Are Potatoes Good For You?
There is a lot of conflicting advice online and in diet books about what constitutes a healthy diet. This is certainly true when it comes to the humble potato.
Are potatoes good for you? Do they help your diet or hinder it? We’ve debunked some myths and put forward the benefits of eating this simple and versatile vegetable.
Are Potatoes High In Carbs?
Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates. While many diet plans may indicate that this makes them a “bad” food, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your body needs carbohydrates to work efficiently. This is especially true when you are working out. Every meal should contain a portion of carbohydrates, and a potato is a good option.
It is also worth noting that potatoes in their natural form are an unprocessed carbohydrate. This makes it much more likely for the body to find it easy to digest efficiently. So if you are prone to bloating or digestive issues, potatoes could be the carbohydrate source for you.
Are Potatoes High In Calories?
A medium-sized potato has around 110 calories. So they are fairly low in calories, considering their fibre content makes them particularly filling and satisfying. It is often the way potatoes are prepared and served that bump up their calorie content.
For example, frying them in oil to make chips or mixing them with butter and milk to make mashed potatoes will increase the calories they contain.
Are Potatoes Nutritious?
Potatoes are incredibly nutritious. They are fantastic sources of potassium (more than a banana!), which can help to lower blood pressure. A potato will also provide half your intake of vitamin C, which helps to boost your immune system.
Interestingly, despite increasingly being labelled a fattening food, potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B6, which has been linked to improved metabolism.
In fact, potatoes are so nutritious that studies have shown communities that eat mostly potatoes have very few of the problems that are often linked to a limited diet.
In addition, children that have grown up with this potato-saturated diet grow and develop completely normally. Of course, we do not advocate a diet limited to mostly potatoes, but it does prove their powers of nourishment.
Do Potatoes Detox You?
Potatoes are a good source of antioxidants. They are also free from fat, cholesterol and sodium. So, in essence, they will help the body to rid itself of toxins that are accumulating. They may not be as fashionable as green tea or a retreat weekend, but they still do the job.
Are Sweet Potatoes Better than White Potatoes?
It really depends on what vitamins you are after. Sweet potatoes are higher in fibre, so they’re more filling, and in Vitamin A which is great for your skin. White potatoes are higher in magnesium, potassium and iron. So unless you want to increase a specific mineral or vitamin in your diet, choose the one you like the taste of most!
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.
Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.
Find out more about Claire’s experience here.