Let's Hear it for Potatoes!

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March is National Nutrition Month and what better way to celebrate than by debunking the great potato myth! In honor of all the Irish, or those who wish they were, we will talk about the lowly, much maligned potato.

Myth #1: potatoes are fattening. In fact, potatoes are delicious and nutritious! Potatoes are fat-free, cholesterol-free and a good source of Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. They are also high in Potassium and Vitamin C.

Myth #2: Potatoes are just starch. These mighty tubers are much more than "starch". A medium baked potato provides us with 620 mg of Potassium (that's more than a banana) and 45% of your RDA of Vitamin C. How's that for you "dieters"? If that's not enough, they are gluten free. They also contain iron!

The French were on to something when they called potatoes, pomme de terre or "apple of the earth". These wonderful gifts of the soil are a nutritional powerhouse when cooked properly and eaten as part of a balanced diet.

Now for the bad news—frying potatoes cancels out nearly all of the good. So, fries are for "sometimes" and baked potatoes are for "everyday". Baked potatoes give you all of the aforementioned nutrients with the added bonus of filling you up, the satiety factor. If you eat your baked potato with low-fat sour cream you are eating a 155 calorie healthy side dish. Next time you tell the waitress to "skip the potato", think again and do yourself a favor by ordering the potato!

Nutritional data from: http://www.idahopotato.com

Here is a healthy low-fat version of a popular potato recipe: Garlicky Roasted Potatoes with Herbs


  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds quartered Yukon gold or red potatoes (about 4 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 475°.
  2. Combine garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Drizzle remaining oil evenly over potatoes in a large bowl, tossing well to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 475° for 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden. Combine reserved garlic, parsley, and lemon rind in a small bowl; sprinkle garlic mixture evenly over potatoes.

Recipe from: Cooking Light