You say Potato, I say yes!

By January 4, 2017 Recipes No Comments
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ashley-vangel

By: Ashley Vangel

Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in America’s diet today. Specifically, French fries and potato chips are America’s vegetables of choice. Americans once ate most of their potatoes fresh, but then in the 1950s these processed versions of potatoes became popular.

Potatoes have definitely had a bad rap over the years because of these popular processed foods and also due to their high carb content. They are certainly a comfort food, however that doesn’t necessary make them bad! Potatoes can most certainly be a part of a healthy diet, as long as they’re prepared in a more healthy way.

Instead of frying potatoes, think about baking, boiling, steaming, and mashing for a more optimal nutritional value. Take away some of that extra butter, cream, bacon, and salt and potatoes can make for an exceptionally healthy, nutrient-dense, and high fiber food.

Potatoes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. In fact there are about 100 varieties of potatoes. There’s red, yellow, gold, sweet, and even purple. There are large ones, small ones, and even some that are called “fingerling” because of how tiny they are. Each potato offers a range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that do wonders for our health.

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Just one medium sized potato contains about 45 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that not only does wonders to boost your immune health, but also helps to fight off harmful free radicals. They’re also a good source of potassium. Did you know that potatoes have even more potassium than bananas? Most of their potassium is found in the skin, so don’t go peeling your potatoes! Try “smashed” potatoes with the peels still on rather than mashed to get more potassium. Potassium intake is positively linked to lowering blood pressure. A single baked potato offers over three grams of fiber, most of which is found in the skin.

The best way to eat a potato is in its whole, unprocessed form. So next time you think about cooking potatoes, try baking, microwaving, and steaming them. These methods cause the lowest amounts of nutrients to be lost.

Just remember, you can have your potatoes and eat them too.

Ashley is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated from Framingham State University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics and she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut. (more)

 

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