Tuesday, May 3, 2011

White Potatoes - Why I love them, and so should you.

Colorful Potatoes

I think it was back in the days of the Atkins craze when white potatoes first got such a bad reputation. Poor little guys! Someone decided that because white potatoes are made of carbs and carbs turn to sugar in the blood and, well, they're white, they must be bad! They somehow became equated with white bread. A vegetable from the earth, compared to a processed, nutritionally void substance. While it's true, that potatoes are a carb and carbs do convert to glucose in the bloodstream, it's not quite the same thing as eating a few slices of bread. We need that glucose! It's brain food!

While it frustrates me that people are constantly asking me why I eat white potatoes when they are so bad for me, it drives me absolutely insane that so many people also think that the sweet potato is far superior to the white potato. I even read someone's comment that sweet potatoes contain complex carbs, but white potatoes don't. Um... what?? This ridiculousness needs to be stopped! Sweet Potatoes and White Potatoes are VERY similar nutritionally. Compare the two side by side and one will have a little more of this, one will have a little more of that, but overall, they are essentially the same thing. A starchy vegetable, a complex carbohydrate (yes, both of them!). A low calorie source of many vitamins and minerals.

Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to say that white potatoes are better than sweet. I love them both and enjoy them both on a regular basis. I just want it to be clear that white potatoes are NOT bad for you! If you're the type of person that believes that starchy vegetables are bad for you, then you have to include sweet potatoes in that category.

Based on 100 grams of either, you find that white potatoes have less calories, less sugar, and less sodium than sweet potatoes, however sweet potatoes have significantly more Vitamin A (Beta Carotene, gives them that orange color) and Calcium. White potatoes win when it comes to Potassium, Folate, Phosphorus and Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes have slightly more Magnesium. The rest of the vitamins and minerals in both of these veggies are just about even.

So stop skipping out on the white potatoes thinking you're doing yourself a favor! If you enjoy starchy vegetables, add those white potatoes back into the rotation and ENJOY!!

Had a little trouble getting this to format correctly, first value is white, second is sweet

White Potatoes , Sweet Potatoes

Calories 69 86
Carbs 17 20.1
-Starch 13.5 12.7
-Sugars 1.2 4.2
-Fiber 2.4 3
Fat 0.1 0.1
Protein 1.7 1.6

Vitamins:

Thiamine 0.1 0.1
Riboflavin 0 0.1
Niacin 1.1 0.61
B6 0.2 0.2
C 19.7 2.4
A 8 IU 14185 IU
E 0 0.3
K 1.6 1.8
Folate 18 11
B12 0 0

Minerals:

Calcium 0.9 30
Iron 0.5 0.6
Magnesium 21 25
Phosphorus 62 47
Potassium 407 337
Sodium 6 55

Nutritional Info obtained from NutritionData.com

3 comments:

Farty Girl said...

Nutritionists make a HUGE deal about white potatoes... I've always thought the same thing. It's not like they are overly processed, like white rice. They come out of the ground like that. I have the same issue when people talk bad about corn.

Your nutritional stats look different from what I've seen on other sites, as well as myfitnesspal. I thought that white potatoes had more calories. It really doesn't matter; if there's a difference btw sweet and white, it's extremely slight.

Thanks for writing about this! I couldn't agree more!!!

Jen said...

You have to look at how the site displays the serving size. On MyFitnessPal if you lookup both raw sweet or white potatoes, the sweet potato displays as 1 cup cubed, at 114 cals, the white potato displays as 1 large, at 258 cals. If you change the serving size so that both are 100grams worth of potato, then you see that white is 70 and sweet is 86. :)

Glad you agree!!

Heather Jacobsen said...

Yay!! thanks for pointing this out. No, white potatoes are not bad and they are great for people who can't eat gluten. Its refined *grains* that are the real issues. Because my son was sick, I made just this week, garlic soup (potato based) and garlic mashed potatoes. Great comfort food and not at all unhealthy. Thanks again for pointing this out. :)