In spite of the
bad rap that potatoes get from some fad diets, potatoes are loaded with
healthful nutrients. Among the
population, potatoes make up almost half of the vegetables consumed. Unfortunately, most of those potatoes are
eaten as French fries, which are high in fat, calories and sodium. However, with a few changes, your potato
dishes can contribute to a healthful, tasty and satisfying diet.
Potatoes are not
only fat- and cholesterol-free, but are a good source of dietary fiber, which
is important for digestion and may reduce the risk of heart disease and
cancer. They are also high in the
antioxidant vitamin C. Potatoes are a rich
source of potassium; a diet rich in potassium (while also low in sodium) helps
prevent high blood pressure and stroke.
potatoes are so healthy, itís how we prepare them that can turn this popular
veggie into a nutritional disaster. Frying
destroys much of the vitamin C, making baked or microwaved potatoes a much
healthier choice. And leaving the skin
on will make sure many of the valuable nutrients arenít lost.
Potatoes are a
healthy and convenient option at home or out. Most restaurants serve baked potatoes (order it plain, with vegetables,
or with a little margarine on the side) with a salad or bowl of soup and youíll
have a healthy meal.
Ideas for healthy potato toppings:
free sour cream and chives
margarine with a dash of salt free seasoning or pepper
beans and your favorite salsa
juice and pepper
green onions and a couple tablespoons of low fat shredded cheese
Try these oven fries to satisfy your French fry
cravings: Scrub potatoes clean and cut
into wedges. Place on baking sheet
coated with cooking spray. Spray
potatoes with additional cooking spray; sprinkle with salt free seasonings of
choice. Bake 30 minutes at 475 degrees
until tender, turning potatoes occasionally. (If you have something else cooking in the oven at a lower temperature,
you may cook the potatoes at the same time, but for a longer amount of time).