Potato: Far From a Devil's Food
potato's stereotyped as a fattening
health-conscious folks to avoid is getting another revision as scientists report
that just a couple servings of spuds a day reduces
blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing
weight gain. When
prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one
potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful
A recent research found that eating potatoes was not accompanied by changes
in body weight, blood
fats (lipids) or glucose levels (HbA1c), but resulted in lower blood pressure:
the diastolic (the lower reading of a conventional
reading such as 120/80) went down by a significant 4.3%, and systolic by 3.5%.
The blood pressure went down in spite of the fact 14 of the 18 participants were
also on blood pressure medication. The researchers concluded that purple
potatoes are an effective agent for lowering blood pressure and thereby lower
the risk of
heart disease and stroke in patients with high blood pressure. Although
researchers used purple potatoes, they believe that red-skin potatoes and white
potatoes may have similar effects.
Eating a potato, or any type of carbohydrate rich
food, won’t automatically make you fatter. However, if you are watching your
weight, enjoy potatoes in moderate quantities
Health Benefits of Potato
Potatoes are filling, moderate in calories, and non-fattening, and are an
excellent way to ensure your continued success in eating healthy. Here we reveal
the surprising health benefits of the humble spud.
Potatoes are nutrient-dense, meaning you receive many nutrients for the
amount of calories they have. The fiber is half soluble, half insoluble, so it
helps to keep you regular and helps to lower
And slowing down digestion helps to keep you full longer. Phytochemicals in
potatoes include flavanoids and a recently identified compound called kukoamine
that appears to help lower blood pressure.
White potatoes have just about every nutrient. One baked potato offers about
20 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, which is good news for
your heart. They are also very high in potassium, beating other potassium-rich
foods. They are a good source of iron and copper, too. In fact, a potato a day
is good for your heart, promoting normal blood-pressure levels.
Potatoes are exceedingly rich in Vitamin B6, a substance needed for cellular
renewal, a healthy nervous system and a balanced mood. Just 100g of baked potato
contains 21 per cent of the daily value of the vitamin. It is used to make
neurotransmitters --substances that deliver messages from one cell to the next.
Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine are needed for the regulation
of mood and Vitamin B6 is needed to make them. It is also used to make
adrenaline, hormones that help us respond to
Unfortunately for French fry and potato chip fans, those high cooking
temperatures seem to destroy most of the healthy substances in a potato, leaving
mainly starch, fat and minerals.
A medium size of McDonald’s French fries (because who gets a small
order?) has 380 calories, 19 grams of fat and 48 grams of carbohydrates.
A 1.5-ounce bag of Classic Lays has 225 calories, 15 grams of fat and 23
grams of carbohydrates.
Half a cup (repeat, half a cup) of the classic breakfast food hash
browns has 235 calories, 16 grams of fat and 23 grams of carbohydrates.
Even the relatively healthier medium baked potato has about 160
calories, less than 1 gram of fat and about 37 grams of carbohydrates.
That’s without adornments -- and yes, butter counts as an adornment, not a
Cut out the extra fat and deep frying, and a typical baked potato suddenly
becomes a healthy
- WF Team
Dated 08 September 2011