If you are the kind of person who loves cooking at home, it pays to learn about different ingredients from online sources of information. The problem with learning about foods from the internet is that it is very easy for you to stumble upon faulty information that will inevitably affect your use of healthy ingredients. One of the most widely spread fabricated pieces of information on the internet deals with the so called dangers of consuming potatoes.
Potatoes Are a Good Addition to Your Diet
A lot of people consider potatoes to be an unhealthy food option that does not deserve to be a part of a balanced diet. Is there any truth to these theories? Not really. Potatoes are not harmful. In fact, they are pretty good for your diet as long as you prepare potatoes in the correct manner. If you live off fried potato chips and similar items served in fast food outlets, then you are going to have a problem with your diet. However, when cooked correctly, potatoes can be an excellent source of potassium, fibre and Vitamin C. In fact, the skin of the potato can be just as nutritious as the flesh.
The Bad Reputation
Despite the fact that potatoes are a great addition to your diet, there are many people who are concerned about the negative reputation that potatoes have amassed over the years. Why do potatoes have such a bad reputation on the internet? Well, the bad reputation has a lot to do with statements made those who are obsessed with low-carbohydrate diet and extreme Paleolithic diets. In their world, sugars and starches have no place on your plate. There are also some concerns about the acrylamide and the solanine content of potatoes.
Starch Is Bad For You. Right?
Potatoes, as you are probably aware, have very high starch content. This is where it gets most of its calories from. For those of you who do not know, starch is a form of stored sugars. Your body does a remarkable job of digesting starch and absorbing it. If you eat a plate full of potatoes, you are going to see a change in the blood sugar level within a short period of time. If you are going to survive on nothing but potatoes, then you are definitely going to have certain health complications to deal with. But no one is willing to do that, even those who love potatoes more than anything else on their plate. When highlighting the disadvantages of consuming potatoes, the critics make the assumption that people are going to eat nothing other than potatoes, which quite frankly makes no sense at all. If you want to combat the sugar rush, you can eat potatoes with other foods that contain different nutrients. Potatoes should simply be a part of your balanced meal. For example, you can have a great dinner by eating a piece of salmon with a side of herb potatoes and green beans. The protein from the salmon and the fibre from the green are going to slow down the digestion and absorption of the starch from the potatoes.
But Don’t Potatoes Have Too Many Calories?
Curbing down the number of calories in every meal has become the motto of a healthy lifestyle. If you have been led to believe that potatoes contain too many calories, then you have been harbouring a faulty assumption all along. The number of calories in one medium plain potato is roughly about 150. The excess calories associated with potatoes come from the improper and unhealthy ways in which people cook the ingredient. When you deep fry potatoes or sheath them in layers of cheese and gravy, you increase the calorie count of the dish drastically. If you want to keep an eye on your weight, then you need to stop loading your potatoes with unnecessary toppings. As long as you are careful about what you put on your potatoes, you do not have to worry about gaining weight. Instead of cheese and gravy, you could have potatoes with salsa, green vegetables or low-fat sour cream.
Isn’t the Acrylamide in Potatoes Dangerous?
Acrylamide is a toxic substance that forms when starchy foods are either processed or cooked at a high temperature. Since potatoes contain a significant amount of starch, there is always the possibility of acrylamide being present in potatoes. But once again, it all depends on how you cook them. If you avoid frying or baking potatoes for a long period of time and at high temperatures, then you can prevent yourself from being exposed to a high level of acrylamide.
What about the Solanine Content?
Potatoes belong to the Nightshade family of vegetables. These vegetables contain a small amount of solanine. There are rumours on the internet that solanine leads to increased arthritis type pain. However, there is not any substantial evidence to back up such claims. Besides, the amount of solanine present in potatoes is not high enough to cause any toxic reactions in your digestive system.