power potato
With so many foods being hailed as “superfoods” and “wholefoods”, we can sometimes forget about the trusty nutritious staples that have been part of our diets for centuries.  Along with a decline in our consumption of more traditional foods, fad diets which demonise carb-rich foods like potatoes tend to be getting more book shelf space and lots of attention from slimmers.

potatoBut potatoes certainly don’t deserve to be banished from the slimmers plate. Like other foods its more a question of focusing on the serving size and how you like to cook and serve it. A medium serving of new boiled potatoes (175g) contains 116 calories and less than 1g of fat. A medium baked potato provides you with one-fifth of your daily fibre if you eat the skin, which itself will also add to the potato’s ability to help you to feel full.

Potatoes are one of the most inexpensive and most nutritious foods available. Rich in carbohydrates, potatoes are a fantastic fuel for our working bodies. Unadulterated and unprocessed, they are one of the best and most delicious source of starchy energy in our diets. In a world where many carbohydrates are so processed that they are devoid of essential nutrients, the potato stands head and shoulders above many others. Potatoes also contain some protein, little or no fat and have almost twice the amount of fibre as the same amount of brown rice. They are also a source of potassium, important for a healthy blood pressure and contribute a significant amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and important for immune health.

Nutrition information

  • Potatoes are a source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate and potassium.
  • It is important to note that nutrients including fibre, protein and folate are found in the skins so for best nutrition, don’t peel them!
  • Potatoes are low in calories, fat and saturated fat, but how they are cooked will determine their ultimate calorie value and fat content.

Serving suggestions

  • Potatoes can be boiled, baked, or mashed with herbs, spring onions or your favourite vegetable.
  • Use leftover baby boiled potatoes to make a potato salad with some reduced-fat crème fraiche or mayonnaise, a little sliced onion and any herbs you have.
  • Add cooked potato slices to omelettes.
  • Roast new potatoes in the oven by sprinkling them with olive oil and adding some sprigs of rosemary.
  • Use potatoes for thickening soups and curries.
  • For a healthy alternative to chips, cut potatoes into wedges with their skins on and bake in the oven with a little olive oil.

Potato Comparisons with other Carbohydrate sources

Per 100 Grams New boiled with skin Old boiled Baked potatoes Pasta White rice Brown rice
Calories 66 72 136 159 138 141
Fat (g) 0.3 0.1 0.2 1.5 1.3 1.1
Carbohydrates (g) 15.4 17 31.7 31.8 30.9 32.1
Fibre (g) 1.5 1.2 2.7 1.9 0.1 0.8
Vitamin C (mg) 15 6 14 0 0 0
Folate (µg) 18 19 44 4 7 10
Potassium (mg) 430 280 630 49 54 99
Iron (mg) 1.6 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.2 0.4