Crown Point, IN


Why Potatoes are a Health Food

Why Potatoes are a Health Food

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap. Because of fries. And Pringles. And chain restaurant menu items that start with “loaded.”

But spuds themselves? They’re one of the most nutritious and filling foods on the planet.

And that’s true even if you’re trying to lose weight.

Here’s the real problem: For most (if not many, many, many) eaters, “potato” means the food items toward the right side of this handy chart:

Calling out potatoes for being fattening is like thinking the issue with creamed spinach is the spinach.

Here’s the thing: When you add lots of fat and salt to a potato, it can be really hard to stop eating it. (Here’s a fun test: Have a nice baked potato without any toppings—you’ll likely find it tasty and satisfying… but not irresistible.)



The continuum above can provide a good guideline for incorporating potatoes into a healthy eating pattern. Including the fried kind.

Here’s the happy news.

Potatoes are seriously good for you.

✅White potatoes are packed with healthful nutrients. They’re rich in vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, and a host of additional vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

✅ Nutritionally-speaking, white potatoes are right on par with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have more vitamin A, but otherwise, it’s a virtual tie.

✅The carbs in potatoes are mostly resistant starch and fiber, which help you feel full and support gut health.

To enjoy potatoes as part of a healthy diet, separately portion out add-ons like butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon when possible. You might, for example, treat potatoes more like you do other vegetables, such broccoli and asparagus.

Since most of us get a hankering for fries every so often, (yes, I’m in that camp), my treat for you this week is a recipe for amazing baked “fries.”

They’re Mr. Non-Compliant tested and approved.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

The secret to making fries with fluffy insides and crispy outsides is the cold-water soak, so don’t skip that step! The soaking removes excess starch from the exterior of the potatoes, allowing them to get crispy when baked.

Baked French Fries

  • 3 to 4 large baking potatoes (Russets are best), about 1 ½ pounds, scrubbed well, or peel if you prefer
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or take out your favorite stoneware pan. Cut potatoes into thin fries, about 1/4” thick. Let potatoes soak in cold water in a bowl for at least 30 minutes. Longer is ok too. Remove from water and dry very well with a paper towel. Toss fries with oil. Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or stoneware pan. Bake for 20 minutes then flip fries and spread in a single layer again. Turn the oven up to 425°F and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes more. Shake the seasoned salt on them while hot and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Cheers to potatoes,
Health Coach Carol

“I’ll only eat one French fry, said no one ever.” —Carol Slager

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