(WXYZ) – In our carb-conscious world, many of you associate potatoes with weight gain – but is the potato healthy or not?
The potato in its natural form is actually very healthy. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But when you turn potatoes into French fries, hash browns or mashed potatoes using a lot of butter, sour cream or oil, they become an unhealthy dish packed with added calories, fat and sodium.
A medium unsalted plain-baked potato is roughly 160 calories and has about 4 grams of protein. They’re not only fat-free, but cholesterol-free as well.
I’d recommend eating the skins because they contain fiber, roughly 2 grams per ounce. The skins also have vitamins B, C, iron, calcium and potassium. The fiber and protein can help you feel full longer.
Potatoes can easily be a part of a healthy diet so here are my prescriptions:
- Instead of frying potatoes, lower your fat and calorie intake by roasting them with olive oil. Season with rosemary or oregano.
- Try adding potatoes to soups and stews. Keep an eye on portion control and make sure it’s not the only vegetable at any meal.
- When buying potatoes, chose ones that are firm, mostly-smooth and round. Before cooking, scrub potatoes with running water and remove any blemishes.
- Potatoes should be stored in a dry, dark environment. Don’t put them in the refrigerator as this can affect their flavor. And don’t place them next to onions as they’ll decade faster.
Potatoes are potassium rich. They contain more than a banana and provide roughly 20% of the recommended daily value for this mineral. Your body needs potassium to work properly as it helps your nerves to function. Low potassium can cause muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat and mood changes.
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