Adequate knowledge of the foods you consume is just as vital as how you cook them. As the saying goes, you are what you eat and more. Food goes beyond providing strength and building materials for our body. As we are so passionate about potatoes, this post discusses some of their important nutritional and cooking facts.
- Few calories: A typical potato has fewer calories per serving than most common carbohydrates; this makes it a valuable replacement for dietary carbohydrates such as rice and flour, especially for diabetics on special diets. Most potato varieties have between 77 and 110 calories per 100 g and are good sources of dietary fiber, which aids digestion. They also have less fat and sugar content when compared to other carbohydrate foods.
- Nutritional value: One potato contains more potassium than an equal weight of a banana. Potatoes also contain other essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B6, B12, C, E, K, and folate. Other useful compounds are pantothenic acid and niacin, as well as sodium.
Most of these nutrients are packed in the skin; thus, many people fail to get the nutritional best from them. A group of starch called resistant starch is also present in a potato. This resistant starch increases the activity of friendly gut bacteria, which, in turn, increases the digestive capacity of the consumer. They have also been found to contain vital phytonutrients that boost the immune system.
- Glycemic index: Because only simple sugars such as glucose and fructose are present in a potato, it can be taken safely in most diets without a spike in blood sugar levels. However, depending on how they are prepared, this may vary.
- Potatoes may be prepared in different ways: There are only a few foods that are more versatile than the potato today. A potato meal may be safely combined with different toppings and garnishing, prepared with various spices and herbs, and generally cooked in any way desired. This presents an almost limitless number of ways whereby consumers can enjoy them as a snack or full meal.
- There are around 4000 potato varieties in the world today. Less than half of this number are popular. The most popular varieties are the Sweet, Irish, Russet, Yukon Gold, Elba, Red Cloud, and Russian Banana. They are found around the world in specific countries but have become famous for their health benefits.