White potatoes don’t make you fat.
What’s bad for you are the butter and sour cream on a baked potato and any deep-fried French fries
The humble potato is one of the best sources of long-acting energy, but the key is slow cooking. The high temperatures used in frying reduce the nutritional value of spuds, so opt for boiling, steaming, or slow baking.
One medium baked potato has only 161 calories, plus 4 g of filling fiberA baked potato is packed with resistant starch, a fibrous substance that could help you lose weight. (For more info on resistant starch, visit www.prevention.com/resistantstarch). According to Prevention Magazine…
Resistant starch is the new power nutrient
Although this may be the first you’ve heard of resistant starch, it’s likely been a part of your diet most of your life. Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber naturally found in many carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, grains, and beans, particularly when these foods are cooled. It gets its name because it “resists” digestion in the body, and though this is true of many types of fiber, what makes resistant starch so special is the powerful impact it has on weight loss and overall health.
As a dieter’s tool it can’t be beat: Not only does it increase your body’s ability to burn fat, but it also fills you up and reduces overall hunger. Its health benefits are truly impressive as well. Studies show it improves blood sugar control, boosts immunity, and may even reduce your cancer risk.
Resistant starch is bulky, so it takes up space in your digestive system. And because you can’t digest or absorb it, the starch never enters your bloodstream. That means it bypasses the fate of most carbohydrates, which get socked away as body fat when you eat more than you can burn. Here is another way resistant starch can help you drop unwanted pounds:
It shuts down hunger hormones. Animal studies have found that resistant starch prompts the body to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones. A meal with resistant starch triggers a hormonal response to shut off hunger, so you eat less. Research shows that you don’t reap this benefit from other sources of fiber.
The misunderstood spud
If your doctor wrote you a prescription for a “baked potato” you might think your doc is nuts. But, really, how about these nutrients:
- One medium baked potato (including the skin) provides 20% (about 925 mg) of your daily potassium, a known hypertension fighter, and
- 50 mg of magnesium helps to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
- 5 grams of fiber helps keep your bowels running smoothly.
Turn your spuds into studs
If you’re making mashed potatoes or potato salad, don’t slice the spuds before you cook them. USDA researchers found that boiling cubed potatoes reduces their potassium level by as much as 50%. It also decreases the tubers’ levels of magnesium and zinc. Warm water leaches minerals out of potatoes when they are cut up.
We recommend that you boil your potatoes whole. The good news; Baking and roasting had no effect on the spuds’ nutrient content.
The kinds of potatoes you enjoy but should avoid
- French fries are deep fried so you are consuming a lot of saturated fat with each fry.
- Potato skins when eaten at a restaurant are also deep fried and typically have “comfort food” cheese baked in.
Try this recipe
To make a fat-burning potato salad, boil new potatoes in water until cooked through. Cut into ½ -inch slices and then quarter. Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and chopped fresh parsley, then chill.
Do skip the sour cream, butter, and cheese to make this a healthy dish. If you keep portion sizes in check–no more than one medium potato in a given meal–and eat the fiber-rich skin, potatoes make a satisfying, low-cal, nutrient-rich side dish.
Remember while we like French fries, they are dipped in fat which means they are full of fat, and that fat is unhealthy for you. So, if you want fries, cut them up yourself sauté them in olive oil, and keep the skins.
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