Potatoes Can Be Part of a Weight Loss Diet
I know a woman who refuses to eat potatoes because she says they will make her fat. Unfortunately, she is not alone in believing in this myth, yet potatoes can be part of a weight loss diet and should be for several reasons.
Potatoes are not fattening
First of all, potatoes contain zero grams of fat. If you choose to add sour cream, butter, or cheese or if you deep fry them, then you’re talking fat! In their natural skins (naked!), however, they are not fattening.
Potatoes are also nutritious, readily available, versatile, inexpensive, and go well with lots of different toppings. They also are great foods if you are diabetic. Let's take a closer look at these underground tubers.
I compared three types of potatoes: Russet, red, and sweet. For each potato, the information reflects the fact that they are baked, includes flesh and skin, and are roughly the same size (138 grams [5oz] for the Russet and red and 114 grams [4 oz] for the sweet potato). The percentages are Daily Value (%DV).
Russet potato: 134 calories, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, 30%DV vitamin C, 24%DV vitamin B6, 21%DV potassium, 16%DV manganese, and lesser amounts of the B vitamins. The glycemic load is 13.
Red potato: 123 calories, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 29%DV vitamin C, 21%DV potassium, 15%DV vitamin B6, and lesser amounts of the B vitamins. The glycemic load is 12.
Sweet potato: 103 calories, 4 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 438%DV vitamin A, 37%DV vitamin C, 28%DV manganese, 16%DV vitamin B6, 15%DV potassium, and lesser amounts of the B vitamins. The glycemic load is 10.
How to eat potatoes for weight loss
Baked. Begin with your basic baked Russet, red, or sweet potato and then jazz it up. Split open the potato and add:
- A tablespoon or two of salsa, which adds less than 25 calories to your spuds
- Chopped mushrooms and minced garlic, sautéed in soy sauce
- Cooked broccoli or cauliflower, pureed in a blender with garlic, red onion, and cilantro
- Half of an orange (chopped) seasoned with a dash of balsamic vinegar and basil (especially good with sweet potatoes)
- Two tablespoons of nonfat plain yogurt with chopped chives and jalopenos
Fries. Love French fries but not the oil and calories? Then try these baked fries, which you can make using Russet, red, or sweet potatoes. Leave the skins on for extra nutrients.
1 lb potatoes, cut into ¼ inch wide strips
1 Tbs olive oil
½ tsp each garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, and dried rosemary
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place potato strips in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, then add the seasonings and mix well so all the strips are seasoned. Put the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Season with salt to taste. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Turn once or twice while baking. Dip in mustard or all-natural ketchup.
Mashed/whipped. This recipe is lower in calories than traditional mashed potato recipes because it doesn’t use milk or butter and it has a secret ingredient. Here goes!
1 lb red potatoes, rinsed and eyes removed (but keep on the skins) and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 lb cauliflower, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1/3 cup water or plain, low-fat almond milk
½ tsp each dried oregano and black pepper; salt to taste
In a large pot of water, boil the potatoes with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes, until tender. After the potatoes have been cooking for 12 minutes, add the cauliflower.
Drain the potatoes and cauliflower well and place in a large bowl. Mash the vegetables and add the water/almond milk and seasonings. Add the water/milk slowly till you reach the desired consistency. Salt to taste. Top with chopped chives, a sprinkle of soy bacon bits, or low-fat sour cream.
Potatoes are nutritious and a delicious addition to your weight loss diet and lifelong weight management. Enjoy naked (the potatoes, that is!) or with the suggested low-calorie dressings.
Image via Pixabay