ARE POTATOES HEALTHY?

Raman loves potato. He heard somewhere that potatoes are not healthy, it increases weight and it is toxic for diabetic patient. Then he decided to reduce potato intake. People always say potato is not a vegetable, its carbohydrate content is high and other nutrient content is low so it is unhealthy, so you have to avoid. But is it true?

Healthy nutrients in potatoes
Healthy nutrients in potatoes

Let’s see:

Is Potato healthy? Lets find out

Potato is a root vegetable. It is edible tubers found all over the world. It is rich in nutrients. Potatoes contain nutrients showed in the image:

Potatoes are healthy because of following reasons:-

  1. Resistant starch: Potatoes are starchy vegetables. It contains amylopectin and amylase. Potatoes contain resistant starch, which is not digested in small intestine and go to large intestine without any enzymatic degradation .Resistant starch (RS) act as a pre-biotics by increasing growth of good bacteria in colon. It also prevent constipation and Irritable Bowl Syndrome, control blood sugar level and blood lipid level.
  2. Antioxidant: Antioxidant fight with free radicals (it damage our cells). A diet rich in antioxidant helps in preventing cancer & lower heart disease. Quercetin a flavonoid present in potato skin, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect that protect the cell of our body.
  3. One of the most satiating food: From the satiety Index   we can find that boiled potato has the most satiety value, 2.5 times more than rice. It contains fiber that can help to loose weight by keeping you full longer .A study showed that people are more satisfied and felt fuller to eat potato meals than rice, pasta.
  4. Good source of Potassium: Potassium is a mineral which can regulate fluid balance, muscle contraction and nerve signals. Potatoes are rich in potassium.
  5. Health of Bone: It is a good source of phosphorus, calcium, iron , magnesium and zinc. Phosphorus along with calcium helps in building bones.
  6. Lower blood pressure & control cholesterol level: Potatoes are rich in potassium but low in sodium that is required to control blood pressure level because  potassium increase vasodilation. Cholesterol travels as a package like LDL(Low Density Lipoprotein) & HDL(High Density Lipoprotein). Potatoes contain soluble & insoluble fiber both. Soluble fiber bind with bile acid and lower cholesterol level. Fiber is present in the skin so if you remove the skin and fry it with adding oil it will definitely increase calorie and enhance the cholesterol level , so you have  to choose right cooking procedure.
  7. Choline: It is an essential nutrient which is found in potatoes. Choline helps in formation of cell membrane and communicate between neurons Our body cannot produce enough choline so dietary intake is the only solution to meet its need.

The way we eat potatoes may be give a negative impact on health.

  1. Mostly when we fry potatoes like French fries which increase calories and ultimately it leads to weight gain.
  2. Glycoalkaloids:  It is naturally present in potatoes. Glycoalkaloids is toxic for human health , it is concentrated in sprout, peel and prolonged exposure of tubers to the light will stimulate formation of glycoalkaloids.Alpha solanine & alpha-chaconine glycoalkaloids are present. It is not broken down during cooking.Store potatoes in a cool, dark and dry places and always peel before cooking.
  3. Antinutrients– Protein trypsin inhibitor and lectins which interfare with the absorption of nutrients. Cooking potatoes reduce antrinutrients content.

Different types of potatoes are available in market:

  • Red Potato
  • Russet Potato
  • Purple Potato
  • White Potato
  • Yellow Potato
  • Petite Potato
  • Fingerling Potato
  • Sweet potato

Among them sweet potato is most popular form.

Sweet potato:  It is a most common type of potatoes and it has many beneficial effects on health.  Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which is essential for our healthy vision. It contains soluble and insoluble fiber both which gives gut related health benefits. Sweet potato chips are also popular item.

GI of potato recepies

DIABETES AND POTATO: Diabetic patients can eat potatoes but they should be mindful about the portion size of potatoes they consume. Fiber rich foods increase their felling fullness and control their blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index (G.I.) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels. High G.I. foods- 70-100, Medium G.I. foods-55-69, Low G.I. foods-55 or below.

One research found that women who ate large amount of potatoes raised their risk of diabetes. Potatoes are high G.I. food, so eating potatoes with low G.I. food maintain balance and it will be a healthy diet. Potatoes contains starch ,that are complex carbohydrates that takes the body longer to break down than simple sugars. It is a misconception that people with diabetes must avoid potatoes as they have high G.I, however G.I is not the only indication of a food’s impact on blood sugar.

Cooking procedure is most important part which affects G.I. and nutritional content of potatoes like- boiling, cooking and microwave, without adding other ingredients reduce glycemic index. Next important thing is after cooking allow potatoes to cool because cooling reduce G.I. Sweet potatoes have low G.I, high in fiber so it is the best option for diabetic patient.

The way we consume the food is important for our health so you have to choose the right way of cooking. Following tips are given:

vegan mashed potatoes
  • Potatoes may be boiled with mint and sprinkled with black pepper, or steamed to preserve more of the water-soluble vitamins.
  • To make a healthy potato salad at first you boil the potatoes and leave it to cool and then add some freshly chopped garlic, fenugreek leaves.
  • Deep-frying doubles the calories in both French and sweet potato fries compared to baking. So if you are in a weight loss diet, you should avoid deep frying process.

We can find many vegetables in the market, we just buy it, cook it and eat them, biggest problem is that we don’t know what is the nutritional content of it and how to prepare a meal in a healthy way and how it meets our satiety level. So we have to find out the right cooking procedure which make a food healthy. We all understand that potato is not a unhealthy vegetables, its cooking procedure is wrong which make it unhealthy, so choose the right cooking process.

Here is a video to show you how to use world’s first food potassium calculator, please watch it till end and do not forget to like and subscribe our channel.

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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