The Truth about PotatoesMarch 7, 2016
Eat Mashed and Baked Potatoes!
During this Irish time of year, let’s look at one of the most commonly “Forbidden” foods, potatoes. In the nightshade family along with the tomato, pepper and eggplant, they are found in the underground portion of the stem, tuber. First found in South America about 5,000 years ago, the potato was able to be grown at high altitudes and in many climates. Following this time, many European countries relied on potatoes as a staple in their diets, including Ireland.
While most potatoes are consumed fried, let’s get down to the health benefits of a baked, roasted or mashed potato. One potato contains over a half a milligram of vitamin B6, which is involved in about 100 reactions in your body, including much of your metabolism! It also has benefits on your nervous system (that’s your brain!) and potential benefit on your cardiovascular system. Potatoes are also a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B3 and fiber!
With that, many people give potatoes a bad wrap because of they carbohydrate (or sugar) content. While yes, all carbohydrates break down to sugar in your blood, potatoes being a plant form of carbohydrate gets my vote. One medium potato (with the skin!) contains 163 calories, 897mg of potassium (wow!), 37 grams of carbs, 4.7 grams of fiber, 1.7 grams of sugar and 4.3 grams of protein. Sweet potatoes are also a good form of plant-based carbohydrate, but they do have less fiber, less protein and more vitamin A, vitamin C and sugar than regular white potatoes! Always eat the skin of the potato, and of every plan food for that matter, it’s where most of the fiber and nutrients are located.
So enjoy white potatoes as your carbohydrate at your meal! Make sure to enjoy a potato with some fat, protein and extra fiber to control your blood sugar. For example, enjoy pork tenderloin with roasted brussels sprouts and a baked potato. Try pureeing them with garlic and olive oil to make healthier mashed potatoes and you could even add some cauliflower to reduce the carbohydrate! Dice them and toss them with fresh herbs and roast in the oven. Every year, I enjoy an Irish Beef Stew with grass fed beef, carrots, parsnips, turn-ups and potatoes. Enjoy!