Potatoes are famous because they can be cooked and prepared in different ways. They are a staple in almost all tables worldwide and are known to have many nutrients. This article discusses the different types of potatoes and their health benefits, and the kind of potato to consume if you want to lose weight and help you choose the healthiest potatoes.
Potatoes are one of the most-loved root vegetables there is. It can be grown and found in almost all parts of the world and is one of the most versatile food products. First planted and consumed in South America thousands of years ago, it has become a popular primary food worldwide.
Potatoes are among the healthiest foods. They can be served as boiled, fried, and baked, it can be a great main dish or side dish. Other than its versatility in cooking, potatoes are a popular food option for healthy eating.
Found to be nutritious and contain low calories, potatoes are a healthier substitute for rice, bread, and pasta. Potatoes are known as comfort food in many countries. French fries, hash browns, potato chips, and potato salad are among the most consumed potato dishes. However, too much oil and fat can destroy the original nutrients in potatoes.
To guide you in maximizing the health benefits of potatoes, below are the seven ways to help you choose the healthiest potatoes.
Table of Contents
What Nutrition Do Potatoes Have?
In general, potatoes, regardless of their kind and variety, are packed with nutrients needed for the body’s normal functioning.
Potatoes are a rich source of carbs. they are essential for the body’s overall function and health. Carbs, serving as the fuel of the body for both brain and motor functions, are critical in maintaining the body’s energy. Potatoes are an affordable and rich source of daily carbohydrate intake.
Vitamins and Minerals
Potatoes contain different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. They are also a potent source of iron, folate, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. It is often advised not to peel your potatoes and consume the skin since most vitamins and minerals are concentrated there.
Some of you may wonder, do potatoes have calcium? Yes, calcium is also present in potatoes.
Regularly eating potatoes can increase your gut health since you give your stomach a steady supply of fibers. You can find the highest concentration of potato fiber in the skin, so it’s best to clean your potatoes well before cooking, so there will be no need for you to take off the skin.
Good bacteria also exist in a particular starch from potatoes. They are the kind that feeds the good bacteria in our stomach, promoting gut health and better digestion, it can help in weight loss.
What Color Potato is The Healthiest?
How Many Kinds of Potatoes Exist? A staggering 4,000 varieties of potatoes are known worldwide. Potatoes are classified according to main groups based on their common characteristics, and 200 different types are commercially available. Read on the list below to know which potatoes are healthiest for you.
Russet potatoes are large and dark brown with white flesh and few eyes compared to other potatoes. It is elliptical and oblong and is rough to touch. The flesh is mealy and dry, making it the most suitable type of potato for mashing, baking, and french fries. It has a bland and pleasant flavor perfect pair for condiments, seasoning, and other sauces.
Found to have the lowest calorie count among other varieties; The calorie count would still depend on how you cook this potato. To get the most of its low-calorie content, one can enjoy boiled or baked potatoes.
A waxy fleshed potato, red potato derived its name from the red color of its skin. They are round and smaller in size with lower starch content and sweet-tasting than other potato varieties. They usually harvest these variants while they are still young. That is why they are called small or baby potatoes.
They are thin-skinned and with a moist, crisp, and waxy feel. These are great in potato salad because red potatoes stay in shape even after cooking.
Red potatoes are also the healthiest potatoes. According to the USDA Food Database, red potato is the most nutritious and has the highest vitamin and mineral concentration. Plus, red potatoes have a higher sugar-to-fiber ratio, macronutrient balance, and phytochemicals.
White potatoes are round with brown freckled skin and are medium in size. They have low to medium starch content and are great for frying, mashing, roasting, and boiling. The white potatoes are described as slightly dense, creamy, and has a mildly sweet undertone. Besides, you may not know, white potato is the best one for weight loss.
These types of potatoes are great for boiling, mashing, steaming, and roasting. Yellow to golden skin in appearance, yellow potatoes are round or oblong. They taste sweet, buttery, and the flesh is also waxy and moist with medium sugar content.
Purple potatoes come in a purple or blue variety that are descendants of the purple potato originally from Peru. These types of potatoes are well suited for roasting because of its dry texture. These potatoes are purple to grayish-blue in skin color with dark blue flesh and have a very delicate flavor. These potatoes are low in starch and also great au gratin. A study showed that eating purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure.
Sweet potatoes have more minerals, they have more manganese and β-carotene than regular potatoes, as well as it provides the highest levels of anthocyanins than other potatoes, so research thought sweet potatoes is the healthiest potato.
Do Potatoes Have Protein?
Several studies have shown that potatoes as a starchy vegetable contain high-quality protein, although in lesser amounts than other food crop sources such as wheat, rice, or corn. Protein in potatoes is more secondary in quantity. However, several studies showed that protein in potatoes is of high quality.
Nevertheless, potatoes are still a good plant protein source if you plan to switch from animal-based food sources to a more vegetarian diet.
Which Kinds of Potatoes are the Healthiest?
Generally, all potatoes are good for overall health. As one of the world’s healthiest food, it is no secret that they’re very nutritious. Studies have shown that eating five to six fresh potatoes a day can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
According to research, potatoes with darker shade and skin and flesh coloring are healthier than their paler counterparts. The number of flavonoids and carotenoids – plant-based chemicals known to contain potent antioxidants – are higher in potatoes with darker pigmentation.
Among the healthiest kind of potato are the Yukon Gold, Purple Viking, and Ruby Crescent.
Are Dark Colored Potatoes Better for Health?
Dark-colored plant pigments contain higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial to overall health and normal body functioning. That is why dark-colored potatoes such as the red and purple potatoes are way healthier. These potatoes may help improve heart and eye health, lower the risk of infections, and reduce inflammation. Purple and red potatoes are rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins.
Can Potatoes Make Me Lose Weight?
Potatoes have a bad reputation for people on a diet and are trying to lose weight because of its high carbohydrate content. However, this reputation is kind of unfair since potatoes are healthier food options. If eaten in moderation, potatoes can help you with weight loss.
If you want to include potatoes in your diet, ensure that they are cooked and prepared healthily. Avoid eating fried potatoes and store-bought potato chips as they have high-fat content,it may potential threat to weight gain. The way you cook potatoes can significantly affect its role in your diet. If you wanted to trim your waistline, prepare your most-loved potatoes by grilling, boiling, and steaming.
Potatoes are also packed with dietary fiber, making you feel full for a more extended period and curbing your craving to munch or eat.
You can skip heapings of butter, sour cream, ketchup, and cheese in your potatoes to make it more diet-friendly.
Different Ways to Cook Potatoes
As one of the most versatile vegetables, it can be cooked and served in a hundred different ways. One medium potato has nearly about 3-4 grams of fiber, most adults need around 25 grams of fiber a day. Here are some of the popular ways potatoes are cooked and served.
Oven-roasted potato is a dish that is easy and simple to prepare. Potatoes will give you brown and crispy skin when baked at high temperatures—making it more enjoyable to eat.
You can opt to toss the roasted potatoes in unsaturated oil or use olive oil to make it healthier.
Potato salads are considered one of the best side dishes. Potatoes are boiled and added with various ingredients from other fruits and vegetables, eggs, and condiments like apple cider vinegar and a generous serving of mayonnaise. You can skip the mayo, though, if you would like to serve a healthier potato salad.
Mashed potatoes are a classic potato recipe and are one of the best comfort foods. These are potatoes that are boiled and mashed until smooth and added with butter and milk for added flavor.
You can relish salt, pepper, chopped onions, celery, other vegetables, and a prepared whip or dressing in the mixture for that tangy and flavorful treat.
Au Gratin potatoes are perfect with pork, chicken, and beef dishes. You make Au Gratin potatoes with potato slices, cream, and cheese. It is cooking by layering thinly sliced potatoes with cream and cheese and baking it until the cream thickens, blanketing the potato in a crusty creamy sauce.
The Bottom Line
Potatoes are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They have different varieties and are commercially available to almost all parts of the world.
Although all potatoes are healthy and nutrition-packed, the most potent in antioxidants and health benefits are those varieties that are darker in color and pigmentation.
Among all potatoes, the healthiest varieties are the red and purple potatoes. Paired with a healthy diet and exercise, red potatoes, if eaten in moderation, can help you lose weight.
There are different ways to cook potatoes according to your liking and personal preferences. However, be mindful of your cooking technique and ingredients if you want to enjoy potatoes more healthily.
Potatoes are a humble food staple on every table. From the endless ways it can serve its nutritional offering, potatoes deserve a place on our table.