimal health in the long term.

To maintain a balanced diet, it’s essential to consume a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Helpful Resources


Are there any historical examples of people surviving on a diet primarily consisting of potatoes and butter?

There are several examples of people surviving on a diet primarily consisting of potatoes and butter.

Here are some examples:

  • Chris Voigt, the director of the Washington State Potato Commission, ate an all-potato diet for 60 days in 2010 to show that potatoes are a nutritious food that can sustain human life.
  • In the beginning of the 1800s, about a third of the Irish population got most of their calories from potatoes.
  • According to a Snopes article, eating nothing but potatoes and butter, in sufficient quantities, could keep a person alive for an indeterminate period of time. However, whether a person could remain healthy in the long term on such a dietary regimen would depend on other health factors.
  • A Reddit post claims that humans can survive indefinitely on a diet of just potatoes and butter.

What specific vitamins and minerals are lacking in a diet solely based on potatoes and butter?

A diet solely based on potatoes and butter is deficient in several vitamins and minerals.

Here are the specific nutrients that are lacking according to the search results:

Vitamins: A potato-only diet is deficient in vitamins A, E, K, and D. It also lacks vitamin B12, which is essential for good health.
Minerals: A potato-only diet is deficient in calcium, selenium, and zinc. It also lacks iodine, chloride, and copper, which are minerals that depend on the soil in which the potatoes were grown.

Could incorporating other foods that complement the nutritional deficiencies of potatoes and butter create a more balanced diet?

According to the sources, incorporating other foods that complement the nutritional deficiencies of potatoes and butter could create a more balanced diet.

Complementary feeding is the practice of introducing other foods to an infant’s diet when their need for energy and nutrients exceeds what can be provided through exclusive breastfeeding.

Complementary foods should be of variety, and balanced mixtures of food items containing cereals, tubers, foods of animal and vegetable origin, and fat should be offered.

Only a varied diet guarantees the supply of micronutrients, enhances good eating habits, and prevents the development of anorexia caused by monotonous foods. Ensuring that complementary foods are timely, adequate, and safe is important to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs.

In general, complementary foods need to be far more nutrient-rich compared to family foods.

If the diet is not adequately balanced, this may have undesirable consequences. Therefore, incorporating other foods that complement the nutritional deficiencies of potatoes and butter could create a more balanced diet.

For example, adding vegetables, fruits, and lean protein sources like chicken or fish can provide additional nutrients that may be lacking in a diet consisting mainly of potatoes and butter.

It is worth noting that complementary feeding is not only important for infants but also for pets. For instance, cats require a balanced diet that has high protein content, and complementary foods like Empower Paw’s Cats Chicken can provide additional nutrients that may be lacking in their diet.