The Big White Potato Lie

 The Big White Potato Lie

 

White potatoes have had a bad rap in the nutrition and exercise world partly due to the paleo movement and partly due to the low carb club.

Regardless of what you have heard both sweet and regular spuds are healthy and delicious and you should enjoy eating both as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Although they are both called potatoes they are totally unrelated in the plant world. Regular potatoes are from the nightshade family and are related to peepers, aubergines and tomatoes.

As they are from the nightshade family they produce a poison called solanine, for this reason you should not eat the leaves, stems or potatoes that are turning green. Sweet potatoes are from the convolvulance family with flowering morning glory vines. Unlike the white variety the leaves are very nutritious and can be eaten.

In terms of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates they are very similar but the sweet potato has a huge amount of Vitamin A.

Low carb dieters often avoid the white potato because of a high score on the Glycaemic Index and believe it is almost as bad as eating sugar. However this is not the case as it depends on how the potato is cooked and what it is eaten with that determines the overall GI score.

For example a roasted or baked sweet potato has a higher GI score than a boiled white potato. In addition adding butter to your white potato will lower the GI score further and will increase the Vitamin A absorption for the sweet variety.

So in conclusion enjoy eating both (if not allergic to the nightshade family) once or twice a week, boil or steam over frying or baking and add little butter to your mash.