People from around the world have been eating potatoes for ages. The Polish tradition of eating potatoes is also long and rich. There were times when potatoes were often one of the few sources of food, hence we learned how to cook them well. In our tradition, not only potatoes with pork chop have taken root, we have learned to make cakes, omelets, soups, and even salads – so many uses for just one ingredient.
Unfortunately, somewhere, one day a belief was born that potatoes are an unhealthy, fattening product and should not be included in the diet. It is a lying liar. This article will present the exact reasons why potatoes are not only healthy but also helpful in struggling for a better figure.
Potatoes helpful in slimming
The belief that potatoes are fattening is one of the biggest myths and the hypocrisies of the world of dietetics. It results from several unrelated factors. First of all, potatoes lose their identity with other products, cheap and having a white color. White pasta and white bread are considered highly processed products that do not provide any nutrients but only raise blood sugar rapidly and lead to overeating. Potatoes are cheap, but that’s no reason to consider them an inferior product!
Potatoes indeed have a high glycemic index, but this is not the best indicator for assessing the quality of a product. It is enough to add a portion of lean meat and fiber-rich vegetables to the potatoes on the plate and immediately lead to a significant stabilization of blood sugar levels.
Allegedly fattening properties of potatoes may also result from the way how they are traditionally served on Polish tables. Schnitzel with potatoes is probably one of the most popular national dishes, unfortunately, it has not much to do with a healthy meal. Porkchop is coated with breadcrumbs and fried in deep fat, and plenty of high-calorie sauce is added to the potatoes. It is hard to believe that potatoes would have to lead to the accumulation of fat in this meal. It is also worth noting that pork chops with potatoes and broccoli are never said.
Potatoes do not affect your figure at all.
In April 2012 at the University of Washington, it was shown that regular consumption of potatoes is not associated with overweight, diabetes or elevated levels of CRP (inflammation marker).
In the previous point, it was mentioned that potatoes have a high glycemic index. In pure theory, the intake of a product with a high GI leads to a rapid increase in blood sugar, which then significantly decreases, leading to a state of hypoglycemia, when we get a terrible craving for sweet and start to eat simple carbohydrates, re-initiating the whole cycle.
This theory works well for processed foods, but it does not apply to potatoes. After eating them, a very strong feeling of satiety appears instead of feeling hungry.
In 1995, Dr. Susanna Holt developed the concept of a satiety index, or a combination of products in terms of satiation after a meal. 38 different foods were highlighted in the index, but the absolute winner was boiled potatoes!
How is it possible that potatoes have a high glycemic index but do not cause hunger? This may be due to either fiber content or high water content. Potatoes do not contain the first one, but they have large amounts of water, which is why products such as fries and chips, although they are made of potatoes, do not have satiating properties because they have been drained of water in thermal processing.
Full of nutrients
Potatoes are not only low calorie but also rich in minerals and vitamins. They are best known for their high potassium content. One large potato can contain up to 1.5 grams of potassium, which is about 33% of the requirement for this ingredient in an adult. Potatoes also provide rare manganese, a micronutrient needed for the smooth functioning of the metabolism and the maintenance of strong bones.
When it comes to vitamins, potatoes are a particularly rich source of vitamin C. One tuber delivers about 21 milligrams, which is 28% of the daily requirement. High intake of vitamin C can help fight disease, helping to shorten their duration.
The potato also has a lot of vitamin B6, which supports the functioning of the nervous system.
Although sweet potatoes are often presented as a better variety of traditional potatoes, they are just different, but not necessarily better.
Potatoes are an extremely cheap food product that is also characterized by a high concentration of nutrients. This led to an interesting observation.
Dr. Adam Drewnowski carried out in 2013 an analysis of food products in terms of how much nutrients they provide for each penny spent (the British equivalent of a penny).
Potatoes took second place in this ranking and were defeated only by bean varieties. This means that by eating potatoes, we can provide a lot of vitamins and minerals while spending little money.