Potatoes As Health Food

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It’s hard to imagine a more basic food than the humble potato. In the United States, potatoes are the number one vegetable crop. In the world, potato consumption is in the top four, along with rice, wheat and corn.

Plenty of people who are concerned about their weight assume that they can’t eat potatoes because they have too much starch and fat. But that idea has to be revisited.

The most common way to eat potatoes is as French fries. In addition, potatoes are often associated with high-fat toppings like butter, sour cream and melted cheese. Those cooking methods and additions mask the true nutritional profile of a potato.

Baking, boiling and steaming potatoes can help you get all the nutrition from potatoes without the extra fat and calories. Potatoes alone are completely fat-free, a great source of complex carbohydrates and are packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They fill you up with relatively few calories and give you energy to power through the day.

The trick is knowing how to prepare them. Will Kriski runs a site called Potato Strong. He offers lots of healthy potato-based recipes for breakfast (like these Chunky Breakfast Potatoes), lunch, dinner, snacks and even deserts.

Or try these crispy, oven-baked, fat-free fries (pictured above) from a site called Brand New Vegan. These are savory, crunchy potatoes with plenty of spice (you can add more to give them even more of a kick) without any added fat at all. It’s all in the cooking technique. I’ve made them a bunch of times and they are real crowd-pleasers.

There are tons of low-fat potato recipes available online. The trick to seeing potatoes as a health food is to stop eating them deep-fried or with tons of added dairy ingredients that are full of extra fat. Look for savory recipes that appeal to you and enjoy the nutrition and satisfaction of eating potatoes again. Because potatoes really are a healthy food.

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