Potatoes…Are they evil?!

Well… in a word… “No”.  But here’s why.  A recent push from the United States Department of Agriculture tried to limit the provision of potatoes in US schools to twice a week.  US congress blocked the move, but here’s why we should love the potato!

Potatoes contain starchy carbohydrates. They release their energy slowly to keep you going in between meals.  The body can break down stored glucose (glycogen), fat & protein for energy but the process isn’t as efficient so you could feel tired & lethargic.

Potatoes are high in vitamin C and potassium. These are important for your immune system and controlling blood pressure.  High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke and heart attacks!

Our friend, the potato, is a good source of fibre which helps to prevent constipation, reduces the risk of developing some cancers and keeps us fuller for longer after a meal.

Potatoes are a low fat food! Portion control is important, and watch what you put on your potato.  Some diets restrict carbohydrate but this isn’t healthy in the long term.

Finally some potato related tips!

  • Aim to have a starchy carbohydrate (potato, rice, pasta, bread, cereal) at each meal but check your portion size.
  • If you’re watching calories, try tuna-sweetcorn or cottage cheese as a baked potato topping.  Avoid butter, hard cheeses, mayo and creamy sauces.
  • Bake, boil, mash (with a little milk) but only have chips occasionally.
  • If you don’t have time to oven bake, pierce the potato skin several times with a fork, wrap in kitchen paper then microwave for 6-10 minutes (depending on the power of the microwave and the size of the potato).  Give the potato 10 minutes in a medium/high heat oven to crisp up the skin!
By Rachel Vallis RD
Read more at Rachel’s Blog

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