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Why Baked Potatoes are Among the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat

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.

Oprah Winfrey.

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!

Related:
Garden Stuffed Baked Potato

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

223 comments

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10:05PM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

I love them BUT they are loaded with carbs ! Not so good for you!

1:02AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

Yes, great, ...except now we need to make sure we are eating non-GMO potatoes if we are going to enjoy them! Thank you for the information.

6:21PM PST on Feb 22, 2014

I add cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, butter, pepper and chili to mine. And unlike Oprah, my heaven would be keeping it all to myself :P

1:49PM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Thank You

2:20PM PST on Jan 8, 2014

Thank you xx

9:46AM PST on Jan 8, 2014

I'm partial to baked red potatoes.

2:50AM PST on Jan 7, 2014

Simple and easy nutrient to count on

10:43PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

i love my baked potato now u make me want a potato

2:47AM PST on Jan 2, 2014

YESSSSSSSSSS just another reason to chow down on my most loved food :D

8:47AM PST on Dec 31, 2013

I always knew I loved Baked Potatoes & that they were good for me but never realized just how good. Thanks for sharing. I also loved the page you shared with the herbs and spices to top them with I'm anxious to try some of them!!

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