Sunday, September 6, 2009

Q&A Potatoes

Q: Are potatoes good for anything? Or are they just good tasting?
xoxo Jill

I love this question. I am all about eating anything natural that grows out of the ground, but the WHITE potato is a different case. Here is my list of pros and cons.

They contain a lot potassium
They provide satiety rather quickly
They are relatively cheap
There are so many different ways to prepare them, and most are easy

Besides potassium, they aren't very nutrient dense
They are very starchy and have a big glycemic load (this means eating a white potato can have the same, if not worse effect on the body as table sugar because they are absorbed into the blood stream very fast)
They are very high in carbohydrates- Carbohydrates aren't bad, but carbohydrate-dense foods should be avoided unless you are extremely active
The cooking methods and serving styles are usually dangerous to our bodies (potato chips, french fries, coated in salt, hash-browns ect.)
Some studies have shown that societies with higher consumption of potatoes have a higher risk of diabetes.
The skin is the best part, but most people discard the skin or peel the potato as part of the recipe

Me personally, I do not eat white potatoes. I may have a couple french fries every now and again, but the cons out weigh the pros for me. There are 2 cases where potatoes (baked) would be good for me to eat.
1) In a time of famine
2) If I were an avid runner training for 2+ hours a day

America is known as the meat and potato country. America is also demonstrating the fastest rise in obesity ever. My advice to all those white potato-aholics would be to get to know the sweet potato. They are more tasty, have more nutrients, and ranked most nutritious vegetable in 1992 in a study by the The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Here is a recipe for honey roasted sweet potatoes (I leave skins on) that I love to make and it can't get much easier! I hope this was educational, persuasive, and useful!,1946,FOOD_9936_34170_PRINT-RECIPE-4X6-CARD,00.html

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