Why Baked Potatoes are Among the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat
“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.“
Potatoes are essentially a synonym for comfort. And baked, these earth vegetables are simply divine. It is wonderful that one can feel virtuous after eating a big baked potato, because it comes loaded with so many wonderful health benefits. Take a look:
They are among the most potassium-rich foods. Consider this: the guidelines released by the Institute of Medicine encourage Americans to aim for 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day. That’s because potassium blunts the harmful effects of too much sodium and keeps blood pressure in check. Now here’s an impressive piece of information: eight ounces of baked potato contains 1000 mg of potassium! Browse any list of top potassium resources, and a baked potato is sure to be on it.
With the skin on, they are a high dietary fiber food. One baked potato provides about 12% of an adult woman’s daily fiber needs, and 8% for an adult male. Fiber, as we know, is essential for good digestion and efficient absorption of nutrients. Baked potatoes have both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is great! The soluble fiber controls cholesterol, while the insoluble fiber makes it easier for waste to pass through your system. Just don’t load the potatoes with butter and cheese. To get all the fiber and taste without the fat, sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on your spud. Enjoy hot.
They are low in calories. It’s true. The potato is often unfairly accused of being a caloric food, while the truth is that one medium baked potato contains only about 170 calories. Even if you “indulge” in a large baked potato, you consume only about 300 calories but get almost 28% of your daily portion of fiber in the bargain, according to the USDA. It’s the heavy toppings that pile up the calorie count of potatoes: bacon, cheese, butter and sour cream. A delicious and low-fat option is to top them with broccoli and low-fat cheese. Try them with salsa instead of sour cream—they taste delicious! I found some low-fat alternatives for baked potato toppings here.
Please add your suggestions on low-calorie toppings in the comments below!
Garden Stuffed Baked Potato