The fact about potatoes is that it is the most popular food to eat worldwide.
If we go by the rule that only fruit has seeds we have to conclude that a potato is a vegetable.
There are many different opinions about potatoes and the vary from complete negative and tell you to never eat them like in a Paleo diet, to people who love them and tell you they are okay to eat.
What is the problem with potatoes
If there is one food that is controversial than I think it is safe to say the potatoes are the ones.
The reason that people opt against eating potatoes boil down to a few.
- High in carbohydrates
- Spike blood sugar
- Used in processed food
You can ask yourself if you can blame the potato or is it the way we eat them.
Scientifically facts op potatoes
I think it is time to let science tell us what the facts are about potatoes.
Potatoes contain a lot of good things. Here is a short list of what one Russet potato can do to you with its list of properties.
- Calories 160
- Fat <1 gram
- Protein 4 gram
- Carbohydrates 36 grams
- Carbohydrates 36 grams
And it also contains many minerals and Vitamins like C, B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Niacin and Folate.
Besides that potatoes are also high in antioxidants and can help with digestion problems because of their fiber content.
The minerals I mentioned above may help you to keep your bones strong. Just remember that most of them are in the skin, however.
Why is it that with all the good things potatoes have such a bad reputation?
Let’s have a look at what I wrote before that they are high in Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are famous for their ability to let you gain weight and potatoes are pretty high in Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates also spike blood sugar although sweet and red potatoes are significantly lower in their glycemic index.
There is however also proof that it is not the potato but the way we eat them.
Most potatoes in America are eaten in the form of anything else than in the way they grow.
- Potato chips
- French fries
Even when they get baked or mashed we add a stick of butter in it or smother them in sour cream and cheese.
When used as a boiled potato most of the time they get peeled and loos the vitamin, fiber, and minerals that are found in the skin.
There are parts of the world where the consumption of potatoes is a lot higher than here at home in the USA.
Many of these groups have a very low number of our modern diseases like heart problems and strokes. They also have lower blood pressure and lower weight. (You can find the resources for this at the bottom of this post)
Like I mentioned before we have to ask ourselves if it maybe is not the potato but the type of potato and the way we prepare them that we should blame for all the bad reviews a potato gets.
Who should be careful eating potatoes
If you are diabetes or are having weight problems it is better to keep your potato intake low. Talk to your physician for more advice.
What potato is the best to eat?
If you look in the stores you will find a whole variety of potatoes and in my opinion, the all look appetizing.
There is however a difference between the different types of potatoes. Let’s have a look at the most common ones we see in the stores.
Red potatoes. This type has a thin skin and contains a lot of antioxidants and nutrients. There are studies that show they have twice as much as their white friends.
Purple potatoes. These are also called blue potatoes and they can help decrease inflammation and help repair damaged DNA. There are also claims that they lower the change of getting heart problems.
Sweet potatoes. This type is very nutrient-dense and there are claims that they have anti-cancer, diabetic and inflammatory properties.
Yellow potatoes. These are not much different than white potatoes since they are a cross between the normal white potato and the yellow ones found in South America.
My take on potato consumption
After all this reading and writing it is time to tell you what I think about potato consumption. It is obvious that white potatoes, although used the most, are not the best potato to eat.
A much better option is the sweet potato with its lower carbohydrates and lower glycemic index.
- If you eat potatoes eat them with the skin since that is where most nutrients are found.
- Stay away from French fries and other ways potatoes are used in fast food.
- If you eat a baked potato find alternatives for the butter, sour cream and bacon bits. I read that salsa tastes well on baked potatoes.
- If you fry them use an air fryer as I reviewed here
There are tons of ways to prepare potatoes and all you have to do is do an internet search and you will find healthy tips to eat potatoes.
Let me know and share with the readers here what your opinion is on potatoes and how you prepare and eat them. If you do!