This Spud’s For You!

Red Potatoes
Photo by Dmitry Maslov via dreamstime

When we think of eating potatoes, many of us picture french fries. Others picture baked potatoes topped with sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon, butter or sometimes all of the above.  No wonder most of us think that potatoes are fattening!  You have no idea how many times I have heard: “I need to lose some weight, so I am going to stop eating potatoes.”

And my response to that is always, “Why?” The truth is that potatoes are actually very healthy for you when eaten the right way.

Why are potatoes healthy?
Potatoes have a bad reputation for being fattening, but that is really not the case.  A medium size baked potato with the skin has only 160 calories, is low in sodium and is virtually fat free.  Not only that, potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals.  They are a good source of potassium, fiber, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B6, vitamin C and niacin.  Now to get all those nutrients, make sure to eat the skin, since many of the nutrients are concentrated there or directly below it.

How should I eat my potatoes?
Like I said before, potatoes are not unhealthy.  It is when we fry them and serve them with high-calorie, high-fat toppings such as butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon that they becomes a nightmare for those watching their weight.  All those toppings add hundreds of calories to your potato.  So, to keep that potato healthy, make sure to:

  1. Stay away from fatty toppings: For a healthier alternative to fatty toppings, try salsa or herbs, such as garlic, oregano, basil or pepper to spice up the taste of your potato.  As for potato salads, there are some wonderful recipes out there that don’t use mayonnaise and are not only healthier, but tasty too!
  2. Don’t fry your potatoes: Fried potatoes have up to three times more more calories and up to twelve times more fat then a baked potato.
  3. Eat the skin: The skin is actually tasty and is filled with wonderful vitamins and minerals.  The only reason to not eat the skin, is if you notice it has a greenish tinge.  That means that it has been exposed to too much light after harvest and is damaged.  Eating that area could cause cramps, diarrhea and fatigue.  So, cut that portion out.

So, if you are watching your weight, don’t cut out the potatoes.  Cut out the high-fat toppings, fried foods and high-calorie sweets, instead.  After all, potatoes are not only almost fat free, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals!

Comments (2)

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  1. Thanks for setting the record straight on a very mis-understood veggie. French fries=bad, but baked potatoes especially w. the skin=filling and nutritious.

  2. ZuDfunck says:

    Thats a lot like my tagline:

    This ZuD’s for You!

    Small world, saw some dude twittering you with Monterey I use to go there in the early seventies. Some crazy dude pulled my hair out by the roots on the beach. And I saw Paper Moon at the local theater there.

    Memories! ah yes


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