White potatoes are a healthy choice!
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
White potatoes are a healthy source of multiple nutrients when prepared appropriately.
WHAT WE KNOW
Unfortunately, white potatoes have often been denounced as fattening, and the anti-carb craze of recent years has only added to that undeserved perception. What many people don’t know is that your body uses carbohydrates as its main source of energy, so eating a “no-carb” or “low-carb” diet is only harming your body because it is not able to get the energy it needs!
A plain, medium potato can actually aid in weight loss/maintenance. Potatoes are an excellent source for vitamins C and B6, a good source for fiber (which keeps your stomach satisfied longer) and magnesium, AND they have more potassium than bananas! Plus, each potato has only 110 calories, making it a great choice to maintain a healthy weight.
When potatoes are drenched in butter, deep-fried, or oozing with bacon and high-fat cheeses, over-the-top calories, fat, and cholesterol come into play.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
While bright, colorful fruits and vegetables are a reflection of various phytochemicals beneficial to the body, some phytochemicals are colorless. This is why it is also important to include ‘white’ fruits and vegetables in your diet (not white refined foods, but white fruits and vegetables!) White fruits and vegetables include bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, turnips, jicama, garlic, white-fleshed fruit like apples & pears, and potatoes. Potatoes contain nutrients that many Americans are lacking in their diets such as potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. They are also naturally fat free and cholesterol free. Bananas are often thought of as the “go-to” food for potassium, but don’t forget about the potato. A small, plain baked potato with skin provides 738 milligrams of potassium while a large banana provides 487 milligrams. A potato contains 4 grams of fiber, which is about as much fiber as half a cup of broccoli.*
Preparation is the key when it comes to most foods. Avoid using butter and other animal fats when preparing vegetables, such as potatoes. Try steaming or baking your potatoes, and topping them with nonfat Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
You can also boost their flavor by adding fresh or dried herbs such as dill or parsley. Check out a few of our recipes featuring potatoes …
* Weaver, Connie and Elizabeth T. Marr. “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients: Purdue Roundtable Executive Summary.” Advances in Nutrition 4 (2013): 3185-265. Advances in Nutrition. May 2013. Web. 22 May 2013. View Article