Before we get started, let’s get something straight: It is a fact that potatoes hold a valuable place in a healthy diet. This is something I wish everyone knew as it is alarming how negative news about natural sources of carbohydrates are being circulated by fans of fad diets – food trends that are usually a joke or worse, a threat to the health of the public.
Potatoes are nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates which fuel cell metabolism. Most importantly, carbohydrates are the only fuel source of the brain, hence is essential for optimal mental and physical performance.
That being said, here are some nutrition facts you need to know about this staple food:
1. Potatoes can be part of a weight management regimen.
It is critical to take in the appropriate number of calories to match the demands of your body per day and a medium (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains 110 calories and 2 grams of dietary fiber. They are also naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. Studies suggest that diets low in fat and sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
But where does the potato’s bad reputation come from? Like any food, what determines the health value is how often and how much you eat them, as well as how the food is prepares. Always remember the rule of thumb to moderate the intake of food that is highly processed. It is also advisable to be conscious of your intake of fatty, salty, and sugary food for the maintenance of good health.
2. Potatoes are packed full of body-regulating nutrients.
Potatoes contain lots of minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C that helps support the body’s immune system; they are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
Most notably, potatoes are a good source of potassium that help to lower blood pressure. This is important because potassium is a mineral that lowers blood pressure by counterbalancing the effects of the sodium-rich modern diet. It also lessens stress levels by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing less friction in the cardiovascular system.
3. A healthy and satisfying meal of potatoes depends on the recipe and how it is prepared.
The potato is a highly versatile ingredient as you can use it in multiple cuisines. They can be baked, boiled, roasted, grilled – you name it. You can also employ a variety of flavors and cooking techniques in food preparation – preferably using less salt and fat.
With potatoes available year round in the Philippines, it has evolved to become a basic ingredient in most classic Filipino dishes such as giniling, nilaga, menudo, afritada, and adobo. Potatoes readily soak up all the flavours and become a convenient extender when catering to a larger group of people.
Amidst multiple misinformation on magic weight loss pills, fad diets, and “superfoods,” you can trust that potatoes remain to be a wholesome inclusion in a healthy diet. It stands as a versatile and nutrient dense source of energy for normal individuals as well as for those with concerns on weight management, hypertension, and other diseases.