Food Stats: Potatoes

Overview:
  • Potatoes are tubers or root vegetables that are apart of the Solanaceae family. Keep in mind, sweet potatoes are apart of a different family.

  • Potatoes are a starchy carbohydrate.

  • Originating in South America, potatoes are grown all over the world and are considered one of the most popular imported food crops.

  • Potatoes have become a popular source of food for many countries.

  • With the vast growth of potatoes, we have come to recognize a numerous variety of potatoes. From larger russet potatoes to smaller fingerling potatoes, plus an array of colors from white, red, and purple.

  • There are about 4,000 different kinds of potatoes. A majority are found in South America, while a small portion is found throughout the United States.

  • With a plethora of potatoes circulating the world, you can find a number of different dishes and preparations!

  • Potatoes are considered to be one of the most satisfying foods according to a variety of satiety indexes.


The Look:
  • Many potatoes are oblong shaped and are often sold solo in bulk for you to pick from or in prepackaged bundles.

  • They range in sizes from small, medium, and large in size. Consider a medium potato to be the size of your palm or fist.

  • There is also a range of colors, brown, red, purple, yellow, and white. The type of potato will determine the color.

  • When picking our potatoes, look for a dry firm potato. Potatoes should not be soft or moist.

  • Avoid green and sprouted potatoes. Green potatoes are toxic and sprouts are also toxic and a sign of over-ripening.

Nutrition:
  • Vitamin B6

  • Niacin

  • Vitamin C

  • Potassium

  • Copper

  • Manganese

  • Phosphorus

  • Fiber

  • Pantothenic acid

  • Phytochemical's

  • Carbohydrates

  • Protein

  • Keep in mind these nutrients will be more or less prominent depending on the type of potato and how the potato is cooked.

Benefits:
  • Being packed with nutrients comes with a list of benefits.

  • The nutrients found in potatoes act as co-enzyme for a multitude of reactions in the human body.

  • They also aid in brain health as well as digestion and metabolism.

  • Between the phytochemical and vitamin C, potatoes are rich in antioxidants.

  • Potatoes aid in the fluid and electrolyte balance, muscle contraction, and nerve impulses.

  • Helps to form collagen, bone, and hemoglobin.

  • Lower in calories. Do be careful, potatoes can easily become calorie dense with the different add ons to the meal. For example, a baked potato with a little butter compared to a baked potato with all the works. Potatoes become a target for excessive amounts of salt and oils.

  • Due to the fact that potatoes have a high satiety level they can be helpful giving you the feeling of fullness and aid in weight loss. Be aware of overly processed potatoes, as these types of potatoes do not provide the same level of satiety and can lead to overeating. Example: potato chips.


Serving Size:

Serving size = 50 grams of potatoes

  • Carbohydrates: About 14 grams

  • Fat: About 0.1 grams

  • Protein: About 1.5 grams

  • Fiber: 1.2 grams

  • Total Calories: 60

Use & Cooking:
  • Humans should not consume raw potatoes as it is very difficult for our bodies to digest, as they still contain enzyme inhibitors.

  • Potatoes can be baked, fried, roasted, boiled. Depending on the type and size of the potato cook time will vary. Some potatoes are best cooked in a preferred manner. For example, russet potatoes are great for roasting for frying, while smaller potatoes might be better suited for boiling. Of course, there are no rules on how a potato must be cooked!

  • Make sure to wash, dry, and cut out any green or other imperfections before cooking. Remember, green potatoes are toxic, they contain solanine. Use a peeler or a parking knife to remove imperfections.

  • The skin does contain nutritional value and texture, but it's important to make sure you are not eating toxic potatoes.

  • Once cut, you may notice a small round hole inside of the potato, that is completely normal and is called an eye. You can again simply cut that out. Do avoid using potatoes that have too many imperfections like soft, moist, too much bruising, or have an odor.

  • Only cut and use potatoes just before cooking. If you cut ahead of time, place in a bowl of cold water to preserve the potatoes from discoloring.

Storage:
  • Keep potatoes is a cool, dry, dark place. Pantries work really well.

  • Many potatoes come in a plastic bag, but are best kept in a paper, burlap, or left without a bag. Plastic bags can trap moisture causing them to rot.

  • Avoid keeping raw potatoes in the fridge or right on a countertop. These locations can alter flavor, nutrition, and increase the chance of the potatoes becoming toxic.

  • If stored properly, potatoes can last up to 2 months. When stored improperly potatoes can have a short life span. Larger potatoes have a longer life as compared to a smaller baby or fingerling potatoes.

  • Once cooked, potatoes will last a couple of days in the fridge. Should be kept in an airtight container.

Recipes:
  • From breakfast hash browns to dinner french fries, you can find potatoes in a variety of dishes and meals!

  • Potatoes are easy to incorporate as apart of any meal prep, check out our Roasted Chicken & Veggies.

  • Dinner Hash

  • Potato salad

  • Twice baked potatoes

  • Scalloped potatoes

  • Gnocchi

McGill, C. R., Kurilich, A. C., & Davignon, J. (2013). The role of potatoes and potato components in cardiometabolic health: a review. Annals of medicine, 45(7), 467–473. https://doi.org/10.3109/07853890.2013.813633

Camire, M. E., Kubow, S., & Donnelly, D. J. (2009). Potatoes and human health. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 49(10), 823–840. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408390903041996


Holt, S. H., Miller, J. C., Petocz, P., & Farmakalidis, E. (1995). A satiety index of common foods. European journal of clinical nutrition, 49(9), 675–690.


Parra, M., Stahl, S., & Hellmann, H. (2018). Vitamin B₆ and Its Role in Cell Metabolism and Physiology. Cells, 7(7), 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7070084


King, J. C., & Slavin, J. L. (2013). White potatoes, human health, and dietary guidance. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 4(3), 393S–401S. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.003525

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