By Stephanie Faroh, MA, RD, CD Health and Human Sciences Extension Education, Purdue Extension Kosciusko County
September is National Potato Month!
Potatoes come in many varieties, are available year round, and are inexpensive relative to other foods with the same nutrient content. Potatoes give you great nutritional bang for your buck. The potato is versatile and can be prepared in many healthy ways such as boiled, baked, steamed, mashed, or roasted. Red and Gold potatoes often require less seasoning to add flavor and they are good to boil or roast. A white potato is drier and is good baked, mashed or as a baked potato chip. Don’t forget about the sweet potato, which is high in vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. Not to mention, sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods.
Often potatoes get a bad reputation for being high in calories and carbohydrates and are cut from the diet as a way to control carbohydrate intake or as a weight loss strategy.
When you crunch the numbers, though, a medium potato has only 110 calories. The added calories are a result of the cooking or serving method, meaning that all the delicious toppings like butter, sour cream, salt, and bacon add the calories.
A serving of potatoes has more potassium than bananas, broccoli, or spinach and potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance), vitamin B6, fiber, and iron. Potatoes are also fat, sodium, and cholesterol free making them an excellent choice! Potatoes can be a healthy part of a diabetic diet too. If you have questions about healthy diabetic choices, how to prepare healthy meals without cutting taste, and would like to sample great recipes, you are invited to Purdue Extension’s four-part educational program called Dining with Diabetes. Classes are held at Martin’s Supermarket in Warsaw from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28. The cost is $30 per person or $50 per couple and you must register to reserve your spot. For more information or to register, visit Martin’s Customer Service Desk or call (574) 371-9000. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Oct. 1.
Any way you slice it potatoes can be a great addition to any meal. Be sure to consider how you prepare them and what you add to them to keep them healthy. Here are some healthy ideas for your next potato:
- Baked potato topped with low sodium salsa
- Mashed potatoes with low-fat or fat-free milk , low-fat yogurt, low-fat sour cream, or low-fat cream cheese
- Oven fries made by slicing potatoes into strips. Place in a zip-top bag, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil, a pinch of salt, shake the bag, place potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven
- Boiled potatoes topped with parsley or other herbs
- Roasted potatoes with rosemary and olive oil
Enjoy a healthy potato and celebrate National Potato Month. Here’s to a healthier you!
For more information please call Stephanie at the Purdue Extension Kosciusko County office at (574) 372-2340, or email at [email protected]
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