Best benefits of eating potatoes daily for our health. Chips are not, but the potato is healthy food! Potato is one of the most commonly used foods in our traditional cuisine.
In every home, at least a few times a week there are meals that include potatoes. Whether it is baked, cooked, mashed potatoes, soup, or mashed potatoes, it is often eaten during the week.
Among the younger ones, the habit of consuming fried potatoes is more common. Most often children eat chips as snacks because they are very tasty.
But chips are not a healthy option?
These products, ie chips, can be harmful to our health.
What do we need to know about potatoes?
Potato is actually the edible root of the plant Solanum tuberosum which originates from South America, more precisely the Andes Mountains. After his discovery on the continent, he was transferred to Europe.
Today, potatoes are one of the most widely grown foods in more than 160 countries around the world and come in almost 2,000 different varieties, colors, sizes, and nutritional composition.
However, in terms of nutritional value, different types of potatoes do not differ too much, they are more or less quite similar.
The nutritional composition of this vegetable is especially useful and healthy and therefore potatoes should be consumed often.
But, as we have said, there are also varieties of potatoes that we should avoid as much as possible in our diet.
In the continuation of today’s article, we will find out what are the beneficial effects, and why on the other hand chips and french fries are harmful to our health.
Nutritional composition of potatoes
One potato of average size, ie about 170g, including the peel contains the following ingredients:
- 5g protein
- 37 carbohydrates
- 4g fiber
- 24mg sodium
- 37% of the Daily Recommended Intake for Vitamin C.
- 31% of vitamin B6
- 12% of magnesium
- 27% of potassium
- 20% of manganese
- 31% of vitamin B6
- 12% of niacin
- 12% of vitamin B9
The composition of potatoes as we have already pointed out does not vary significantly in relation to the different types, except red potatoes.
Red potatoes, for example, have fewer carbohydrates and fiber than regular potatoes, but much more niacin and vitamin K, on the other hand.
The method of preparation also affects the nutritional composition of potatoes. Keep in mind that most of the fiber and minerals are found in the husk.
Therefore, when peeling potatoes, the percentage of these nutrients decreases. Frying potatoes effects or significantly increases the caloric value due to the absorbed potato oil.
But it also creates components that can be really harmful to health. The benefits of all these micronutrients in potatoes are numerous.
In addition, potatoes are naturally gluten-free food, which is important for people with celiac disease.
Benefits of eating potatoes daily
Potatoes contain a large number of antioxidants
The body naturally produces free radicals as metabolic “waste”. This waste is highly reactive, so it can cause oxidative stress, ie damage the various cells of the body.
Antioxidants certainly play a key role in preventing these processes. Prevention of oxidative stress prevents the development of chronic inflammatory processes in the body.
They are one of the main risk factors for all chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.
Potatoes are a good source of antioxidants, including some specific types such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid.
Studies show that colored potatoes have an even better antioxidant effect than ordinary potatoes.
Fiber and regulation of blood sugar with potatoes
Undigestible starch is a type of starch that cannot be digested in the small intestine. Instead, it just passes through it into the colon where it feeds on beneficial intestinal microflora.
The intestinal microflora then converts this starch into short-chain fatty acids, usually bitrate.
Scientific studies show that this starch can reduce chronic inflammation in the colon and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Potatoes contain a higher percentage of this starch and boiled and then cooled potatoes contain larger amounts of it.
Undigested starch according to several studies shows properties of regulating blood sugar, increasing insulin sensitivity, and promotes a feeling of satiety.
Proper preparation of potatoes, ie heat treatment, allows the neutralization of antinutrients and destruction of potentially present bacteria.
Antinutrients can interfere with the proper absorption of some of the nutrients in potatoes, as well as other foods consumed.
The potatoes create more satiety
Potatoes are great because they promote a feeling of satiety in the body. In combination with fiber and indigestible starch, they can help regulate body weight.
Potatoes are known to be one of the foods that provides the best feeling of satiety after consumption.
A study that dealt with this topic gives us interesting data. Namely, the researchers, after examining several food products, concluded that boiled potatoes have the best result in satiety.
Specifically, the potato gives us 7 times more satiety than that of the croissant, which had the weakest result.
Fiber and indigestible starch also contribute significantly to this property of potatoes.
Adverse effects of consuming potatoes?
Examination of the composition of potatoes shows that they contain components called glycoalkaloids. These components can be toxic, but only if ingested in large quantities.
However, keeping potatoes at lower temperatures and away from light is very important. This can keep their glycoalkaloid levels very low.
So eating potatoes in moderation is especially healthy for our body.
When are potatoes not healthy at all?
It all depends on how the potatoes are prepared.
The first is the significant amount of fat that the potato absorbs and thus significantly increases the caloric value.
It should be borne in mind that the caloric value of potatoes increases from fat.
It is also important to note that depending on the frying medium, ie the oil used, the harmfulness may vary, but it is certainly present.
Then, very often in fast food chains, potatoes are fried in oil that has been used many times and is significantly damaged. This oil used many times can be really harmful to the body.
Second, during the frying process, more so-called Billiard products.
These are chemically speaking amino acids that combine with sugar to form compounds that can be particularly harmful.
One of the most researched and at the same time the most harmful is acrylamide.
There are a number of scientific studies linking this component to an increased risk of developing some types of cancer.
Third, french fries almost always go with extremely high amounts of spices.
It is always seasoned with salt and dressings based on mayonnaise and ketchup which are very harmful to our health.
Considering that the chips are basically fried potatoes and the same problems apply to them. Additionally, chips have an even lower nutritional value and an even higher concentration of fat.
Some studies suggest that it is addictive due to its high salt and fat content.
Also because of its crunchiness which has a stimulating effect on the brain and thus makes us addicted.
So, short-fried potatoes and chips contain harmful components and a large percentage of salt. In addition, high-fat content can cause obesity in the long run.
This is especially important for children, a way must be found to break this habit.
Potatoes are one of the most common foods used in the diet. This vegetable is made cooked, fried, baked and of course, there are chips.
The healthiest variant is boiled potatoes, while fried especially in oil used many times is the worst variant.
Chips are also a bad option because they contain a lot of salt and fat. French fries and chips are high in calories and can be addictive.
Potatoes help maintain satiety, have healthy fiber, antioxidants, and the like.
The most important thing about potatoes is their preparation, it depends on whether we will use their positive or negative properties for our health.