Who Has the Healthiest Potato?

Dietary fiber, which is crucial for intestinal health, is abundant in potatoes. However, because potatoes are heavy in carbohydrates, which can spike blood sugar levels, it is advised to eat them in limited portions, especially when treating diabetes. Additionally, vitamin C, which is necessary for cellular renewal and the upkeep of a healthy nervous system, is found in abundance in all potatoes. Additionally, they are a great source of the disease-preventing antioxidant chemicals carotenoids, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins.

Red Potatoes

Although potatoes are known for having a high carbohydrate content, when combined with fiber and proteins, they can be a healthy source of energy without rapidly raising blood sugar levels. This is crucial since sudden rises in blood sugar can quickly make you feel exhausted and hungry. All potatoes have a lot of vitamins and minerals, but the healthiest ones are usually the ones with colored flesh, like purple and red potatoes. Their antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, help prevent cancer and free radical damage, promote healthy aging and cognitive function, and maintain heart health. Potatoes are minimal in fat and don't contain any trans or saturated fats, in contrast to meat. Additionally, they offer a substantial quantity of potassium, which supports the maintenance of normal blood pressure. These minerals give potatoes their savory sixth flavor, "meatiness," when combined with the other four taste buds (umami). That's why mixing them with other foods, like the mushrooms in this salad, is so satisfying.

White Potatoes

Potatoes have a poor reputation as a food group. Because they include starch and carbohydrates, which can elevate blood sugar and create energy highs and crashes, they are frequently linked to weight gain. On the other hand, potatoes can support healthy weight maintenance when combined with other nutrients like foods high in fiber and protein or healthy fats. Not only do potatoes have a high filling value, but they are also rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, manganese, B vitamins, and potassium (more than bananas). Mashed potatoes that have been boiled and mashed yield 3.5 ounces of iron, or 6% of the daily required amount, which is essential for oxygen delivery to muscles and neurons. While cooking potatoes is a terrific approach to extract as much nutrition as possible, the least amount of nutrients are lost when baking and microwaving. Even though butter, sour cream, and mayonnaise are options for topping potatoes, doing so comes with additional calories and saturated fat. To reduce calories and fat, top each potato with no more than 2 teaspoons of toppings.

Purple Potatoes

Compared to white or yellow potatoes, purple potatoes have a lower glycemic index and are rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants. Their coloring pigment is a potent anti-inflammatory, and studies indicate they may also help decrease blood pressure. They are also a good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamin C. Purple potatoes include soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. Purple potatoes, like orange fruits and vegetables, are high in carotenoids, which have been connected to a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. They also contain a ton of anthocyanins, which have the potential to reduce blood pressure and shield the body from oxidative damage. Because of their versatility, purple potatoes can be cooked almost any way you would a conventional potato. They can be baked, roasted, made into gnocchi, used to soups and stews, or used in salads. According to a 2021 study that was published in the journal Antioxidants, purple potatoes that were vacuum-sealed and boiled retained the highest amount of antioxidants, whereas those that were fried or steamed retained the least amount.

Sweet Potatoes

The healthiest potato is said to be the sweet potato, although this all relies on how it's prepared. When potatoes are fried or overdone with salt, they can become quite unhealthy; but, when they are cooked in a small amount of fat (like olive oil), they become a rich source of complex carbs, fiber, and vitamin C. Additionally, they contain a lot of beta carotene, a plant antioxidant. It is converted by our bodies into Vitamin A, which improves respiratory health, strengthens immunity, and maintains healthy skin and eyes. Due to their low glycemic index, sweet potatoes and white potatoes can both be consumed in moderation. If at all possible, select sweet potatoes with the skin on since they are higher in iron, vitamin B1, and dietary fiber. Using a fork, prick the skin, then bake it until it becomes tender on a silplat liner or a firm baking sheet. Serve in meal-prep lunch bowls or alongside a protein like chicken, fish, or black beans. With the help of this online nutrition course, athletes may learn how to maximize their diets and eat like pros.

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