Potatoes – caloric or healthy? Facts and Myths

Casandra Greer
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Once upon a time there was a very popular opinion that when going on a diet, you should give up eating potatoes because they are fattening. Many people exclude potatoes from their diet because they are afraid they will get fat. Is this really true? Or is it a nutritional myth?

Potatoes are a very important component of Polish cuisine. They are one of the basic elements of dishes on our tables or as an addition to any dinner set. Not infrequently they are served as a main course in the form of baked potatoes, potato pancakes or kopytki

Are potatoes calorific?

Potatoes as a vegetable contain many elements that we need very much. They are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They allow us to get rid of the feeling of hunger. What’s more, it is thanks to potatoes that the biggest mass heads in the history of Europe have been conquered. Precisely because they provide consumers with a lot of nutritional value. They are a great source of potassium, because in just 100 g you will find as much as 443 mg of it. Moreover, they contain magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus and iodine. It is often forgotten that potatoes are also a valuable source of vitamin C, which helps to support immunity. It also contains B vitamins such as beta-carotenes and folate, which we find in potatoes no less than in other vegetables

Of course it is worth noting that the concentration of these substances may vary depending on the variety. As far as calories are concerned, in 100 g of potatoes we eat on average 73 kcal. We often replace potatoes with groats, pasta or rice. However, 100 g of these products contain more calories than potatoes

In addition, potatoes contain dietary fibre, which has a positive effect on intestinal function and facilitates the digestive process. So, instead of fattening, potatoes actually help in the fight against overweight or obesity and contribute to weight loss, because they provide few calories, and quickly allow you to achieve a feeling of satiety

Another positive feature of potatoes is that they contain a special level of starch that helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels

>> See: Warming tea recipes

Where does the myth about the calorie content of potatoes come from?

Unhealthy preparation of potatoes is to blame for it all. It depends on how we serve potatoes and how we prepare them whether they will serve us well. If we usually serve potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or even boiled potatoes but mashed with butter, cream and pork fat, then their calorific value depends on the additives we choose. Potatoes eaten in this form will certainly not serve us well and will be high in calories

What form should potatoes be served in to keep them healthy?

If you want the potatoes to retain as many of their positive properties as possible, it is best to serve them baked or boiled. If you choose to cook them in the oven, then bake the whole tuber with the skin on. Before putting them in the oven, just wash the potatoes thoroughly to remove any sand from them

Before cooking, it is a good idea to peel the tubers. However, peel them as thinly as possible, as most nutrients are found directly under the skin. Then, boil them in a small amount of water, so that as little vitamins as possible could precipitate out, and the best way is to steam them, then they will retain most of their values. If we want potatoes to serve us, let’s give up frying them or using fatty additives. Not everyone knows that even boiling or baking potatoes can further reduce their calorie content

There is a very simple way to do this, which you can try at home. All you need to do is refrigerate the potatoes. Why? Because the warm starch contained in potatoes digests completely and quickly. In cooled potatoes, the starch will take on a resistant form and you will be able to get energy from it longer because it will not undergo digestive processes as quickly. Potatoes are one of the most common vegetables, available all year round in our country. They are also very tasty and, as it turned out, they are not caloric at all. Therefore, you do not have to exclude them from your diet. At most change the form in which they are served

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