If you have been avoiding Potatoes because you think they’re fattening then you can stop right now. If you’ve been told that they’re empty calories, then you’ve been lied to. So, are they bad for you or are they an quality food? A food that has been vilified as a devil Carb for years?
In the last 20 years or so Potatoes have received a growing bad press as a contributor to the obesity crisis that we are now in the midst of as well as the associated health complications that go with it. A conclusion has been drawn that Potatoes are empty calories and therefore over that period, Potato consumption has declined. With hindsight we can now see that Potatoes were not to blame for our rapidly altering average human physique.
Lets get to some facts, first off, how can a Potato be empty calories? If they were then they’d provide ZERO nutrients. In fact that statement could not be further from the truth!
Potatoes ARE rich in Carbohydrate and Carbs ARE a vital nutrient group that should be included in our diet! They also provide a concentrated source of Vitamin C, Dietary Fibre and Potassium. Incidentally all of which are nutrients which are nutrients of concern in todays obesity crisis. Fibre is lacking massively in the Western diet, a massive shame as it is a 5 Star nutrient that has a positive effect on the bodies blood sugar management levels, Heart health, Body composition & better digestion. Potatoes are high in soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol and is associated with leaner stomachs.
A Potato contains up to 3 times as much Potassium as a Banana and Potassium contributes to Heart , Bone and Kidney health. They even contain good amounts of Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc & Vitamin B6.
That demonised Potato also contains Resistant Starch which can: Increase Metabolic Rate, Reduce Insulin response to a meal, Improve Insulin Sensitivity, Reduce hunger, Increase Fat Burning & Decrease Fat Storage, Preserve Muscle Mass & Promote Weight-loss. It also acts as a pre-biotic fibre & thats a good thing! (Cooking can reduce the resistant starch level but that raises once they have cooled down).
Potatoes contain less than 1 calorie per gram although if you can only eat them as French Fries that calorific value increases dramatically. Of course boiled potatoes or a plain jacket will provide you with some decent calories however stuffing the jacket with Cheese, Beans, Sour Cream etc rockets that but in truth, the humble potato is not to blame!
So to sum up, Sugar is an empty calorie, Potato isn’t! Scientists now claim that the Potato is a forgotten source of nutrients and the potato is a fine source of Fibre &Potassium.
Eat them as a Carb component to your meal but eat them clean rather than ladled with excess calories!