The humble potato, demonized and marginalized by diets everywhere. In recent years many people have warned against eating potatoes, saying that they are void of nutrition and full of empty calories. This may be true in the case of hot chips/French fries but not for the potato as a vegetable. Today I will show you some reasons why you should eat potatoes.
They are loaded with good nutrients:
Contrary to the new common wisdom, potatoes contain many nutrients necessary to good health. An average sized potato (300grams) contains:
In fact, during the 1800's many Irish people lived entirely on potatoes and milk without any major nutritional deficiencies.
Potatoes will fill you up!
A research study was undertaken to determine what foods were seen as most filling. There were a large range of foods tested included many vegetables, grains and meats. White bread was rated as 100 to give a reference point. Of all the foods tested, potatoes came out on top with a score of over 300 on the satiation index. This alone is one of the best reasons to eat potatoes, even beef and chicken scored far lower on how much they will fill you up per calorie. If you are trying to lose weight, don’t skip out on the potatoes as long as they are not mixed in with loads of butter, cheese, salt, milk etc.
They are versatile and cheap to cook with:
Potatoes are great to cook with as they can be used in many ways, with skin or without, boiled, baked or mashed. All of these cooking methods taste great and as we have seen above they are a great addition to any meal to help fill you up. The healthiest way to eat potatoes is plain boiled as they will have nothing added to them. When baking or roasting, be sparing with oil to ensure you are not adding in excess calories to a great food. With mashed potatoes, go easy on the milk and butter.
While there are over 4000 varieties of potatoes, you would be lucky to find 5 varieties in most supermarkets. A local farmers market may have as many as 15-20 different types of potatoes. They all have different tastes, textures and colours and will have a range of different vitamins and minerals in them. Where possible, choose to eat a variety of different potatoes. All of them are cheap to buy and can usually be bought in bulk.
Sweet potato vs White potato:
Another trend has been to demonize the white potato while simultaneously recommending the sweet potato as an alternative. There is nothing about sweet potato that makes it healthier or better to eat than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain some nutrients not found in white potatoes and vice versa. Feel free to eat both of these types of potatoes.
Thanks for reading and as always please ask any questions or comments below.