In addition to being cheap, the potato is low in fat and high in fiber and protein . In addition, an average tuber provides about half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6, as well as minerals, including potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. And all this against only 150 calories.
“The fad of low carbohydrate diets has turned people away from the potato, and that’s a shame,” said Matthew Mailman, a dietitian in Penticton, BC. ” This tuber has many benefits. and is a good source of nutrients. ”
While it’s true that fat chips, potato chips and potato gratin will not enhance your figure, there is nothing to stop you from eating this tuber even if you’re watching your weight. In fact, unlike white bread and sugar, the potato contains complex carbohydrates which, as we know, prolong the feeling of satiety .
Good for health
According to the results of a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition , a number of errors are circulating about the potato. Thus, its glycemic index would not have been determined correctly and it would differ according to the varieties offered in the trade. In addition, the method of cooking would influence the way in which the body degrades it : cooked whole and then consumed cold, for example, it would have a lower index than mashed.
“An average potato provides about half of the recommended daily intake of potassium, an electrolyte that plays a role in muscle and nerve function,” says Matthew Mailman. This tuber is also rich in phosphorus, an important constituent of bones which, moreover, plays a role in the production of energy . Finally, it contains vitamins of iron and dietary fiber. ”
Science keeps discovering new benefits for him. According to researchers at the Institute for Food Research in the United Kingdom, the potato contains kukoamines, molecules that would help lower blood pressure and that until now, we had isolated only in the bay wolfberry (or goji berry). In addition, analyzes revealed that the red potato and Russet Norkotah were rich in phenols, including flavonoids, substances that help protect against respiratory disorders, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers . As such, they would even surpass broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
“The composition of the potato is very different from that of the sweet potato,” says the dietitian. The latter is much richer in beta-carotene, precursor of vitamin A and substance that gives it its yellow-orange color . On the other hand, it is not as rich in potassium and phosphorus. “Finally, the potato has not finished revealing its secrets since there are more than a hundred varieties and their nutritional and their culinary preparations can vary significantly from one to the other.
Baked, roasted, steamed, grated, crushed, thinly sliced, there are so many ways to cook this comforting tuber that you do not see why it would be frying or covered with sauces or greasy fillings.
” I advise baking the potato in the oven or microwave rather than boiling it , because this method leaches out nutrients,” Matthew Mailman explains. For toppings, try non-hydrogenated margarine, lean sour cream or salsa. ”
What to do or not to do
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your potato dishes:
‘ Do not hesitate to eat it with steak . Its richness in vitamin C promotes the absorption of the iron contained in the meat.
‘ Do not peel it . “I recommend eating the skin, which is rich in fiber and potassium,” says the dietitian.
‘ Prepare the remaining salads , for example in a niçoise.
‘ Do not do too much . As with all foods, it’s important to watch your portions.
‘ Keep the tubers dry and dark , and never put them in a plastic bag.
‘ Do not eat those who have sprouts or are greenish .
‘ Serve with a lean condiment , such as low-fat sour cream.