The wonderful potato—an ode to St. Patrick’s Day

By: Health Local Staff Mar 14, 2012
potato nutrition

Potatoes have many health attributes and offer an excellent nutritional kick with every bite.

Ever since carbs became the “evil” food group, people are running away from any member of this family. Unfortunately, potatoes were one of the first carbohydrates that people were told to cut out. While it’s true that they are a simple carbohydrate, they happen to be a healthy one at that.

Though people incorrectly believe that they should cut out all carbs, potatoes are not one of the “bad ones”. They happen to have many health attributes and therefore offer an excellent nutritional quota with every bite. Though you may want to limit certain carbohydrates like white bread, the health benefits of potatoes far outweigh the carb controversy.

Understanding the health benefits is an important part of the process. Then seeing firsthand how to prepare some of the most delicious and nutritious dishes possible may change your views on potatoes forever.

Excellent Source of Energy

What those misinformed about carbs don’t realize is that the body needs this food group to keep going. If you want an instant and very natural source of energy, then carbohydrates are the perfect way to get it. Though you can get energy from other food sources, potatoes are one of the best choices.

They are low in calories, as little as 26 calories per serving, as a matter of fact. They are virtually fat free, and yet they contain a great deal of the energy that your body needs from carbohydrates. When people turn their backs on carbs they are missing out from this very natural and highly recommended source of energy. This is how you fuel your workouts and just keep moving about on a daily basis.

Full of Key Nutrients

We know that potatoes are loaded with potassium as we’ve been hearing that since we were kids. In addition to the very important potassium, you can also find other key nutrients as well. Would you believe that a single potato may give you a serving of fiber and help to fulfill part of your daily quota? That in and of itself makes potatoes an excellent choice since the body needs fiber to move things along.

In addition, potatoes also happen to be excellent sources of Vitamins C and B6. These can both help to boost your immune system, help the body to process stress properly, and keep you running on a daily basis in the healthiest way possible. You do want to eat the skin to get the most out of these gems, they pack a nutritional punch!

Slice It, Dice It, and Love Every Bite

If it’s been awhile and you’re simply not sure how to prepare a proper potato dish, there are some simple and delicious ways to do so. You can either make the potato the main star or mix it in with other ingredients for a delicious and nutritious alternative.

Delicious Topped Potatoes

When all else fails prepare a healthy potato bar for a fun twist on dinner! You can oven bake or even microwave the potatoes, but be sure that you leave the skins on for the most nutrients. Offer the potatoes hot and cut open in the middle so that everyone can top theirs with their favorite ingredients.

Sure you can offer up favorites such as low fat cheese and sour cream, but why not take it up a notch? You can put out some unusual toppings such as olives, ground turkey, and salsa for a fun taco potato combination. Sautee some vegetables like broccoli, onions, carrots, and zucchini so that there is an extra boost of nutrients with this dish. The potato is the main star and yet the family will love to create their own culinary masterpiece!

Kicked Up Potato Pancakes

This will take away all of your preconceptions about potato pancakes and replace them with healthier versions. Boil equal parts of potatoes and sweet potatoes for a nice mix visually and nutritionally. Then chop them up and use them as the basis of the mix.

Stir in a touch of milk, some flour, and some low fat sour cream to hold the mixture together. Then add in some grilled vegetables that you chop up in advance such as asparagus, squash, carrots, and red pepper. Mix until blended well together and then place by spoonful onto a sprayed heated pan.

Cook like pancakes, flipping over halfway through. Cook evenly until golden brown and serve with applesauce. You have all of your food groups accounted for and have found an excellent way to incorporate potatoes into this healthy and delicious meal—potatoes really can work for the most nutritious and delectable meals possible!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at