Potatoes are NOT bad for you

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So, clearly I have been spending too much time on Facebook. I feel like I should be participating, but what I see sometimes really bothers me. And something I saw the other day really, really bothered me. It was the picture you see posted above.

“30-Day Challenge”

OK. That’s a popular thing. Heck, I’m doing one next month (31 days actually). Someone on the Facebook post¬†questioned the poster why he wasn’t going to make a permanent change. Why just for 30 days? To me, that’s an excellent question. I think if you really want a “diet” to work you have to be able to do something permanent. But 30 days is a good start, whether it’s for diet or exercise. Our challenge next month is to get us back into exercising consistently, but I don’t plan to stop on November 1st.

Foods to avoid

Some of those foods on that list are obviously bad for you: fried food, soda, cakes, donuts. Probably chips, most ice cream, white breads. You don’t really need juice or chocolate to have a complete nutritional profile. All of these items are processed–some of them, very processed. They are unrecognizable from the original, natural food(s) they came from. I can see how removing these from your diet would be helpful if you are choosing these foods over other, healthier foods.

Potatoes

Really? I feel like I’m watching Sesame Street or something and I should be singing “Which of these things is not like the other?”

Potatoes are a whole food. They are a plant. They are not poisonous. So explain to me why they are on the list of foods to avoid all with of these fatty, processed, sugary, greasy, salty pseudo-foods?

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for a medium potato, baked:

Potatoes are virtually fat-free, they have both protein and carbohydrates as well vitamins and minerals. That medium potato is only 161 calories. I will often have a potato (or two) as my meal, with a side of homemade ketchup, salsa or some warm, cheesy, nut-based dip. And when I say often, I mean pretty much every day. Sometimes twice a day if I’m really not in the mood to cook.

Here’s how easy it is. I pre-heat my oven to broil (I’m impatient). While it’s heating up I slice up potatoes into french-fry size wedges. I throw them onto a silicone baking sheet that doesn’t require any oil. I don’t need any salt or other seasonings. I think they taste good just as they are.

30-40 minutes later my meal is done. Sometimes I even eat them without anything to dip them in. And when I’m done, I’m full (if I can finish it all). If I wanted it to be an unhealthy food, I would top it with butter, salt, cheese, sour cream and bacon bits. But in its pure form a potato is not bad.

You’re all intelligent people. I won’t tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t eat if they don’t ask for my opinion. But if someone puts misleading information out there, that gives me the right to respond.

2 thoughts on “Potatoes are NOT bad for you

  1. I agree that potatoes are a natural food. In fact, the only foods I eat are natural, except for gf pasta and gf bread. However, I’m pretty sure that you don’t agree with cheese and eggs. No more canned foods in my house, unless it’s in a BPA free can, such as canned whole tomatoes needed for winter sauce making. And, thanks for that reminder, Maya, about BPA. I have a box of regular canned food that’s going to the local food pantry (a place that gives away food to the needy.) And that will be the last time I donate any canned foods. By the way, people will eat what they believe in, or what they can afford. Many families believe that they can’t afford specialty foods–because they really can’t afford them.

    • The healthiest foods out there are not “specialty” foods. Things like beans and rice can be found in any grocery store and even some gas stations these days. You can buy bags of them dry and they are cheaper than fast food.

      The only specialty item I really use on a regular basis is nutritional yeast, because it contains vitamin B12, which I can’t get from fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes. These days you can find it at a lot of grocery stores.

      The recipes I post might have some fancier ingredients, but that’s only because I don’t bother to show recipes for the main things I eat every day: rice, potatoes, oatmeal, tortillas and whatever fruits and veggies I can find. Usually it’s bananas, tomatoes, carrots and zucchini.

      If every day I posted a recipe showing just those foods, people would be bored.

      You can eat cheese and eggs, if they don’t upset your digestion. My problem is that the only voice out there claiming that eggs are healthy is the Egg Board. A single egg has nearly your entire daily RDA for cholesterol. Add a serving of cheese or meat to that and you’re already over your limit for cholesterol intake before breakfast is even over. Plus, eggs and cheese are much more expensive than rice, beans and potatoes, which are all free of cholesterol, added salt and saturated fat.

      I’m trying to make my choices based on both cost and what is best for my body.

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