Are Potatoes Healthy? (2023)

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(Video) Ask Dr. Nandi: Are potatoes healthy?

VonChristine Ruggeri, CHHC

26. November 2022

Are Potatoes Healthy? (1)

The potato is a staple in American cuisine and is often used as an accompaniment to a protein and a vegetable. This vegetable is inexpensive, available worldwide and relatively easy to grow. So are potatoes healthy and if so, how many should you eat?

Potatoes are the largest vegetable crop in the United States and one of the most commonly consumed foods in the country. Although potatoes have not been as popular in recent decades as more and more people are opting for low-carb foods, potatoes have served as a nutritious and filling food for centuries, beginning in South America.

(Video) Potatoes: Good or Bad?

They are underground bulbs that grow on the roots of potato plants and are one of the most populartubersone.

Many varieties of potatoes can be found in any local supermarket these days, but the humble white potato remains a classic and favorite.autumn vegetables. It's typically baked, mashed, and fried, and added to countless recipes from casseroles to savory pies.

health benefits

Potatoes alone offer a variety of health benefits stemming from their impressive nutrient content. However, keep in mind that once you start adding toppings like cheese, sour cream, bacon, or too much salt, or snacking on snacks likeChips, offsets some of these potential benefits.

When you factor in their portions and toppings, potatoes offer the following health benefits:

1. High in fiber

Potatoes are a good source of fiber, which is key to healthy digestion. Eathigh-fiber foodsPromotes regularity, supports weight loss and improves cardiovascular health. fiber tooencourageshealthy cholesterol levels.

2. Reich an Vitamin C

Potatoes are considered a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C, a micronutrient that plays a role in maintaining the body's connective tissues, protecting the heart, boosting immunity, and increasing the absorption of other depleted nutrients.

Investigationshowsthat vitamin C also promotes healthy skin and the formation of collagen, an important protein that aids in wound healing and is used to form blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. As adults get older, their collagen production decreases, which is why they eatfoods with vitamin cit is profitable

3. Helps digestion with prebiotics

Isresistant starch in potatoesIt serves as a prebiotic, an indigestible fiber compound that helps feed the probiotics in the gut. Investigationsuggeststo increase your consumptionPräbioticsIt may improve gut health and your body's response to stress, reduce inflammation, support weight loss, and improve digestion.

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4. Good source of potassium

Potatoes are a good source ofPotassium, an essential nutrient needed to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium is also necessary for various bodily functions, such as B. maintaining hydration and proper functioning of organs such as the heart, kidneys and brain.

Studies show thatEssen foods rich in potassiumIt promotes heart health, helps lower blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke, and may even prevent PMS spasms and muscle weakness.

5. Contains vitamin B6

Although not that high in itVitamin B6Like animal meat, beans and seeds, potatoes are a good source of micronutrients and therefore help support a healthy metabolism and other important bodily functions.

eat potatoesHelpThey support brain function, improve mood, protect eye health and reduce inflammation due to their vitamin B6 content.

Potato Nutrition Facts (and Types)

Potatoes contain bioactive plant compounds that have health-promoting properties, including:Lutein, chlorogenic acid and glycoalkaloids. They are also high in fiber andmicronutrients.

One medium-sized baked potato (approx. 173 grams) with skin oncontainsroughly the following:

  • 161 calories
  • 36.6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4.3 grams of protein
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 3.8 grams of fiber
  • 16.6 milligrams of vitamin C (28 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams of vitamin B6 (27 percent DV)
  • 926 milligrams of potassium (26 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams manganese (19 percent DV)
  • 2.4 milligrams of niacin (12 percent DV)
  • 48.4 micrograms of folate (12 percent DV)
  • 48.4 milligrams of magnesium (12 percent DV)
  • 121 milligrams of phosphorus (12 percent DV)
  • 1.9 milligrams of iron (10 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams of copper (10 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams of thiamine (7 percent DV)
  • 0.7 milligrams of pantothenic acid (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams of riboflavin (5 percent DV)
  • 3.5 micrograms of vitamin K (4 percent DV)
  • 0.6 milligrams of zinc (4 percent DV)

Potatoes come in different shapes, sizes and colors. The most common potato varieties include:

  • White and Red Potatoes: White, red, yellow, russet, and small potatoes are among the most common. They are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into meals. While other potato varieties have a higher nutritional value, these are good sources of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6.
  • sweet potatoes:sweet potatoesThey have an impressive nutritional profile, and contain more fiber than white potatoes, plus more than 400 percent of your recommended daily value for vitamin A. They're also high in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, and potassium.
  • Purple Potatoes:purple potatoesThey have an earthy, nutty flavor and offer similar micronutrient levels to white potatoes. They're good sources of vitamin C and potassium, and have a decent amount of protein per serving.

Selection, preparation and use (recipes)

Potatoes are available in grocery stores all year round. A raw potato has a shelf life of about a week and can be stored at room temperature.

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Look for a firm potato with smooth skin and no cracks, bruises, or cuts. Before cooking, clean the skin of any residual dirt, but leave the skin on if possible.

There are many ways to prepare potatoes and add them to dishes. They can be:

  • Purchased
  • Baked
  • roast meat
  • Frito
  • microwave

If you're eating potatoes for their nutritional value, your best bet is to bake, roast, or microwave them. This allows for less nutrient leaching and requires no cooking oils.

To roast potatoes, cut them into 1-inch cubes and toss in olive oil, a pinch of salt, and your favorite seasonings. Then spread them out on a baking sheet and toast them gently at 400 degrees for an hour or less, turning twice.

Here are some other ways to cook with potatoes:

  • Potato gratin with cheeseMade with fish potatoes, yellow squash and zucchini
  • Potato soup with leekMade with Yukon potatoes, chicken, turkey bacon and fresh herbs
  • Mashed potatoes with horseradishmake an excellentThanksgiving-Beilage

risks and side effects

Potatoes belong to the nightshade family along with aubergines and tomatoes. Some people are sensitivenightshade vegetablesand you should avoid eating them or minimize consumption.

Avoid green and/or sprouting potatoes as they may contain solanine, a toxic compound that can cause side effects like digestive problems if consumed.

It is best to eat potatoes in moderation because they simply containcarbohydratesand a significant amount of potassium, which can affect people with certain health conditions or some medications, such as beta-blockers.

(Video) Are Potatoes Healthy? | You Versus Food


  • Potatoes are a staple in American cuisine. They are inexpensive, available worldwide and versatile.
  • Potatoes contain good amounts of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. When eaten in moderation, they are a healthy food to use in recipes.
  • Be wary of french fries or those used in combination with unhealthy foods like trans fats, cheese, sour cream, and processed meats.


What is unhealthy about potatoes? ›

The carbohydrate concern

Another reason potatoes get a bad rap is their high starch or carbohydrate content. In general, foods high in carbs can cause spikes in blood sugar, which generate a short burst of energy, followed by feeling hungry and tired a short time later.

Are potatoes good for losing weight? ›

In fact, potato is actually packed with nutrients that make it an ideal weight loss food. Dietician Garima Goyal told HT Digital that potatoes are high in fibre as well as resistant starch and can keep one full for longer periods. She says that it could prevent overeating.

Are potatoes a healthy carb? ›

Potatoes are considered a starchy vegetable and a healthy carb. They're high in fiber (when including the skin), low in calories, and include vitamins and minerals. Most potato varieties have a higher glycemic index (GI).

How often should you eat potatoes? ›

Eating one medium-size potato a day can be part of a healthy diet and doesn't increase cardiometabolic risk — the chances of having diabetes, heart disease or stroke — as long as the potato is steamed or baked, and prepared without adding too much salt or saturated fat, a study by nutritionists at The Pennsylvania ...

Are potatoes healthier than rice? ›

Interestingly, potatoes are not only rich in complex carbohydrates but are also more nutrient-dense (a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients) as compared to white rice and white pasta. In addition, potatoes provide large amounts of fiber and are more satiating than other carbohydrate sources.

Should you avoid eating potatoes? ›

Like any food, potatoes are fine to eat in moderation. “Healthy food choices should include a variety of starchy and non-starchy vegetables,” says Dunn. “In fact, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes up to 5 cups a week of starchy vegetables for those needing 2,000 calories a day.”

Which is healthier potatoes or pasta? ›

Baked, mashed, or boiled, potatoes actually provide more energy-delivering complex carbohydrates than a cup of pasta. All varieties--russet, red, yellow, purple, and sweet--contain impressive quantities of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they're easy to digest and prepare.

What is the healthiest way to cook potatoes? ›

According to Julie Upton, MS, RD, and member of our Medical Expert Board, the healthiest way to eat your potatoes is to leave the skin on and bake them. "The healthiest way to eat a potato is baking it with the skin on," says Upton. "Baked potatoes add no additional calories like frying or roasting with oil."

Which type of potato is healthiest? ›

Red Desiree Potatoes are part of the Red Potato family and are considered to be the healthiest of all potatoes, as they contain the highest levels of vitamins, minerals and healthy phytochemicals.

Why avoid white potatoes? ›

But a word of caution: “Skinless white potatoes have a very high glycemic index — meaning they raise your blood sugar quickly,” says Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD. Depending on what you eat with a skinless white potato, you may experience a blood sugar crash and quick drop in energy.

Do potatoes cause blood sugar spike? ›

They're also chock full of starch, which is a carbohydrate. But even though a potato is considered a complex “healthy” carb, your body digests these carbs faster than other kinds of complex carbs. These broken-down carbs flood your blood with sugar. This makes your blood sugar spike quickly.

Which is a better carb rice or potatoes? ›

White rice is considerably higher in calories and net carbs, while potatoes are 5.5 times richer in dietary fiber. Potatoes also provide 3 times more vitamins B2 and B6, 15 times more potassium, and 2 times more magnesium. At the same time, white rice provides 2 times more vitamin B1 and folate and 2 times less sodium.

Should you eat potato skin? ›

Yes. Eat the skin to capture all the russet potatoes nutrition. The potato skin has more nutrients than the interior of the potato. It has lots of fiber, about half of a medium potato's fiber is from the skin.

Is it OK to eat a potato everyday? ›

Yes, it is safe to consume potatoes every day as long as you cook them without much salt or saturated fats. One medium-size potato can be part of a healthy diet. It doesn't increase cardiometabolic risk and the chances of having diabetes and heart disease.

Are potatoes a superfood? ›

A common misconception is that potatoes are mostly fat and calories, but the truth is potatoes have close to zero fat and cholesterol, and are low in calories. Not only are potatoes not bad for you, but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and health benefits.

Are Yukon Gold potatoes good for you? ›

Yukon Gold potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C (70 percent of DV), a good source of vitamin B6 (31 percent of DV), and potassium (26 percent of DV), which is important for heart health. They're also low in sodium and contain a useful dose of manganese (12 percent of DV) and folate (9 percent DV).

Does rinsing potatoes remove carbs? ›

Soaking the cut potatoes for at least five minutes or rinsing them under cold water removes the starch from the surface, but there is no evidence that soaking removes a significant amount of carbohydrate.

Is a russet potato healthy? ›

They're rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Potatoes were a life-saving food source in early times because the vitamin C prevented scurvy. Another major nutrient in potatoes is potassium, an electrolyte which aids in the workings of our heart, muscles, and nervous system.

Are potatoes worse for you than bread? ›

And unlike white bread, the starch in potatoes hasn't been refined to deplete nutrients. Potatoes also deliver niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C and magnesium. They're a great source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.

Are potatoes the unhealthiest vegetable? ›

While they can certainly be prepared in unhealthy ways—such as oil-drenched french fries or salty potato chips—potatoes in and of themselves are not unhealthy; in fact, they're incredibly nutritious and are foundational to a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Are baked potatoes unhealthy? ›

Yes, baked potatoes are healthy. There's nothing inherently wrong with including potatoes in an otherwise healthy, balanced diet. The only pitfall here is preparation. A plain baked potato is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that provide protein, and is low in fat and sodium.

Do potatoes turn to sugar? ›

How do potatoes affect blood sugar levels? Like any other carb-containing food, potatoes increase blood sugar levels. When you eat them, your body breaks down the carbs into simple sugars that move into your bloodstream.

Is baked potato healthier than mashed? ›

A baked potato is also a good substitute for a side of mashed potatoes. While the calorie content of a small potato is similar to that of mashed potatoes, it offers a more fiber — 12 percent of the daily value — and supplies 19 percent of your vitamin C needs.

Are potatoes carbs or protein? ›

Aside from being high in water when fresh, potatoes are primarily composed of carbs and contain moderate amounts of protein and fiber — but almost no fat.

Why do chefs soak potatoes? ›

Soaking potatoes in water helps remove excess starch. Excess starch can inhibit the potatoes from cooking evenly as well as creating a gummy or sticky texture on the outside of your potatoes. Cold water is used because hot water would react with the starch activating it, making it harder to separate from the potatoes.

Does microwaving potatoes destroy nutrients? ›

According to USDA data, microwaving potatoes is the best way to retain its nutritional value, boiling potatoes causes the most nutrient loss, and frying adds fat and extra calories. None of the cooking methods destroy fiber. Still, potatoes are rich in key nutrients regardless of how they are cooked.

Is it better to boil potatoes whole or cut up? ›

Regardless of what you've chosen to do with the peel, your potatoes will cook more quickly if you cut them up into chunks before boiling. They don't have to be super small, especially if you are going to be mashing them, but know that the smaller you cut the potatoes, the faster they will cook.

Are red or Yukon potatoes healthier? ›

The Healthiest Potato is the Red Potato

After taking into account the mineral density, the vitamin density, the macronutrient balance, the sugar-to-fiber ratio, the sodium-to-potassium ratio, and the phytochemical profile, red potatoes are the healthiest potato with data from the USDA Food Database.

Are fried potatoes healthy? ›

For its part, the National Potato Council maintains that potatoes, regardless of how they're prepared, are a healthy vegetable, rich in vitamin C and potassium and low in calories. At Signature Medical Group, we care about your health.

Is Sweet Potato healthier than potato? ›

Sweet potatoes are often touted as being healthier than white potatoes, but in reality, both types can be highly nutritious. While regular and sweet potatoes are comparable in their calorie, protein, and carb content, white potatoes provide more potassium, whereas sweet potatoes are incredibly high in vitamin A.

Who should avoid potato? ›

Diabetes and obesity: Potatoes, even plain, contain high levels of simple carbohydrates. This may not be beneficial for people with diabetes or obesity when eaten in excess. Like all foods, potatoes should be eaten in moderation and as a source of carbs, like rice or pasta, rather than as a vegetable.

Are potatoes inflammatory? ›

Nightshade vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants, contain solanine. This substance may increase the leakiness of the intestines and affect the gastrointestinal microbiota, indirectly increasing the inflammation relating to arthritis.

Can diabetics eat potatoes? ›

Can people with diabetes eat potatoes? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), starchy vegetables such as potatoes can be included in the diet of a person with diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrate consumed at any given meal or snack is what is most important.

Which vegetables should be avoided in diabetes? ›

People living with diabetes should look to avoid vegetables with a high GI rating, as the body absorbs blood sugar from those foods much quicker compared with low-GI foods. This includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, eggplant/aubergine, green beans, lettuce, peppers, snow peas and spinach.”

Which is worse for blood sugar rice or potatoes? ›

A new study suggests incorporating potatoes into a healthy diet can be a safe choice for people with diabetes. Adults with type 2 diabetes who ate a mixed evening meal with skinless potatoes had a lower overnight blood glucose response compared to a meal with low-GI basmati rice.

Is potato better than bread? ›

And unlike white bread, the starch in potatoes hasn't been refined to deplete nutrients. Potatoes also deliver niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C and magnesium. They're a great source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.

Which is healthier brown rice or baked potato? ›

The information gathered leads us to a conclusion that rice, especially brown or parboiled kind (white one with added nutrients) is a better choice than potatoes thanks to its high vitamin content and low glycemic index.

How do you reduce carbs in potatoes? ›

Cold Water Soak

A quick rinse under cold water can wash away much of the surface starch. More starch is removed from a cut potato than a whole peeled potato, because a greater surface area is exposed on cut potatoes. Soak them in cold water for as long as a few hours to remove more starch than by rinsing alone.

Can dogs eat potatoes? ›

White potatoes belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes; like tomatoes, raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. However, cooking a potato reduces the levels of solanine. If you do feed your dog a potato, it should be baked or boiled, with nothing added to it.

Are baked potato skins healthy? ›

The more color in the potato, the more antioxidants it contains. On top of that, the skin of the potato can have up to 12 times more antioxidants than the flesh. So, don't be afraid to eat your potato skins. Baked potato skin is a great source of potassium and magnesium.

How long should I boil a potato? ›

Cubed spuds will take around 15 minutes where larger chunks or whole new potatoes will be 20-25 minutes. To check when they are done, pierce the potatoes with the tip of a knife to see how much resistance there is. If it goes in easily, you're done!

Are potatoes healthier than bananas? ›

Bananas and potatoes each provide B-complex vitamins and small amounts of other vitamins without an abundance of calories or fat. Overall, a potato is richer in vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Is potato good for belly fat? ›

Yes, potatoes can help reduce belly fat due to the presence of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. However, it is essential to prepare them healthily and incorporate them into a healthy balanced diet.

How many times a week can you eat potatoes? ›

Still, she said, “I would suggest eating less than four servings a week.” If you need more convincing, Borgi said, take a look at the latest dietary guidelines, which suggest women consume no more than five servings of starchy vegetables a week and men, six.

Do potatoes count as eating vegetables? ›

Yes, the humble potato is definitely a vegetable, and it most definitely can be healthy to include them in your diet.

Are potatoes healthier than tomatoes? ›

Summary. Potatoes contain drastically more vitamins, especially the B group, while tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin c. Tomatoes contain fewer calories and carbohydrates. On the other hand, potatoes are rich in micronutrients such as calcium and potassium.

Can potatoes cause problems? ›

Reports of potato poisoning state that unripe, sprouting, or green potatoes contain toxic alkaloids, including solanine. When ingested, they can cause drowsiness, weakness, apathy, and gastrointestinal symptoms. This is rare — in most cases, potatoes are safe to eat and are a staple food in many countries.

What happens if we eat potato daily? ›

Potatoes are a good source of fiber, which can help you lose weight by keeping you full longer. Fiber can help prevent heart disease by keeping cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. Potatoes are also full of antioxidants that work to prevent diseases and vitamins that help your body function properly.

What is the healthiest potato? ›

Red Desiree Potatoes are part of the Red Potato family and are considered to be the healthiest of all potatoes, as they contain the highest levels of vitamins, minerals and healthy phytochemicals.

Is baked potato healthy for you? ›

Baked potatoes are a naturally low-fat, low-cholesterol food. They're also packed with potassium, which some research suggests can greatly reduce risks of heart disease.


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