Since time immemorial, the legendary potato has been a victim of misunderstanding. The diet-driven and health-crazy society of the modern era, points out how potato is not at all recommended in one’s diet. Some ill-informed fitness fanatics have failed to understand its true worth; i.e. a highly nutritious vegetable which when prepared and eaten in the right way, tends to help more often than hurt.
Read on as we peel back the truth about the recommended amount, nutritional composition and advantages of the goodness of potatoes.
Recommended amount of potatoes
On an average, the recommended daily amount is about 40g of potato. Though this may vary slightly depending on the kind of diet one is following.
Nutritional composition (for 100g potatoes)
- Energy – 97 Kcal
- Proteins -1.6g
- Fats – 0.1
- Carbohydrates – 22.6
- Iron – 0.48 mg
- Vitamin C – 17 mg
- Fibre – 0.4g
Five reasons to eat potatoes
Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutritionist and founder of www.
1. Potatoes are highly nutritious and energy-rich in nature: Potato is rich in complex carbohydrates (starch). It is one of the easiest types of starches to assimilate and contains two and half times less carbohydrate content than the same weight of bread. Potatoes also provide some small amounts of minerals, B group vitamins, beta-carotene (an antioxidant and vitamin), vitamin C, and high quality proteins. The protein content is about 7%. They are rich in certain essential amino acids (building blocks of proteins) which cannot be made by the body like glutamine, arginine.
2. Potatoes in nature are not full of fat: The reputation of potatoes as fattening comes from the way they are usually cooked. It is the fat that they are cooked in (gravy or fried) or added at the table in the form of butter of cream, that is the real culprit.
3. Eating potatoes can help prevent high blood pressure problems: Potatoes are also a good source of potassium even more than bananas with almost negligible sodium, making it useful for hypertension (high blood pressure). Its glycemic index (ability to raise blood sugar levels) is less than bread/rice, which makes it a permissible food for diabetics, contrary to popular belief. It is best taken with a meal within caloric requirements. (Read: Herbal remedies for hypertension)
4. Traditional medicine values the juice of raw potatoes: It helps in the treatment of digestive problems – indigestion, colic, gastritis, ulcers, liver disorders, gall stones, constipation and as an antacid.
5. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, B6, iron and Vitamin: They are also great antioxidants as they repair cells in the body and prevent cellular damage. (Read: What are antioxidants?)
How to eat potatoes in a healthy way
Now that you know the many benefits of this humble vegetable, let’s take a look at the various ways it can be eaten healthily. According to Rakhee Todankar, Nutritionist at Gold’s Gym India, the healthiest ways to consume potato are:
- Potatoes are best had boiled, steamed, grilled, roasted, and baked. Thus, potatoes can be cooked without butter or oil and mixed with other vegetables.
- It is better to sauté them dry with spices and herbs and cook with a little bit of water.
- It is always advisable to retain its skins as they contain fibre, flavonoids and other nutrients. When cooking potatoes, go for low-fat, low-sodium, and low-calorie toppings.
So instead of cutting them out of your meals, eat potatoes in a healthy way. Chuck the fries and wedges and opt for a sautéed or grilled version and reap in its various benefits.