Potatoes can be found in many forms, including mashed potatoes and scalloped cheesy potatoes. They’re America’s most popular vegetable. But are potatoes good choices for your health and well-being?
Many people have misconceptions about potatoes’ health benefits. Adrienne Posner from UC Davis Health is a dietetic intern who breaks down the nutrition information about potatoes and explains why you might like to have them as part of your next meal.
Are Potatoes Vegetables?
Yes. Yes. These vegetables are starchy, which is why they have a higher percentage of starch than others. This is good. This means that vegetables contain more calories and usually less fiber.
Starch is a type o carbohydrate that our body uses to make glucose. Starchy foods can be an excellent food source to add calories and/or a variety of food options to complement a meal.
Many cultures serve side dishes with pasta, potatoes, or rice. These choices are high in calories and can give hungry families a more satisfying meal. There are also other types:
- Green peas
- Winter squash, such as butternut or acorn
- Sweet potatoes and Yams
- Beans, lentils
Corn for Nutrition and Health
Potatoes, in addition to starch, contain vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. They are high levels of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. Because they were rich in vitamin C, potatoes were a lifesaver during the early days. Potassium is another major nutrient found in potatoes. It aids in our nervous system, muscles, heart, and brain functions. Fiber is an essential nutrient in potatoes.
Different types of potatoes, including those in different colors, have more nutrients that are beneficial to your health. The higher the level of antioxidants in a potato, the better. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, an important nutrient to support eye health and immunity. Purple potatoes are high in antioxidants like Anthocyanins, which can help protect against heart disease and prevent cancer.
Types of Potatoes
There are many sizes and colors available for potatoes. There are many kinds of potatoes. You can find the following types of potatoes in most grocery shops:
- Fingerling potatoes: Small, stubby, finger-shaped potatoes
- Russet potatoes: Large potatoes with dark skin and white flesh
- Sweet potatoes: Large potatoes that are bright orange in color and have a sweet taste
- Red and white potatoes.
- Purple potatoes: Oval-shaped purple potatoes with purple flesh.
What’s The Best Way To Make Potatoes Healthy?
Potatoes can be considered unhealthy if they are stuffed full of toppings, such as cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Being mindful of both portion size, toppings, and other factors can make potatoes a comforting and satisfying choice for any meal.
You Don’t Need Potatoes
Potatoes are budget-friendly and have many health benefits. They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and energy. To maximize the nutritional value of potatoes, you should include different varieties.
Healthy Potato Recipes
These three healthy potato dishes from Good Food Is Good Medicine are great for breakfast, dinner, and snacks.
- Chipotle mashed sweet potatoes
- Grilled meat with roasted potato corn cake and fondue.
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts