We think about potatoes as fattening foods. Potatoes have been given a bad rap because most of them are eaten in the form of deep fried “French fries”. Any food that is processed and fried is fattening and bad for our health. But lets give potatoes the love they deserve.
Any type of potato….gold, russet, fingerling, sweet, red skinned etc., are nutritious. It’s how they are prepared that makes them healthy or fattening and not so healthy.
Potatoes, sweet yams and white potatoes are both beneficial to our health. They have a different rating on the glycemic index but they are all nutrition boosters. If you are like me…..I can eat potatoes everyday and never get bored with them. There are so many different kinds of potatoes and millions, upon millions of ways to prepare them.
Let’s do a little comparison.
SWEET POTATOES: depending on the cooking method have a GI of 44 to 94 with baked sweet potatoes having a higher GI than boiled sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain more fiber than regular potatoes giving them a lower GI rating. Purple sweet potatoes have an even lower GI score so are best for those watching their diet to control diabetes.
How you cook white potatoes determines the GI score. For example, boiled red potatoes have a GI of 89. Russets baked are higher with a GI of approximately 111.
We tend to think sweet potatoes are better for us than white spuds but they both offer us health benefits.
Let’s begin with the standard white potato:
- Excellent source of vitamin C
- More potassium than a banana
- Good source of B6 (pyridoxine) which helps with protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, help with red blood cell building
- Nutrient dense carbohydrate
- Fat, sodium and cholesterol free in their natural state
- Low calorie on their own….when you start adding butter and sour cream the calories add up.
And the sweet potato:
- Excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals (1 cup of a baked sweet potato has 6.6 grams of fiber)
- Rich in antioxidants which protect your body against bad free radicals which lead to illness
- Very good for gut health…along the lines of a good probiotic
- Anti-cancer antioxidants
- Rich in Beta-carotene which is good for your eyes
- Good for brain function and reduction of mental decline
- Good for immune system
Both white and sweet potatoes are very versatile and easy to add to your daily diet.
Below is an easy and tasty bbq potato recipe that I like to make in the summer time. This recipe is made in foil on the bbq so there is not baking dish to clean up after cooking.
Parmesan Garlic Potatoes in Foil
2 pounds small red potatoes cut into quarters
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra Parmesan and chopped parsley for garnish
In large bowl add diced potatoes, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss to coat all potatoes. Place potatoes on a doubled sheet of foil (I make two packets). Fold up and seal well with foil. Place on preheated grill for 20 minutes per side or until tender. Place into serving bowl and garnish with Parmesan and chopped parsley.
Always a hit!