Are Potatoes Healthy?

Often times when I talk to clients about carbs, potatoes are generally a topic of discussion. Potatoes are usually seen as an unhealthy carbohydrate that is contributing to weight-gain. French fries fresh out of the fryer, loaded baked potatoes, tater tots, potato chips, greasy hashbrowns, buttery mashed potatoes...and the list goes on. All of these potato dishes mentioned are definitely not considered health foods. I have good news though, the potatoes themself are not what make these dishes unhealthy but instead how they are being cooked and what they are being soaked, slathered and topped with.


Potatoes by themselves, without all the junk added to them, are actually very nutrient-dense.


Potato Nutrition:

  • Excellent source of vitamin C

  • High in Potassium

  • Great source of vitamin B6

  • High in fiber helping keep you full

  • Naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free

  • Packed with antioxidants

  • Starch in potatoes can improve digestive health

  • Low in calories

Healthline


The reason potatoes are often overlooked as a health food is because the Standard American Diet (SAD) tends to slather them with ingredients that are high in saturated fat like butter, oil, and cheese. When consumed without the added artery clogging ingredients, potatoes make a wonderful addition to any meal. Dr. John Mcdougall, MD actually refers to the as 'A Miracle of Nutrition'. I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE potatoes in just about every form, so this is great news! To learn more about potatoes and why we should be consuming a high starch diet, check out the presentation below by Dr. Mcdougall.




Now that we've established potatoes have a place in a well-balanced, health promoting diet, you may be wondering how to cook them in a healthy way without all the junk. Potatoes can be air fried, baked, steamed, and roasted all without using oil or butter. This is definitely not the norm in America. We tend to feel as though oil must be splashed in every pan or drizzled onto every food we cook, but this way of eating (not only potatoes but everything that we cook) is only harming our health and weight-loss progress.


One of my favorite ways to enjoy spuds is by taking yellow potatoes, slicing them into wedges, sprinkling them with salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings sound good (currently I've been using Trader Joes's Green & Red Hatch Chile Flakes) and air frying them for about 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. I always toss midway between cooking and sprinkle a little extra seasoning on top.


Below is another one of my favorite potato wedges recipes. I topped this batch with peach salsa and guacamole 😋.


Potatoes can also be sauteed on the stove top on medium heat using a little splash of water or vegetable broth instead of oil and baked or roasted in the oven with a splash of water, veggie broth, liquid aminos, or soy sauce.


Cooking and baking potatoes using this alternative healthy method will definitely taste different than greasy fries, but it is actually still surprisingly delicious! Plus, you get all the wonderful nutritional benefits that are naturally packed into potatoes.


Wondering how to transform your favorite potato recipe into a healthier version? I'm here to help! Send me an email at emily@meatlessmeals.net and I will help healthily your potato recipe.



Sources:

7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Potatoes (healthline.com)

Dr. McDougall's Health & Medical Center (drmcdougall.com)

Are Potatoes Healthy? Plus 3 New Ways to Cook Them - Switch4Good

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