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Potatoes: Good, Bad or Fattening?

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Potatoes: Good, Bad or Fattening?

Potatoes — one of the most commonly eaten vegetables on the planet — has both fans and enemies.

Learn about the potato’s many health benefits, health concerns and its controversial effect on weight management.

With mixed emotions, I read that potatoes were on a list of most fattening foods.
I personally don’t like potatoes a lot, but thought it was because of being force-fed boiled potatoes every day as a child. Now I’m rethinking the potato.

Potato Health Benefits

1. Protection from Heart Disease and Cancer
Potatoes contain flavonoids. With protective antioxidant activity, flavanoids protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers.

2. Rival Greens for Phenol Activity
They contain equal or higher amounts of certain phenols than broccoli, spinach or brussel sprouts.

3. High in B Vitamins for your Brain & Athletic Performance
One cup of baked potato contains 21 percent of the daily requirement for B6. B vitamins are essential for growth, your nervous system and cardiovascular health.

Potatoes also contain significant amounts of folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women.

4. Contain Resistant Starch
Many vegetables contain small amounts of resistant starch but potatoes that have been cooked and then cooled down have high amounts. Resistant starch’s benefits are similar to that of fiber, meaning you’ll stay fuller longer and with less calorie consumption.

Since resistant starch acts like fiber, it is either poorly digested or not digested at all. This lowers the glycemic index of potatoes, which is normally higher than white sugar, (averaging 70 – 110) down to reasonable levels of 25-72!  Bring on the potato salad!

5. High in Vitamin C
Who would have thought! Vitamin C is the key to healthy skin.

Cool History:
“A man with half an acre of potatoes can grow enough food to keep his family alive for a year.”  Michael Pollan

  • Potatoes were developed in Central and South America 4000-7000 years ago by selective cultivation of an naturally poisonous tuber.
  • The powerful Inca civilization was based on the potato. When the Spanish destroyed the Inca civilization they brought the potato to Europe.
  • Potatoes changed the course of history in Europe by allowing northern countries with poor soils to produce enough food to feed larger populations.
    The industrial revolution depended on the potato.
  • The most common potato today is the Russet potato originally developed by Luther Burbank. Burbank was an amazing person who nearly had the ‘ability to talk to plants and went on to develop over 800 new varieties and species of plants.
  • Monsanto’s GMOs were stopped in the potato industry. When the public discovered they were eating genetically modified potatoes at McDonald’s, public opinion called on McDonald’s to stop. This was one of the first major setback to GMOs in America.

Next Page: Potato Health and Weight Management Concerns

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Food

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


+ add your own
11:52AM PDT on Apr 16, 2015

I just love them. So versatile, cheap and tasty. What's not to love?

12:08PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I want homemade mashed potatoes as part of my last meal.

3:32AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013


9:22PM PDT on Oct 3, 2013

I looooooove potatoes in every possible way!

11:59PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013


12:47PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Who cares? Not me! I love'em! :0)

12:29PM PDT on Sep 28, 2013

I love potatoes and thanks for this post Diana.

4:33PM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Absolutely love potatoes in any form, though haven't had potato chips, pan fried, or french fried for years. Now that Fall is here, I can indulge in my favorite homemade potato soup, with just a bit of grated cheese on top.

11:07AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

good analyses - thanks.

6:55AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Thank you Diana, for Sharing this!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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