Eating Raw Potatoes Give You Worms [Truth or Myth?]

Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Claire

Perhaps, you’re someone who likes living on the edge and wondering whether eating raw potatoes give you worms or not. Eating raw potatoes cannot give you worms. That’s right. But those seemingly harmless potatoes can actually be harmful to your health. In this article, we’ll explore the truth behind the bizarre myth that eating raw potatoes gives you worms, along with a few reasons why you might want to think twice before gnawing at a raw potato.

Eating raw potatoes give you worms

Eating raw potatoes give you worms

No, it turns out that this is one of those classic food myths that seem to have no real origin. Eating raw potatoes doesn’t actually give you “worms” in the real sense of it, here’s why;

Potato cyst nematodes are a type of nematode that infects potato crops causing damage to them.

And while it’s possible to accidentally eat them when you consume a raw potato, they don’t cause worms in humans because they won’t survive for long in your belly.

There’s a logical reason for this; tapeworms, which are often associated with raw meat, are a completely different type of parasite to cyst nematodes.

So even if you accidentally ate potato cyst nematodes, you wouldn’t end up with tapeworms in your system. Overall, eating raw potatoes give you worms only if you overeat.

Do potatoes have parasites?

Potatoes can sometimes have parasites, particularly if they are grown in soil that is contaminated with certain types of nematodes or other pests.

One common potato parasite is the potato cyst nematode, which is a small roundworm that can cause significant damage to potato crops by feeding on the roots of the plants.

Another potential parasite is the potato tuberworm, which can damage the tubers themselves by burrowing inside and feeding on the flesh.

Nevertheless, it’s generally safe to eat raw potatoes due to some health benefits. But only when eaten in small amounts.

Consuming a large amount of raw potatoes has some adverse side effects which can range from mild gastrointestinal issues, and stomach upsets, to severe headaches or fever, and in very rare cases even death.

Why you shouldn’t eat raw potatoes?

 Raw P raw potatoes give you worms when ingested in larger quantities. Raw potatoes have been linked to improved blood sugar, enhanced insulin sensitivity, increased feelings of fullness, and improved digestive health, according to Healthline. However, below are reasons you don’t want to eat it raw:

  1. Bad taste

Raw potatoes taste bitter and nowhere as good when raw. They also have an extremely unpleasant rough and chalky texture to them.  The main reason for this is due to the presence of solanine.

Solanine is a chemical compound produced in raw potatoes when they are exposed to too much sunlight during cultivation as opposed to the ideal lighting conditions they should be subjected to.

The best way to break down and destroy the solanine present in raw potatoes in order to make them safe to eat is by cooking them.

  1. Digestive issues

You may experience some digestive issues when you eat raw potatoes.

This is due to the fact that uncooked potatoes contain starchy carbohydrates, also referred to as resistant starches, which are indigestible.

You might have trouble digesting your raw potatoes because the human digestive system isn’t designed to break down this kind of carbohydrate.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that attempting to digest starchy carbs won’t have any negative effects on your health.

  1. Adverse side effects

Alkaloids present in raw potatoes will definitely have some adverse side effects on the human body when you eat them raw.

It’s not unusual to experience stomach upsets, itchiness, headaches, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and a few other symptoms that can range from mild to extreme.

What is the healthiest way to eat a potato?

According to medical experts, the healthiest way to eat a potato is to wash them properly, leave the skin on and bake them.

Healthy cooking methods include boiling, baking, roasting, or steaming potatoes. These methods don’t add any extra fat or calories. Avoid frying potatoes, as this can increase their calorie and fat content.

You also want to keep the skin on. The skin of the potato contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so leaving it on when you cook and eat potatoes can boost their nutritional value.

Lastly, consider healthy toppings! Instead of adding butter, cheese, or sour cream, try healthier toppings such as plain Greek yogurt, salsa, or fresh herbs to add flavor to your potatoes without adding extra calories.

How many ways can you cook potatoes?

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods out there.

You can choose to boil, bake, fry, mash, roast them, and more. But if you’re getting tired of the same old potato dishes, there are a lot of different ways to cook potatoes that will add some variety to your meals.

Meanwhile, you want to consider the potato recipes below:

  1. Potato Pizza

Potato pizza may sound strange, but trust me – it’s breathtakingly delicious. Imagine thinly sliced potatoes layered on top of a pizza crust with cheese, herbs, and other toppings of your choice.

It’s a fun twist on traditional pizza and a great way to use up leftover potatoes.

  1. Potato Tacos

You better believe it. These tacos are vegetarian and have spicy potatoes as the filling as well as fresh salsa and avocado on top. They’re a filling and delicious meal that will satisfy even the most demanding “carnivores”.

  1. Loaded Potato Skins

Loaded potato skins are the ideal party food if you’re looking for something entertaining. For a flavorful and filling snack, scoop out the insides of cooked potatoes and stuff them with cheese, bacon, and sour cream.


What does a potato worm look like?

Larvae, caterpillar-like (PTW, worm), are gray, cream, or pale green with a dark brown head about half to three-quarter inch long. Pupae are yellow or rust-colored, and pupation takes place in the soil, on stored tubers, or among dead leaves or other detritus.

Can you get parasites from raw potatoes?

You can get parasites from raw potatoes, although the risk is relatively low. The most common parasite in potatoes is the potato cyst nematode, typically found in the soil where potatoes are grown. If a potato is not properly cleaned/cooked, the nematode can survive and be ingested.


In general, the idea that eating potatoes give you worms is an unfounded myth. But this can also be true for an extreme person.

While using proper food handling and preparation methods is always a good idea, there is no reason to be terrified of raw potatoes. So feel free to indulge in your potatoes as long as they are properly cooked.