Monday, January 31, 2011

This Spud's for You

Recently I was lamenting on facebook about how annoying it is that potatoes are such a cheap, versatile and tasty food, yet lacking in the nutrition department. Well, some of my tater loving friends quickly jumped in to stick up for the widely misunderstood tuber and showed me the error of my ways.

Like many people, I was under the impression (from diet and fitness magazines of yesteryear) that, aside from some vitamins in the skin, potatoes were pretty much just all starchy carbs. And we all know how evil carbs are. Aaaahhh! My wise and knowledgeable friends insisted that taters are not only delicious, they are also very nutritious.

Could it really be true? Are these unassuming and lumpy little things a super food? Had I been depriving myself and my family of all the yummy possibilities of the potato all for nothing? I set out to get to the cold hard facts about the potato, and here is what I found at
Misinformation and misconceptions regarding the nutritional value of the potato abound. In fact, an average (~5.3 oz) potato with the skin contains:

  • 45% of the daily value for vitamin C
  • 620 mg potassium, comparable to bananas, spinach and broccoli
  • trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc
  • all for only 110 calories and no fat.
And potatoes with the skin on are an excellent source of fiber. In fact, with 2 grams of fiber per serving, a potato equals or exceeds that of many "whole" grain products-whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and many cereals. Despite the popular notion, the majority of nutrients are not found in the skin, but in the potato itself. Nonetheless, leaving the skin on the potatoes retains all the nutrients, the fiber in the skin and makes potatoes easier to prepare.

Needless to say, I was wrong. (See, I can admit it.) And learning the nutritional benefits of potatoes got me really, really excited about all of the delicious possibilities. And I'm not talking butter, sour cream, bacon and cheese. THAT is when good potatoes turn BAD!

So for the next few days, I will be paying homage to the potato. My attempt at retribution for the slanderous and libelous remarks I've made about them in recent years.


  1. Potatoes are SO good! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Yummmmm, you have try real sweet potatoes, not the orange one's those are yams, but sweet potatoes, they kind of look yellow, and are always oddly shaped. They are packed full of goods and a little moister then regular idaho baking potatoes.

  3. I love sweet potatoes! I just did some roasted with olive oil, sage, and thyme not too long ago. They are sooooo delish! I think I've always used the yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably. They always put them together at the grocery store!