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