The One Carb You Should Be Eating Right Now, Says Science
Carbohydrates aren't evil to have in your diet—even if the recent low-carb diet craze wants you to believe otherwise. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients needed in your diet that provides your body with energy. Without it, you not only limit your body's main energy source, but you likely won't have a ton of options to eat. Carbs are in almost every food item you consume, and finding the right complex carbs to put in your diet is important for your body's health and longevity.
But out of all of these carbs, which one would be considered the best one to eat? Yes, vegetables are considered part of the carbohydrate family of foods and are incredibly healthy for you, but one carb you should be eating as a side dish for your meals is actually potatoes.
Don't believe us? While potatoes may not have a great reputation (given that many restaurants like to slice them up and throw them in the deep fryer), potatoes can actually provide your body with a myriad of health benefits. When prepared properly (like roasted or baked in the oven, or even used to make a healthy potato salad), potatoes can assist your body's overall health in ways that you may not even realize. Even more so than some of your favorite fruits…
Here's why you should consider regularly cooking a side of potatoes for your weeknight dinners, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Potatoes are full of fiber.
One of the most important nutrients potatoes have to offer you (besides those energy-boosting carbohydrates) is fiber. According to the UDSA, a medium-sized potato with around a 3-inch diameter provides your body with almost 5 grams of fiber. Potatoes have both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which aid in digestion, help lower your blood sugar levels, lower your cholesterol, and give you a feeling of fullness.
Potatoes have more potassium than a banana.
Bananas always seem to be the top dog when it comes to getting your potassium intake, but in all actuality, it's not even close to the amount of potassium a potato has to offer you. A medium-sized potato provides your body with 897 milligrams of potassium, which is 25% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for an average 2,000 calorie diet. That's over double what a medium banana offers you, which only provides 12% DV with just 422 milligrams.
Potatoes are full of all kinds of nutrients.
Along with the boost in fiber and potassium, potatoes are also full of all kinds of other nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial for your body's health. Potatoes give you a boost in vitamin C, vitamin B, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, and folate.
Potatoes also contain antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. Antioxidants are important to have in your diet because they help to fight off free radicals. A buildup of free radicals in your body can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Potatoes have resistant starch.
Resistant starch does exactly how it sounds—it's a starch that resists being digested. There are chains of carbohydrates in some foods that move through your digestive tract completely unchanged, and potatoes are on that list. Similar to soluble fiber, resistant starch can help feed the bacteria in your gut, creating a healthier microbiome. Resistant starch also helps with giving you a feeling of fullness after consuming.
Here are 20 Resistant Starch Recipes.
Potatoes are considered the most filling food.
Speaking of feeling full, no other food beats the potato! According to the Satiety Index of Common Foods, published by the University of Sydney, the potato was ranked as the most filling food to consume on its own. It's 223% more filling than a slice of white bread, and it even beats other common starchy foods people tend to reach for like oatmeal, pasta, rice, and beans.
Now that we've thoroughly convinced you to eat potatoes, here are 13 Creative Ways to Use Potatoes. Then, read these next:
- What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Potatoes
- 8 Ways to Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight
- Side Effects of Giving Up Carbs, According to Experts