Potatoes have gotten a bad rap. Because of fries. And Pringles. And chain restaurant menu items that start with “loaded.”
But potatoes themselves? They’re one of the most nutritious and filling foods on the planet. And that’s true even if you’re trying to lose weight.
Here’s the real problem: For many eaters, “potato” means the food items toward the right side of this chart:
Calling out potatoes for being fattening is like thinking the issue with creamed spinach is the spinach.
Here’s the thing: When you add lots of fat and salt to a potato, it can be really hard to stop eating it. (Here’s a fun test: Have a nice baked potato without any toppings—you’ll likely find it tasty and satisfying… but not irresistible.)
The continuum above can provide a good guideline for incorporating potatoes into a healthy eating pattern. Including the fried kind.
They’re seriously good for you.
?White potatoes are packed with healthful nutrients. They’re rich in vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, and a host of additional vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
? Nutritionally-speaking, white potatoes are right on par with sweet potatoes. Yes, sweet potatoes have more vitamin A, but otherwise, it’s a virtual tie.
?The carbs in potatoes are mostly resistant starch and fiber, which help you feel full and support gut health.
To enjoy potatoes as part of a health-conscious diet, separately portion out add-ons like butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon when possible. You might, for example, treat them more like you do other vegetables, such as broccoli and asparagus.
If you love potatoes, there’s no need to put them on some don’t-eat list. That’s a quick way to make it even harder to avoid.