Are Potatoes Healthy? Yes they are!

It’s a surprise for many to discover one medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains:

  • 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C
  • More potassium (620 mg) than even bananas, spinach, or broccoli;
  • 10 percent of the daily value of B6;
  • Trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc

…and all this for just 110 calories and no fat, sodium orcholesterol.

More surprising facts:

Potatoes are a vegetable.  The popular tuber counts toward the total recommended servings of vegetables. One medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) counts as 1 cup of starchy vegetables.

Overall diet quality can be improved when adults and children consume (non-fried) white potatoes. Research released in April 2011 using data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008 demonstrates meals that contain potatoes contain more servings of other vegetables, and are significantly higher in potassium, fiber and vitamin C.

Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate.   The majority of carbohydrates in potatoes are complex carbohydrates, your body’s main energy source.

Only about 20% of the potato’s nutrition is found in the skin.  In fact, most of the vitamin C and potassium are found in the potato’s flesh, but that good for-you fiber is found in the skin.  That’s why it’s best to enjoy every part of the spud.

Potatoes can be part of a weight loss regimen. Research released by the University of California, Davis and the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology in October 2010 demonstrates that people can include potatoes in their diet and still lose weight. The results of this study confirm what health professionals and nutrition experts have said for years; when it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups, rather, it is reducing calories that count.

Potatoes contain antioxidants. The amount and type depend on the variety of potato, but the predominant antioxidants are certain carotenoids and anthocyanins.

There easy and healthy ways to prepare potatoes so they stay nutritious. Try topping a baked potato with salsa, steamed vegetables, and low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt. Consider mashing potatoes with low-fat chicken broth. Potatoes roasted with olive oil, garlic, and a touch of herbs are delicious. 

Potatoes are vegetables and they provide significant amounts of potassium and vitamin C. One medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, has more potassium (620mg) than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of itamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium in the produce department. Research released in September 2011, also using data from NHANES 2001-2008, shows potatoes are one of the best nutritional values in the produce department, providing significantly better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables.Both the 2005 and 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines identified potassium as a shortfall nutrient in the diets of Americans.

Potatoes are part of a healthful diet. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have always shown that potatoes can be part of a well-balanced diet.  So, enjoy your favorite vegetable!