3 Reasons Why Potatoes are Amazing for Your Health

My boyfriend's mother use to ask me "Trisha, what could possibly be in a potato?" (she saw me eat A LOT of potatoes).  I would reminise about Kathi asking me this question while I constantly ate potatoes while living in Finland... (they eat A LOT of potatoes in Finland and they easily became my number 1 (and favorite) source of sustenance here). She wondered, as many others do, are there any beneficial nutritional properties in potatoes?    

So to answer your question Kathi, today I share with you '3 Reasons Why Potatoes are Amazing for Your Health.'

1.  Potatoes contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals.

What!?  Really!?  Yes, according to the USDA's nutrient database system, potatoes contain (1) ...

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorous
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • vitamin C
  • folate
  • choline

and trace amounts of...

  • iron
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese
  • selenium
  • thiamin
  • riboflavin
  • pantothenic acid
  • vitamin B-6
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K

And this list doesn't include the antioxidants (2) or phytonutrients in potatoes that have additional health effects.  Potatoes are much more than just starch as many people assume.  Potatoes also contain all of the essential amino acids (protein) our bodies need and also contain fiber.

2.  What potatoes don't contain also makes them amazing

Potatoes are naturally very low in fat.  Less than 1% of a potato's calories comes from fat.  This is great news as Dr. McDougall commonly says, "the fat you eat is the fat you wear."

Likewise, potatoes don't contain dietary cholesterol or trans fat.  Yee-ha!

3.  Potatoes can help you lose weight  

This is true depending on the rest of your dietary pattern as well as what you're eating on-top of your potato.

Potatoes are very filling foods in part because of their starch and fiber content, as well as being naturally low in calories.  This makes is possible to lose weight while eating to satisfaction on potatoes.  Your stomach will feel full, and tell your brain "hey, it's time to stop eating" even though you didn't eat a lot of calories.   

Additionally, when you avoid putting butter, sour cream or other traditional animal-based toppings on your potato, you spare your waist-line and arteries additional added fat and cholesterol.  Instead of these unhealthy toppings, choose black bean or veggie soup, hummus, salsa or mustard as a baked potato topping instead.  

Hopefully this is great news for you hear... potatoes are good for you!  Not to mention they're delicious and highly satisfying.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this article by answering the below Take Control Now question or commenting on any other thoughts you have.  Thanks for reading and please share this article with your friends and family.  

Take Control Now

What's your favorite plant-based way to eat potatoes?  

If you traditionally eat potatoes with butter or sour cream, what's 1 plant-based topping you'd still enjoy on a baked potato?


1.  USDA Nutrient Database System. Potato, baked, flesh, without salt.  Accessed online June 24, 2014 at: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3138?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=&qlookup=&offset=&sort=&format=Full&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&_action_show=Apply+Changes&Qv=1&Q6006=1&Q6007=1.0

2. Bontempo P, Carafa V, Grassi R, Basile A, Tenore GC, Formisano C, Rigano D, Altucci L. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-proliferative activities of Solanum tuberosum L. var. Vitelotte. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:304-12.