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You Say Potato...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Katie Cardinal
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photo: Courtesy of Suat Eman

For years we’ve been taught that potatoes are bad for you. Their presence at the top of the Food Guide Pyramid is attributed to their starch content and somewhat high glycemic index. But what if the health benefits of potatoes outweighed their downfalls? Certainly potatoes shouldn’t be eaten daily to a sugar freak or diabetic, but they are quite healthy and actually beneficial to others if eaten in moderation. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of potatoes…

  • Potatoes contain all 22 amino acids to form complete proteins 
  • Potatoes are a high source of potassium (higher than bananas)
  • Potatoes are rich in minerals and Vitamin C and B
  • Potatoes contain 60 different kinds of phytochemicals in the skin and fles
  • Some potatoes contain high amounts of folic acid, quercetin and kukoamine
  • Potatoes are antioxidant dense

Potatoes are also ecologically friendly as they can be grown in a small area all year round and it only takes a few to make a meal. Many experts suggest that if they were to only choose one food for survival, it would be potatoes. What’s important to remember is to keep your potatoes healthy. Don’t fry the potatoes because that can add unwanted fats to the meal. Bake, boil, or sauté your potatoes for easy cooking and healthier eating.

So the next time you’re making a family meal, don’t shy away from potatoes for fear of their glycemic index. Mash them up, skin on, and serve them with your favorite vegetable and meat. Always remember to prepare your potatoes in the healthiest manner (avoid frying), include the skins, and to eat them in moderation. The nutritional components of the potato could help save your life.

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