Don't Spurn the Spuds
If I had a dollar for each time a patient has told me that they aren’t eating
potatoes, I would be a wealthy woman.
“But why?” I’ll ask. “Potatoes aren’t good for me” or “they will make me gain
weight”, are the usual responses.
Kids, on the other hand, openly admit to eating potatoes, sometimes even
confessing that potatoes are the only vegetable they like.
The Truth About Potatoes
So are potatoes the culprit, the food that is making our society overweight
and obese? I mean, potatoes are a very common accompaniment to many meals. Or
are we unfairly thinking of these spuds as duds?
I think it is the later. In fact, potatoes are actually a versatile and
healthy option for many meals. Plus, potatoes are inexpensive, have a long shelf
life and are available year round.
One four ounce potato contains only 90 calories. It
is a good source of complex carbohydrate and contains fiber,
C. Potatoes are cholesterol
free and very low in sodium.
But add a tablespoon of butter or margarine to a potato and the calorie count
goes up by 100 calories. A tablespoon of sour cream can add another 30
calories. One-half cup of mashed potatoes with milk and butter contains about
110 calories and 4 ounces (a medium order) of French fries has close to 400
Serve Up Some Potato Excitement
Luckily, there are many exciting and delicious ways to whip up some spuds,
while preserving their nutritional value and caloric content. And as always,
moderation is key.
Baked potatoes present a great option for many meals. Eaten alone or as a
side dish, a piping hot baked potato can be ready in as little as four to six
minutes in the microwave. Here are just a few ways to spice up a plain baked
- Fat-free or low fat sour cream
- Fat-free or low fat cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Low fat chili
- Broccoli (alone or with low-fat cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese)
- Low fat or fat free ranch dressing
- Fresh herbs
Other great uses for potatoes:
- Dice potatoes and toss them with herbs, spices and even a little olive oil
for another great side dish.
- Cut potatoes into slices or strips, spray pan with cooking spray and bake as
an alternative to French fries.
- Cut the fat and calories with mashed potatoes by using broth, skim milk or
fat free sour cream in place of butter and higher fat milk.
- Combine diced potatoes, red onions, peas and some low fat mayonnaise for a
tasty potato salad. Serve warm or chilled.
February is National Potato
Lover’s Month. So for all you potato lovers out there, celebrate the month
of the potato with one of these tasty ideas or try one of your own.