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Are potatoes healthy?

Q Is it true that potatoes can help lower high blood pressure and are healthier than many people think?

A As far as high blood pressure is concerned, a small 2014 study found that overweight and obese people who ate a healthy diet that included several golf ball-sized purple potatoes every day saw a reduction in their blood pressure, and didn't gain weight. Purple potatoes were chosen because they contain healthy phytochemicals (plant compounds), but it's believed the more common white- and red-skinned potatoes would produce a similar result.

It's true that a potato packs more calories than many vegetables (a medium-sized baked potato, with the skin and no toppings, has about 160 calories compared to a cup of chopped carrots, which has about 50 calories). But that same potato is also a source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins. What has probably given the potato such a negative image is how, we serve them. Putting butter, sour cream, cheese or bacon bits on potatoes makes them more fattening and less healthy, and frying them also can turn a potentially healthy choice into a food you should avoid. If you like baked potatoes, top them with salsa, chopped broccoli, or vegetable chili instead of the traditional toppings.

Fran C. Grossman, RD, MS, CDE, CDN

Nutrition

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Title Annotation:ASK THE EXPERTS
Author:Grossman, Fran C.
Publication:Focus on Healthy Aging
Date:Dec 1, 2017
Words:215
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