The versatility of potatoes is what makes them a popular root vegetable.
Potatoes can be controversial.
Many people limit their intake of starch.
Also, potatoes are frequently fried and processed.
This article covers potato health.
What Are Potatoes?
Potatoes can be considered a kind of edible plant tuber and are widely used around the world.
Many species share similar characteristics, with starchy skin and thin, nutritiously-rich skin.
Potatoes can also be boiled or steamed and fried, or baked.
Potatoes Are High In Nutrients
Different types of potatoes have different nutrients.
One medium Russet baked potato (6.1 ounces or 173g) provides the following:
- Calories: 168
- Fat: 0 g
- Protein: 5 grams
- Carbs: 37 Grams
- Fiber: 4 g
- Sodium: 24 milligrams
- Vitamin D: 37%
- Vitamin A6: 31% RDI
- Potassium – 27% of RDI
- Manganese – 20% RDI
Potatoes Contain Antioxidants
Antioxidants reduce the risk of developing free radicals. This can lead to chronic illness.
Studies show that antioxidants are effective in preventing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Flavonoids in potatoes include carotenoids and photonic acids.
One study concluded that colored potatoes neutralize free radicals better than white potatoes.
A test-tube study suggests that antioxidants in potatoes may slow the progression of liver and colon cancer.
They Provide Resistant Starch
Small intestine starch is resistant.
It goes to the large intestine, where it feeds good bacteria.
Cooked, refrigerated potatoes have the most resistant starch.
Resistant starch benefits blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
10 people consumed 30 grams of resistant starch daily for four weeks. Insulin sensitivity increased 33% with resistant starch.
10 subjects received 50 grams of raw potato starch in another trial. They saw lower blood sugar and increased satiety.
Raw potatoes have resistant starch, but they're cooked. This destroys microorganisms and antinutrients that inhibit nutrient absorption.
Potatoes Can Be Satiating
Potatoes are filling.
In one study, 11–13 people rated the satiety of common foods.
Boiled potatoes were seven times more filling than croissants.
In another study, 11 adults' food intake and satiety were affected by rice, potatoes, and pasta.
Potato skins contain fiber that passes through the body undigested, reducing hunger.
A Possible Link Between Eating Certain Potatoes And Gaining Weight Has Been Found
Some studies link potatoes and potato products to weight gain.
Each daily serving of potatoes and processed potato chips contributed an average of 1.3 pounds (0.58 kg) and 1.7 pounds (0.77 kg) to weight gain.
How often, how much, and how you cook them matters.
Other studies found no link between potato consumption and obesity.
Fries and chips have more calories and fat than boiled, steamed, or roasted potatoes. Excess calories can cause weight gain.
Potatoes Contain Glycoalkaloids
Glycoalkaloids are a family of potentially dangerous nightshade chemicals.
Solanine and chaconine are in potatoes.
Green potatoes contain glycoalkaloids.
Potatoes produce chlorophyll when exposed to light, turning green. Light can increase glycoalkaloid concentrations when chlorophyll is produced.
Glycoalkaloids are poisonous in large doses.
Potato glycoalkaloids may aggravate inflammatory bowel disease, according to an animal study.
Drowsiness, heightened sensitivity, itching, and stomach problems are other symptoms.
Regularly ingested glycoalkaloids are safe.
Potato peel contains 60–70% of its glycoalkaloid content.
How To Make Potatoes Healthier?
Potatoes are healthy in moderation.
They're satiating, nutrient-rich, and adaptable.
Preparation affects their nutrition.
Eating both the skin and flesh of potatoes increases fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Healthy cooking methods are also important. Cooking destroys harmful microorganisms and antinutrients.
Baking, boiling, and steaming potatoes reduce fat and calories.
Whole potatoes help reduce fat, calories, and sodium.