Here’s Why Potatoes Are Truly a Healthy Food

One thing about me, I treasure potatoes. If they’re available, I’m most likely adding them to my plate.

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap. Because of, well… fresh fries, chips, carbs. And chain restaurant menu items that start with “loaded.”

But potatoes themselves? They’re one of the most nutritious and filling foods on the planet. And that’s true even if you’re trying to lose weight or just eat better.

Here’s the real problem though: For most (if not many, many, many) eaters, “potato” means the food items toward the right side of this handy chart:

Calling out potatoes for being fattening is like thinking the issue with fried chicken is the chicken. It’s all the extra grease and salt.

I enjoy fried and salted foods, just like anyone else. But I do so sparingly. My body also likes to let me know when I’ve gone overboard. (Thanks…)

Here’s the thing: When you add lots of fat and salt to a potato, it can be really hard to stop eating it. (Here’s a fun test: Have a nice baked potato without any toppings—you’ll likely find it tasty and satisfying… but not irresistible.)

Go easy on the toppings, but still have them.

The continuum above can provide a good guideline for incorporating potatoes into a healthy eating pattern. Including the fried kind.

Not to mention that there are so many kinds of potatoes to choose from: sweet potato, red potato, golden potato, and so many more.

What’s more… 

They’re seriously good for you. 

✅White potatoes are packed with healthful nutrients. They’re rich in vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, and a host of additional vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

✅ Nutritionally-speaking, white potatoes are right on par with sweet potatoes. Yes, sweet potatoes have more vitamin A, but otherwise, it’s a virtual tie. 

✅The carbs in potatoes are mostly resistant starch and fiber, which help you feel full and support gut health.

To enjoy potatoes as part of your meals, separately portion out add-ons like butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon when possible. You might, for example, treat them more like you do other vegetables, such broccoli and asparagus. 

The outcome…

If you love potatoes, there’s no need to put them on some don’t-eat list. That’d be a real bummer.

And let’s face it: “Bummer” isn’t typically part of an effective nutrition plan.

So, you can have your potato (and eat it too!)

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