Why One Nutritionist Calls Potatoes Nature's Diet Pill (4:00)
While we have been taught for so long that potatoes are the enemy when it comes to keeping the weight off, today's experts suggest that may not be the case. With potato consumption in American down by 30 percent since 2000, it seems that people everywhere are swearing off the spud in favor of other healthy sides. But it turns out, potatoes are actually quite nutrient dense and can help balance blood sugar, improve your mood and sleep, and help you maintain a healthy gut. One potato has 150 calories and is full of nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc while help the body maintain bone structure, strength, balance, and produce and maintain collagen. What's more, potatoes are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, choline, and they're fat-free as well.
The reason potatoes get dumped into the "no" column has more to do with the toppings and method of preparation (cheese, sour cream, frying oil, salt), then with the potato itself. As JJ Virgin explains, potatoes can actually help you lose weight because these slow release carbs give you a steady sustained energy that can help boost serotonin, stifle cravings, and improve your mood. So while you are encouraged to reintroduce potatoes back into your eating lineup, you should do so the right way. Check out chef Roblé Ali's tips to shop smart and end the war on potatoes once and for all:
Eat Your Potato Cold
While you may be tempted to fry or bake your taters, think again. Eating them cold helps you absorb resistant starch to keep you feeling fuller longer and manage your weight. Luckily, there are countless cold potato salad recipes you can try to find your favorite combo of flavors.
Always Choose Organic
Since potatoes are like little sponges they will soak up pesticides and other harmful chemicals when you buy them at the store. Try and always purchase organic potatoes to ensure you're only getting the nutrients you need and leaving all the bad stuff behind.
Look to the Recipe First
Certain potatoes are better suited for different recipes and cooking styles so always consider your recipe when making your selection. Russet potatoes are high in antioxidants and are great in salads and soups, yellow potatoes can work in any recipe which is why they're considered an all-purpose choice, blue or purple potatoes are best for steaming, baking, and boiling, and white potatoes are low in starch and ideal for roasting or cooking au gratin.
More: The Potato Cheat Sheet
Say Yes to Sweet Potatoes
On your quest to reintroduce potatoes back into your diet, don't forget about the red/orange variety. Sweet potatoes are delicious when baked, fried, or even used as the main ingredient in a pie, thanks to their natural sweetness. You can also experiment in the kitchen and make sweet potato jerky, which Ali recommends as a yummy and healthy snack for your canine companion.