Monday, October 27, 2014

The Best and Worst Ways to Eat Potatoes

The Best and Worst Ways to Eat Potatoes

There are all kinds of different potatoes, including classic russet potatoes, Yukon Gold, red potatoes, white potatoes, fingerling potatoes and even blue potatoes. No matter what type you like best, whether or not you’re eating a health food, really depends on how your potatoes are prepared.
Another important consideration when it comes to potatoes, and many other types of produce, is buying organic. Mashed potatoes can be delicious and nutritious, unless they’re laden with pesticides or have been genetically modified. Potatoes generally retain pesticides even after they’ve been washed and peeled – and nearly 80 percent of potatoes have been shown to contain these toxic substances.

Organic potatoes are filled with essential nutrients and health benefiting properties. They’re a rich source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber and pantothenic acid.

The potato also contains a host of phytonutrients that offer antioxidant activity, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid along with unique tuber storage proteins, like patatin, which has been shown to exhibit activity against free radicals. Free radicals are believed to be the root cause of a wide range of chronic disease and illness in addition to contributing to premature aging.

While the potato itself is quite healthy, it is often ruined by being processed so heavily the result is hardly a potato.

You’re probably quite familiar with some of the worst ways to eat potatoes, including those infamous stacked Pringles, sometimes referred to as “Cancer in a Can.” In an effort to avoid taxes that were levied against “luxury foods” like chips in the United Kingdom, the Pringles Company even argued that the potato content of their chips was so low that they technically aren’t even potato chips.
Pringles, and most other potato chips as well as french fries, are heavily processed. One of their most harmful ingredients isn’t something that is intentionally added, but is rather a byproduct of processing known as acrylamide.

Acrylamide is a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic agent that is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, whether baked, fried, roasted or toasted. Potato chips and French fries typically contain the highest amounts according to numerous studies, though other foods processed at a temperature above 212 degrees Fahrenheit may contain acrylamide, such as processed cereals and snacks.

As you probably surmised, potato chips and fries are two of the worst ways you can eat potatoes, if you can call them that. Baked potatoes sold at fast food restaurants piled with processed cheese and other unhealthy ingredients come in at a close second.
Still, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy a potato.
Combine pureed roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and olive oil for especially tasty garlic mashed potatoes.

Enjoy baked potatoes with healthy toppings like herbs and veggies. Top with plain, organic yogurt for a more nutritious sour cream-like flavor.
Sautéed potatoes for breakfast instead of eating processed hashed browns. Just chop up some red potatoes, green and red bell pepper and onions into small, bite-sized pieces. Place them into a skillet with some coconut oil and cook, stirring until tender.
Raw Organic PotatoesIf you like french fries, you can make your own healthier baked fries by cutting russet potatoes into wedges and placing them on a baking sheet sprinkled with olive oil. Drizzle some more olive oil over the tops of the potatoes and then season with sea salt and pepper. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once to make sure they’re browned and cooked on all sides.

You don’t necessarily have to give up potatoes completely for better health and a slimmer waistline – though, quite frankly, potatoes are not your healthiest choice of vegetable by a long shot – so you would do well to cut down on them if you are eating them often. At the very least, start by eliminating processed potatoes, so you get to enjoy the best of both worlds with great taste and a healthier you.
-The Alternative Daily

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