Whether baked, mashed, scalloped or fried, potatoes can be served a variety of different ways. According to the National Potato Council, the potato is the second most consumed food in the United States with each of us eating an average of 135 pounds of potatoes a year. So with Americans eating so many potatoes, you may wonder exactly how nutritious are potatoes?
Potatoes are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. A medium sized potato contains only about 110 calories yet provides almost half of your daily vitamin C needs. Potatoes are also packed with complex carbohydrates, potassium and fiber. Most of the fiber can be found in the skin, so eat your potatoes with the skin when possible.
On their own, potatoes are very nutritious… it is how we prepare them that can make the difference between a healthy or unhealthy spud. To help keep your potatoes heart healthy, follow these super spud strategies:
- Limit your intake of fried potatoes. Instead choose healthier cooking methods including baking, roasting or boiling. If you like the taste of French-fries, try slicing potatoes into thin strips, then toss them with a little olive oil and salt and bake them until they are nicely browned.
- When preparing mashed potatoes, to keep them heart healthy yet creamy and delicious, mix them with a little olive oil, skim milk and reduced-fat sour cream.
- For a light lunch, top a baked potato with some shredded cheddar cheese and steamed veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower and chives.
Tips for Selecting and Storing Potatoes
When shopping for potatoes, look for those that are clean, firm, smooth, dry and uniform in size. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well ventilated place for use within 3-5 weeks.
For a delicious and healthy potato recipe, try this one for Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup.