The Potato Good or Bad?

Americans consume about 50 lbs. of potatoes per person per year. Potatoes have an extremely high level of Potassium an important mineral for the heart. A substantial amount of this mineral is contained within the potato skin. A small potato contains about 23% of the daily requirement of potassium, along with B6 (neurological health), iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber. Despite the fact that potatoes have a high glycemic value, they contain what is known as resistant starch. Resistant starch acts in the same way as soluble fiber by providing food for the microbes in our gut as well as helping with blood sugar control. Eating potatoes is also associated with weight gain however they are quite filling and can even curb hunger pains. There is evidence that a certain protein in potatoes Proteinase inhibitor 2 (P12), can curb hunger. Fried potatoes do have a high level of saturated fat and salt and a baked potato is usually topped with an excess of butter and sour cream. Although a potato is a vegetable, it should not be viewed as a replacement for a green vegetable. It should be looked upon as the starch portion of your plate (rice, pasta). How about mashing potatoes with olive oil and spices? Make use of all the different colors that potatoes are available in. Each color is richer in a particular vitamin. There is always the much more tasty, Sweet or Japanese potato which need very little to enhance their flavor. Moderation is always key (make fries a sometime food) but elimination of the potato from our diet may be more detrimental then beneficial.