Potatoes: The Most Nutritious Bang For Your Buck

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June 14, 2013

Potatoes: The Most Nutritious Bang For Your Buck

Potatoes, usually thought of as an indulgent unhealthy side dish, are actually excellent for your health and wallet. Find out more here

Potatoes, usually thought of as an indulgent unhealthy side dish, as most of the time they are fried, or topped off with an excess of cheese, bacon, or sour cream etc, are actually a great source of vitamins and minerals. A recent study led by Dr Adam Drewnowski from the University of Washington, revealed that potatoes offer one of the best nutritional values per penny.
 
The study used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national food price data to create an “affordability index”. The index then used to examine the nutrients per unit cost of 98 individual vegetables as well as five vegetable subgroups including dark green, orange/red, starchy, legumes, and 'other' vegetables.
 
Results indicated that while dark green vegetables have the highest nutrient density scores, after accounting for cost, starchy vegetables (including potatoes) and beans provided better nutritional value for the money. Potatoes, in particular, provide one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. 
 
In addition to the nutrients studied, potatoes contain B6, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and protein - as well as a variety of antioxidants, and can be an excellent addition to any healthy lifestyle. Some of the antioxidants found in potatoes are phenols and flavonoids, which have shown protective benefits against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and certain cancers.
 
Baking, steaming or lightly sautéing helps to ‘preserve’ the amazing health benefits of potatoes and keep the skin on because that is where many of the nutrients are found! 
 
Adam Drewnowski commented, and SupermarketGuru would agree, "the ability to identify affordable, nutrient dense vegetables is important to families focused on stretching their food dollar as well as government policy makers looking to balance nutrition and economics for food programs… And, when it comes to affordable nutrition, it's hard to beat potatoes.”
 
Looking for an excellent and healthy potato recipe for summer? Check out Devin Alexander’s Power Potato Salad